Charity says: “Although we see 100 people a week, we’re not even close to scratching the surface of need in Coventry”


The manager of a charity that supports blind and visually impaired people in Coventry has said that, although they see about 100 people per week, the charity is only “scratching the surface of need in Coventry”.

Hugh Sorrill, General Manager of Coventry Resource Centre for the Blind, added that “There are 2000 people in Coventry who are registered as blind or partially blind, there are 2000 odd people who could be registered but aren’t.

“Beyond that, there’s probably about 5000 people who are close to falling within the parameters of visual impairment.

“There’s about 9000 people out there we could be supporting. There’s a lot more we want to be doing.”

Though the charity has been open for almost 12 years, it has depended a lot on what people around the city are able to provide.

Hugh also said that the pandemic has made their work “A challenge, as one of our core values is fighting self isolation”, as staff and volunteers are required to be in proximity of the people they’re helping.

According to research made by the Charity Commission Covid-19 Survey 2021, 91% of charities in the UK have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus, creating a wide range of consequences from inability of delivering services, loss of income, and loss of staff and volunteers.

Graphic made by Francesco Scomazzon

Many organisations have sought to limit the impact of Covid-19 in various ways, the most prevalent of which is by changing their services.

Adapting services in light of restrictions, (45%) is the most common response taken by charities, followed by utilising financial reserves (40%) and even temporarily suspending activities (32%).

Hugh Sorrill explained that, like a lot of charities, CRCB got its money from fundraising and different trusts and funds: “We need to do fundraising. We don’t get the money from anywhere else. All the money that we need we have to find somewhere else.

“The fundraising events serve two purposes – they raise money and they raise awareness. And they’re fun.

“We are a community as well as a charity”.

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