Cornwall

Cornwall Blind Association's demand increases after cuts

A charity for the blind in Cornwall has increased its membership by a third despite having to make redundancies in the past year.

Cornwall Blind Association (CBA) provides non-medical information about the services and benefits available to visually impaired people.

It has grown from about 2,000 to 3,000 members since running hospital desks.

CBA director Terri Rosnau-Ward said: "The demand is not going down but there comes a limitation to what you can do."

Financial pressure

The charity had to make one manager redundant and did not renew contracts for the communication or events managers after coming under financial pressure.

Its income last financial year was £727,459, but its outgoings were £875,288. It also had to use some of its reserves to deliver services.

Ms Rosnau-Ward said: "Unfortunately we've had to make staff redundancies. It's made everything more difficult especially if you've had to lose members who worked in specific elements, it has a knock-on effect.

"We've seen an increase of 1,000 members over the last year. Hospital desks have been introduced and had a positive impact."

The association, which has been running for 155 years, has about 380 volunteers.

Ms Rosnau-Ward added: "Just because you have volunteers you still need qualified members of staff, you can't just bring a volunteer in."

The hospital desks have been operating in the Royal Cornwall Hospital as well as community hospitals in St Austell, Camborne, Bodmin, Liskeard and Stratton.

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