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Statement from SRSB and RSS

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A message from Steve Hambleton, General Manager of Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind (SRSB) and Rotherham Sight & Sound (RSS).

It is with great sadness that we have to announce some changes to the way our charity operates because of the environment that we currently find ourselves in. However, we want to reassure our clients that we will continue to support them, even though we have to keep adapting and investigating different ways to provide that support at the moment.

We have had to make some very difficult decisions, and it is with a heavy heart that I have to say we have entered a redundancy consultation period with our staff team, which means our team might be significantly reduced. The reality of the situation is that because, in many of our services, staff and clients were in quite close proximity to each other. A full risk assessment has been done and because of the layout of our buildings it is not viable to proceed with some services, and we are now limited to what we can do with other services.

Not only does this affect our staff, but it unfortunately affects our team of volunteers too. We simply would not have been able to provide the level of services we did without the support of all of our volunteers, and unfortunately there are some of those roles that will also not be able to continue for now. 

We certainly hope that the Coronavirus is defeated as soon as possible and that things will change. We will of course keep monitoring the latest guidelines, but as we are all aware, we are in this situation for the longer term, or until an effective vaccine is available.

In the short term, we have to make these very hard decisions, so that ultimately our charity will survive, ensuring that we can continue to offer the critical support that we have been providing to clients in Sheffield since 1860 and also safeguard our support for them into the future. We also made a commitment to support clients with sight and hearing impairment in Rotherham in 2017 when we opened Rotherham Sight & Sound (RSS), and we are determined that we will continue with that aim.

The team (both staff and volunteers) at SRSB and RSS are all dedicated and passionate about our work, and we have so much praise for their patience and understanding during all of the uncertainty that we have faced. We have tried to protect everyone’s roles for as long as we can and are devastated to have to make this statement.

Some fundraising events will go ahead, but many have had to be cancelled or postponed. You can view the latest news about these on our website. We are also sad that 2020 has been very different to the celebration year that we had planned for our 160th Anniversary.  We want to thank our supporters who have made very kind donations, we can’t express enough how much this means to us and we very much appreciate it.

We want to reassure everyone that we remain working, albeit differently for now, but we are there to support people with sight loss in Sheffield, and people with hearing and/or sight loss in Rotherham, and we will be sending more detail to clients soon. We want to thank our clients for their support and are very grateful for the messages of thanks we have received.

We have faced a very challenging time over the last few months, as we know many other individuals and organisations have, and very much look forward to a time where things will return to some kind of normality.

Steve Hambleton


A Statement from the Trustees of SRSB.

On behalf of myself and my Co- Trustees I would like to add our unanimous support for the actions currently being contemplated by the executive, in order to continue to provide, and care for the ongoing welfare of our clients, and also to preserve the Charity's continued existence for future generations.

Difficult decisions lie ahead, and SRSB, in line with possibly every other charity in the country, is having to face the prospects of alternative working practices alongside reduced funding and additional safeguarding costs.

The team of staff and volunteers have shown exemplary courage and commitment throughout the Pandemic, and I'm sure our clients and supporters join with me and my fellow Trustees in thanking them all for their loyal endeavours.

Anthony Cooper ( Chairman of Trustees )

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