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RNIB wins Third Sector Business Charity Award

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has won a prestigious industry award highlighting the vital support the charity provided to people with sight loss during the Coronavirus pandemic.

RNIB was named the winner of the the ‘Innovation: Best COVID-19 Support Project’ category at last night’s awards ceremony.

This award recognises the innovative work that RNIB initiated with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and other charities. Other ground breaking work with the UK’s mainstream supermarkets, retailers and wholesalers enabled thousands of people with sight loss to access their food and essentials.

RNIB CEO Matt Stringer said: “We are delighted to win this Third Sector Business Charity Award. Coronavirus turned everyone’s world upside down but people with sight loss also faced challenges with social distancing and the physical changes made to streets, shop layouts and processes. Calls to RNIB’s Helpline reached more than 1,000 a day at the height of the initial national lockdown with a high number of callers unable to buy food in stores or secure online delivery slots.

“I am extremely proud of RNIB’s rapid response and proud of my colleagues who worked hard to launch these initiatives to tackle the problems blind and partially sighted people were facing in accessing food and essentials.”

The DEFRA scheme has now benefitted more than 350 blind and partially sighted customers, helping them to secure priority online delivery slots. RNIB has also reached more than four million employees across the UK, through our suite of tailored guidance.

RNIB is extremely grateful to all the organisations who helped fund its COVID-19 response. This includes a generous donation from Standard Chartered Bank, funding from the Department for Health and Social Care, MIND and People’s Postcode Lottery amongst many others. These funds went towards enabling our Sight Loss Advice Service to expand and extend services to ensure blind and partially sighted people could access the help they needed.