A CHARITY for visually impaired people has closed its Chester Resource Centre due to a funding crisis.
But the 130-year-old Vision Support group will continue to use the Whipcord Lane building for social clubs and IT training.
Information and equipment to help with daily living will now be provided through the Cheshire mobile van which will be making regular visits to Chester and surrounding areas.
Vision Support is making cuts after running up £350,000 losses last year and is in dispute with the local authority over a £257,000 pension bill.
There have been several redundancies which chief executive Miriam Wright accepts have not won her any popularity contests.
And there remains a threat to a home visiting service although Mrs Wright will do her “very best” to save the vital life-line.
Mrs Wright says the charity has experienced a fall in income due to the recession and Vision Support is “doing better” than many other groups.
Ultimately, the board of governors had a duty to ensure “we don’t drive the charity off a cliff”, she added.
Some visually impaired people have criticised Vision Support, believing it no longer serves their interests. But Mrs Wright, who is committed to seeing the body through the hard times, called upon detractors to do likewise.
“They can help us by doing fundraising and being positive about the organisation,” she said. “It’s very difficult if you are in the position I’m in and you are carrying out what are effectively cuts and redundancies. You are not going to be popular.”
Some of the anger followed a decision to ask a Thursday morning coffee group for the visually impaired vacate its slot at Whipcord Lane. Vision Support says the group had become too large for the room.
One anonymous correspondent, who signed off “yours amused”, told The Chronicle they were puzzled the centre would, according to the charity, “continue to be used for social clubs and IT training” given their particular experience.
“They have already closed one social club and the IT training was one-to-one is now one-to-three.”
The Vision Support Open Day will now take place at The Royal International Pavilion, Llangollen, on June 13, between 10am-4pm, after a change of venue. For more information visit: www.visionsupport.org.uk