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Sight loss charity announces the winners of 2020 Coronavirus Heroes Awards

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has announced the winners of this year’s See Differently ‘Coronavirus Heroes’ Awards.

The awards focussed on the people and organisations who have gone above and beyond to support blind and partially sighted people during the coronavirus pandemic, with the three categories including Best Community Contributor, Best Corporate Response and Best Media Impact.

After receiving thousands of votes from the general public, RNIB has announced the winners:

  • Lizzie Tovey for Best Community Contributor
  • National Theatre of Scotland NTS for Best Corporate Response
  • Dr Frances Ryan for Best Media Impact

Lizzie, who is partially sighted, has continued to fundraise for RNIB this year whilst undergoing treatment for an aggressive form of breast cancer. After deferring her place in the 2020 London Marathon due to her cancer diagnosis, Lizzie resumed her training whilst undergoing treatment and took part in the 2.6 challenge at the end of April between her fourth and fifth chemotherapy cycles. She has raised more than £24,000 for RNIB, Guide Dogs and Macmillan in the past two years.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the National Theatre of Scotland developed the ‘Scenes for Survival’ programme to provide access to the arts to isolated audiences across Scotland. The programme of digital performances explored personal journeys of lockdown life, and accessibility was at the heart of the project, with audio described versions of the shows being readily available to audiences on both the organisation’s website and YouTube channel.

Dr Frances Ryan has continuously worked throughout the year to cover the disproportionate impact on the UK’s disability communities and has supported RNIB’s campaign to include blind and partially sighted people on the government’s coronavirus vulnerable list. Through continuing discussions on the challenges being faced by those with sight loss on social media, Frances has created further awareness of accessibility, online shopping prioritisation and RNIB’s World Upside Down campaign.

Lorna Forbes, Head of Integrated Marketing at RNIB, said: “Although 2020 has been an incredibly challenging year, there have some amazing acts of kindness and support that have played a significant role in helping others through a tough time. Our winners just go to show what a massive impact this support has had on blind and partially sighted people across the country, and we couldn’t be prouder to have recognised them in our See Differently ‘Coronavirus Heroes’ Awards.

“Congratulations to all of our winners!”