Children’s charity can splash out after massive donation

P&G employees Linda Hansen and Judith Cordner were delighted to present a cheque for �9,615 to Ponteland-based charity Useful Vision which works to create opportunities for visually impaired children across the region.
P&G employees Linda Hansen and Judith Cordner were delighted to present a cheque for �9,615 to Ponteland-based charity Useful Vision which works to create opportunities for visually impaired children across the region.
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A DISABLED children’s charity can splash out on more family activities after picking up almost £10,000 in funding support.

Ponteland-based Useful Vision, which supports more than 200 families with visually impaired children across the North East, has received the £9,615 donation from more than 850 workers at P&G’s Cobalt site.

The charity was nominated by Judith Cordner, who is a member of the company’s Community Matters Programme.

She said: “P&G is committed to improving the lives of children as part of its global corporate cause, Live, Learn and Thrive. When I heard about the fantastic work that this charity does I knew that it would be something P&G employees would want to support.”

Useful Vision was founded by Rebecca and Nick Wilson in 2005 following their first-hand experiences of the problems families with visually impaired children face.

Their son Ben went blind from cancer at the age of five, and tragically died when he was just nine years old.

The couple felt they had little support throughout Ben’s short life and found it difficult to find local activities that would stimulate and entertain him, and so Useful Vision was born.

The charity runs weekly trips and activities specially tailored to meet the needs of visually impaired children and young people from birth up to the age of 18.

There are also workshops for older children to learn skills such as cooking, playing an instrument and applying make-up, which helps them to gain confidence in all aspects of daily living.

Mrs Wilson said: “This donation from P&G will make an enormous difference to our charity this year, accounting for about a third of our budget.

“We rely entirely on volunteers so every penny will be spent on running activities and workshops for young people.”

Among those to benefit from the charity’s work are Ashleigh Knox and her one-year-old son Lucas Hammond.

Lucas has lived with visual impairment since birth and regularly attends Useful Vision activities.

Ms Knox said: “When Lucas was born with microphthalmia, meaning both eyes were smaller than normal, I was completely overwhelmed. It wasn’t something that my husband and I had prepared for when welcoming a new baby into the family.

“I heard about Useful Vision and took Lucas along to the baby group when he was six weeks old – we’ve never looked back.

“We regularly attend activities like baby swim and family days out, which are brilliant because Lucas has a fantastic time and I get to meet other families who have children with sight loss. It’s a great practical and emotional support to have that network there.”

For more information about the charity visit www.usefulvision.org.uk