A City charity has received funding to transform the lives of London’s blind and visually impaired (BVI) graduates by helping them find work after university.
City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, awarded £84,000 to the Blind In Business Charitable Trust to pay for one-to-one sessions with the charity’s experts in sight loss and job training.
The initiative includes support with writing CVs and filling in job applications, as well as helping people develop aspirations, confidence, and to find work.
Blind and partially sighted young people are among the most disadvantaged groups in society.
Some 90% of those who lose their sight in youth won’t work for more than six months in their lives, and nearly 70% of blind and partially sighted young people are living on the poverty line.
Alison Gowman, chair of the City Bridge Trust committee, said: “Blind in Business has been working in this sector for many years and is an expert in supporting people with sight loss.
“The organisation has extensive contacts in the City. With this funding it will be able to help even more young graduates make connections with employers and begin their journeys into the world of work.
“Tackling disadvantage across the Capital is essential to making London a fairer and better place to live.”
Since 1992, Blind in Business has assisted on average 90 to 120 young people in London each year, helping them towards education or employment. The charity also supports employees diagnosed with sight loss to remain in employment, and advises employers on recruitment and on-the-job support for BVI staff.
Dan Mitchell, training and fundraising manager at Blind in Business, said: “Employers are generally unreceptive to offering blind young people long-term opportunities, based on perceptions that they won’t be able to deliver the work effectively, or that they would need continuous intensive support.
“Technical advances enable BVI people to do almost any job, but they need support and confidence to compete for vacancies.
“This generous grant from City Bridge Trust will allow us to help more Londoners with sight loss into work.”