Wilberforce Trust's Keith McKee
Action's partner in the Leeds Vision Consortium is the Wilberforce Trust. Their chief executive Keith McKee discusses the benefits the consortium will bring to the people of Leeds.
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Welcome to Action’s podcast. I’m here today at the launch
of the Leeds Vision Consortium, a partnership between
Action and the Wilberforce Trust to provide services
Leeds for blind and partially sighted people and dual
sensory loss people. And with me I’ve got Keith McKee
chief executive from the Wilberforce Trust
Keith McKee, the chief executive from the Wilberforce
Trust which is based in York. But we are one of the
partners of Leeds Vision Consortium and our
involvement in Leeds Vision Consortium came about
really because we felt that we had something to offer
to service users in Leeds and we are used to working
in partnership with other organisations. So in
conjunction with Action who are also interested in
developing services in Leeds, we formed Leeds Vision
Consortium and together put in the tender for services
to Leeds City Council. The Consortium in general, I
think will bring significant benefits to the people of
Leeds, particularly people with sight loss and people
with dual sensory loss. And that’s really by
expanding the range of services available to people
within the City and increasing access of the wider
population of Leeds to the new range of services. I
think one of the issues for us that has been quite
interesting is that there are a significant number of
people within Leeds who have some sight loss or dual
sensory loss, yet only a small proportion of those
appear to have been accessing the services for people
with sight loss which have been provided up to now,
pwhether that be by the City Council or other voluntary
providers. So our hope is that through our work
within the Consortium, we will be able to extend the
access of people within Leeds to the services that we
provide by promoting them to sections of the community
that seem to have not viewed them as accessible for
them in the past. So we will be working with the BME
communities within Leeds, we’ll be trying to provide
services and promote services to the younger age
group of people within Leeds who have visual
impairment, so dual sensory loss. Because together
they seem to be sectors of the community that have
opted not to access services previously provided,
probably for very good reasons. So certainly part
part of the work that we will be doing within the
Consortium itself is around promoting, not just our
services as a Consortium to the population of Leeds
but also promoting the issue of eye health and how to
look after your sight and how to make best use of
what sight you’ve got if you do have a visual
impairment. So we’re looking forward to a very
positive period over the next couple of years where
together with Action as part of Leeds Vision
Consortium we see significant developments in the
range of services available and in the uptake of those
services by many more people within Leeds.