RNIB's new five year strategy

2 May 2014

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Our Chief Executive Lesley-Anne Alexander talks about RNIB's new strategy, the importance of evidence, and our aim for every eye clinic to have access to a sight loss adviser by 2019.

As the UK’s leading sight loss charity, we have a clear understanding of the needs and experiences of people with and at risk of sight loss. This comes from the information we gather through regular conversations around the lived experiences of our members and customers, through to formal research conducted by RNIB and others.

By considering this range it gives us the confidence that the work we do and the plans we put in place are based upon a sound evidence base.

We are passionate about making the biggest difference for those who need us most and in order to develop our new strategy we analysed:

  • RNIB commissioned research
  • Publicly available large-scale surveys
  • UK Vision Strategy consultation feedback with blind and partially sighted people
  • Workshop sessions with local societies of blind and partially sighted people.

Importantly our plans look to support the aims of the refreshed UK Vision Strategy, which is the cross-sector initiative uniting all those in the UK who want to take action on issues relating to vision.

My vision for good charity strategy and leadership starts with really understanding the desires and aspirations of the people you are here to support. This should be the basis for what you are trying to achieve and ultimately the world you want to create for your customers.

When we set about developing a plan through to 2019 we considered the research and evidence outlined above and then gathered over 1,800 responses from our customers and other stakeholders on where they felt we should focus our efforts in the future.

They also told us they wanted RNIB to focus on:

  • Early reach and support around diagnosis
  • Comprehensive, locally delivered support services and training opportunities
  • Comprehensive and easily navigated central information and advice services
  • Campaigning and influencing
  • Employment and education opportunities
  • Positioning the RNIB Group at the forefront of technology
  • Peer support and mentoring
  • Reviewing our customer engagement

The feedback from our strategy consultation consistently raised the need for early support, with a call for more resources to be directed towards helping more people at the point of diagnosis.

Direct support within eye clinics received special praise. We have now translated this into our new strategic priority of “Being there” which aims for every eye clinic to have access to a sight loss adviser by 2019.

Our research demonstrates how life changing emotional and practical support at this critical time can be. We plan to further strengthen our evidence base for early support by focusing on the impact it brings people who receive support within the eye clinic.

Read more about our current campaign ‘I am here’

Demonstrating the impact you make with the money you are entrusted goes a long way to building a strong reputation for services that make a difference to someone’s life.

At RNIB we are supporting teams across the organisation to develop ways of measuring the impact their service makes which is not only necessary to gain support externally, but is also hugely motivating to our workforce of staff and volunteers.

In working with others in the sight loss sector I am told how much other organisations value the research RNIB produces.

The best outcomes for blind and partially sighted people are only possible if everyone has an informed understanding of the people we are all here to support.

That is why we decided to make our Sight Loss Data Tool free to use on our website. Considerable time and resource was invested in the tool which provides information about blind and partially sighted people and those at risk of sight loss at a local level throughout the UK.

The results give organisations the data to work at a local or national level, supporting fundraising, influencing, marketing and communications and service and strategic planning.

Check out the Sight Loss Data Tool on our website

Visit our Expert Series blog for more articles from sight loss sector professionals.

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