Losing your sight can be devastating but if you leave a legacy of hope Focus Birmingham will ensure we are there to help as many people as we can facing sight loss in Birmingham.

Over 29,000 people in Birmingham live with sight loss. Here at Focus Birmingham we recognise that visual impairment and other disabilities can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life.

Focus Birmingham is a community care based service offering multi-disciplinary rehabilitation to blind and visually impaired people in Birmingham. Our vision and values is to ensure that no one living in Birmingham and the surrounding areas faces sight loss alone and they are able to access the professional advice and support we have to offer. We want to be their first point of contact and offer them much needed professional information, support, tailored guidance and help they need.

Remember Focus Birmingham in your Will 

You can make a difference by leaving a Gift in your will for Focus Birmingham.  In 2017, Focus Birmingham will be supporting Remember A Charity in Your Will Week. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the importance of legacies left to charities in Wills as a form of fundraising.  Please visit our dedicated page for more information click here. 

Late Mary Audrey Williamson - Legacy story 

Late  Mary Audrey Williamson made “considerable use” of the services and equipment at Focus Birmingham has remembered the charity in her Will by leaving a £500 legacy donation.

Mary Audrey Williamson, who passed away in April 2017 at the age of 94, had been living with Macular Degeneration for the last 20 years.

But after learning of the facilities provided by Focus, Mrs Williamson was able to receive significant and vital support in the form of regular eye checks and equipment, such as hand held magnifiers to enable her to continue her love of reading.

The former shorthand typist, who had been married to husband Leslie for 46 years prior to his death two decades ago, made the gift to Focus in her Will along with several other charities.

Her son Mark said his late mother, who lived in Kings Norton, was particularly appreciative of the service she received from the Low Vision Centre and from Focus Birmingham’s Lead Optometrist Andrew Miller.

Mr Williamson said: “She made considerable use of the services at Focus, especially the regular eye checks she attended. She also enjoyed seeing Andrew Miller, appreciating his caring, patient and supportive manner. Andrew gave a lot of reassurance as well as the very thorough eye examinations. He was able to explain things clearly to her.

“My mum had both wet and dry Macular Degeneration and her condition impacted her reading despite the use of large print books, as well as her lifestyle in general. But the biggest help that she received was the magnifiers via Focus. She had three of those over the last 15 years and that helped massively with both her reading and writing.

“She also used other facilities at Focus as well as various pieces of equipment including talking clocks, a couple of pairs of spectacles, and “bump-on” stickers which were extremely useful as she could feel which buttons to press on the television and radio, for example.”

Mr Williamson, 60, a retired IT specialist, said his mother began experiencing major problems with her eyesight about 20 years ago.

He added: “That was when she stopped driving, although she may have had problems before then. She started getting tell-tale zigzag lines in her vision. It was a gradual thing but the Macular Degeneration eventually took its toll despite it seeming to plateau.”

Mrs Williamson was referred to the eye hospital in Dudley Road, Birmingham, and also benefitted from a Macular Society support group in Barnt Green. She was also told about the services available at Focus.

Her son added: “She became an active and committed supporter of Focus, sending in various donations and enjoying the newsletters. That was why she wanted to leave something to the charity in her Will.”

Jasmin Rana, Marketing & Fundraising Manager at Focus Birmingham said: “We are very grateful for this legacy donation and Mrs Williamson had been supporting us for the last 10 years through newsletter donations as well as gifts that she sent us from her 90th birthday party a few years ago. She totalled more than £1,000 in donations in that time.

Mark has told us of the wonderful support that his mother received from us. It seems as though she led a very enriched life and hopefully we were able to play a role in this.”

EVERY gift helps. We are asking you to Remember a Charity when you are making your will, consider a gift to a charity that has touched your life.  

You can visit the Remember A Charity website to find a solicitor in your local area, who will be able to advise you on leaving gifts to charities when making a Will click here now!

Focus Birmingham are offering free will service to anyone wanting to make a will so please contact fundraising@focusbirmingham.org.uk for more information. Let us ensure a brighter future for those facing sight loss.

If you already have a Will

If you would like to add Focus Birmingham to an existing Will you can simply add a Codicil. Please get in touch to find out how we can help with this by calling 0121 478 5239 or email jasmin@focusbirmingham.org.uk.

If you haven’t written a Will

After taking care of your family and friends the first thing you should think about is what kind of gift you would like to leave Focus. For more information about leaving a Will, the types of gifts you can leave and who could write your Will, please contact jasmin@focusbirmingham.org.uk or call her on 0121 478 5239.

If you would like to find out more about remembering Focus Birmingham in your will please email fundraising@focusbirmingham.org.uk.