Press release

Sight Scotland has received a £150,000 National Lottery award from The National Lottery Community Fund for its new community service that supports people affected by sight loss.

The National Lottery award will enable Sight Scotland to reach out to even more people impacted by sight loss in the community through the charity's Family Wellbeing Service.

Sight Scotland launched its Family Wellbeing Service in January this year. The service includes a telephone support line, which was launched in Edinburgh and the Lothians. People with sight loss of any age and stage of sight loss, as well as their family, friends and carers, can call 0800 024 8973 to access Sight Scotland’s free expert information, advice and emotional support.

As Scotland’s pandemic restrictions start to ease, the service will also begin to offer support visits in the community, including home visits for people impacted by sight loss in Edinburgh, Midlothian, East Lothian and West Lothian.

Mark O’Donnell, Chief Executive of Sight Scotland, said: “A huge thank you to the National Lottery Community Fund for this funding for our Family Wellbeing Service.

“Every hour in Scotland, someone starts to lose their sight. It is vital that Sight Scotland is there for people with sight loss and their loved ones whenever and however they need us. We understand how sight loss impacts on life, not only for the person with visual impairment but for their loved ones and carers too. We hope that anyone impacted by sight loss will reach out to us for our expert support.”

Last year, in a survey conducted by Sight Scotland with over 400 people with visual impairment following the first lockdown, over 70 percent of participants said that their sight loss had made lockdown a worse experience. Over 40 percent said they were still not confident about going back into the community with social distancing measures in place.1

As Scotland’s pandemic restrictions ease further, Sight Scotland’s community services will provide all-important expert support to help people impacted by sight loss to regain confidence and maintain independence following a period that has been particularly isolating for so many individuals with visual impairment. 

The National Lottery Community Fund, Scotland Chair, Kate Still: said: “In these unprecedented times, it’s heartening to see the way Scottish communities are coming together to provide each other with support. I would like to congratulate Sight Scotland on their award which is testament to the incredible efforts of their staff and volunteers. National Lottery players can be proud to know that the money they raise is making such a difference.”

For more information on Sight Scotland’s support for sight loss, email or visit

Senior Fundraiser Kirsty Smith with Sight Scotland selfie frame

Notes to Editors:


  1. Survey conducted by Sight Scotland and Sight Scotland Veterans of 404 people with visual impairment of over August and September 2020. “Do you think lockdown has been an easier experience for people who are fully sighted?”

Yes: 281 (70%)      No: 113 (28%)       Not sure: 5 (1%)

(5 people didn’t respond to this question but answered others in the survey.)

“Do you feel confident about going back into the community (for shopping/ appointments etc) with social distancing?”

Very confident: 93 (23%)

Slightly confident: 136 (34%)

Not very confident: 108 (27%)

Not at all confident: 64 (16%)

No answer: 3