Students with vision impairment receive money for vital equipment from Yorkshire Building Society

12 July 2021

Four people standing in a line holding different pieces of equipment. They're outside with a playground in the background

Yorkshire Building Society Charitable Foundation has donated £1,997 to a Devon-based charity to buy a wide range of equipment to support independent living. 

WESC Foundation supports people from across the UK who have vision impairment and complex needs. The money donated by the Yorkshire Building Society will be used to purchase specialist kitchen equipment to help College students prepare for a more independent life 

Much of it is specifically adapted or designed with vision-impaired people in mind, and will support the young adults to safely prepare their own food and drink in the charity’s onsite accommodation.  

The new equipment will include Liquid Level Indicators to help with pouring hot drinks when you can’t see the level of the water. A one-cup, one-touch kettle will mean that students can safely dispense one cup of boiling water at a time. This means that young adults with vision impairment don’t need to pour boiling water from a kettle, and this means that we can reduce the risk of burns and water spillages. 

Similarly, a talking microwave can help teach someone basic skills like heating a ready meal safely, or preparing something a bit more complicated like making a jacket potato with baked beans. When buttons are pressed the microwave will speak to you so that you know if you have made the right choice. For students able to make more advanced meals there is also a talking hob. 

Involving the young people in meal preparation develops some excellent food preparation skills and fine motor skill. It also opens up a dialogue about healthy eating and making choices, which will be important as they prepare for a life beyond College. 

Sara Cross, Occupational Therapist at WESC Foundation, said: 

“Being able to independently get ourselves a drink or make a simple meal is something that any of us take for granted.  

“Give our young people control of some of these simple things can reduce dependence on helpers both now and in the future, and really boost self-esteem and confidence” 

Staff at the Exeter branch of Yorkshire Building Society were inspired to nominate WESC Foundation for the grant after hearing about the challenges faced by the young people during lockdown.  

Amy Alford, Exeter Branch Manager at Yorkshire Building Society, said: 

 “Yorkshire Building Society has always been determined to really deliver its purpose, which is to provide ‘Real Help for Real Lives’ and I feel that the WESC Foundation are an exemplar candidate for the Small Change Big Difference nomination. 

“At a time where there are more and more people requiring additional support as a result of the global pandemic, I’m very proud to have been able to support a local charity in WESC Foundation. 

I’ve seen for myself how much the students appreciate the care and support they’re given. When I visited WESC Foundation the resounding impression was that it wasn’t just a charity, but that the students and staff alike are a true family.” 

 

 

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