InSight Magazine – Q3 2022 Edition

Our latest edition of InSight is out now.

This edition includes:


InSight Q3 2022 Cover

Click here or the image above to read the latest edition of our InSight Magazine or click the links below to hear it recorded in an audio format:

  1. CEO’s Letter
  2. Wilberforce House – Staff Perspective
  3. Club Wilber Pizza Party
  4. Living & Learning Zone
  5. Volunteering
  6. Fundraising & Sponsorship
  7. YorSensory – Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much
  8. York Talking News Advertisement
InSight Magazine – Q2 2022 Edition

Our latest edition of InSight is out now.

This edition includes:


Click here or the image above to read the latest edition of our InSight Magazine.

World Glaucoma Week 2022 (6th-12th March)

This year, Glaucoma UK are focusing on the challenges faced to self-administer extremely important eye drops for their World Glaucoma Week Campaign 2022.  There are a lot of different eye drops for Glaucoma which work in slightly different ways, but all of them reduce pressure in the eye and in turn on the optic nerve to help preserve sight!

Glaucoma UK states that 2 in 100 people over the age of 40 will experience Open Angle Glaucoma (OAG) increasing to more than 1 in 20 for people over the age of 80.  However, The World Glaucoma Association (WGA) reported in most cases “blindness” can be prevented with appropriate control and treatment.

This is a campaign close to home for the Community Team at Wilberforce Trust who assist the NHS District nurses in York to provide care and support in peoples home with a number of tasks, including the administration of eye drops.

Our Community Eye Drop Co-ordinator Kaitlin says: “Among other eye conditions, we have several clients who have Glaucoma and require support with their eye drops to make sure they are administered effectively and in time with their prescribed routine and our community support team can advise on techniques to help individuals regain their independence.”

Often it is a struggle to find or get used to a technique that suits the individual, which leaves some people unable or unmotivated to self-administer.  There are a variety of different ways to help yourself to administer eye drops.

Read more about techniques for administering eye drops here.

Eye Drop Administration Collage

Welcome to our new Sensory Business Manager

Hi there, my name is Lauren Holmes and I have just joined the Wilberforce Trust as the Business Manager for Sensory Services.  I was born in Wales and am very proud of my Welsh heritage.  My other interests and hobbies include playing or watching football, reading, walking, cooking and watching endless dog videos on Instagram!

I moved to North Yorkshire in 2017 to pursue a new start and further my career.  I have worked in social care since leaving University in 2013, working my way from Support Worker to Registered Manager.

I am passionate about the rights of people with disabilities, equality and social inclusion.  Every person I have worked with has shown me something through different eyes; that led me to the hope that one day we live in a world where a person is seen before their disability.

The pandemic prompted personal reflection of a number of things for me and one of them was looking to further career.  My passion in care was always sensory deprivation and improving outcomes for those living with a sensory impairment, so when this role came up I felt excited at the prospect of applying.  After research and interviewing for the role I had a really positive feeling about working for the trust.  I felt like my values aligned with theirs and their vision.  I’m a keen and quick learner so I was thrilled to accept the position and get to work.  I’m looking forward to developing and improving on the already amazing work of the Yorsensory Team.

YO1 Radio Agility Networking Collage

Happy Birthday to the Community Eye Drop Service

Happy Birthday

The trust is so proud to have great people working for us, doing great things!

A year ago Kaitlin joined our team as Community Eye Drops Co-ordinator and we never looked back… until now!

Since starting Kaitlin has made 1,703 home visits and what started out as just an eye drop service has now grown to include catheter care, compression management and medication/insulin prompts:

Eye Drops
Eye drop support, eye care help and advice in the community to clients who are unable to administer themselves, including long-term patients or short-term post op clients. All required visits from once a day up to 3-4 times per day.

Catheter Care
Catheter leg bags require changing every 7 days to prevent bacteria getting into the system and infections occurring. Visits also help to assess if there are any issues with the catheter and signpost the client where to seek help & advice if it can’t be given by Wilberforce Trust staff.

Compression Management
Compression hosiery is used to help heal and prevent leg ulcers and other venous issues. Visits are to remove compression stocking and assess the condition of wounds, which in turn monitors and improves the condition. Clients wouldn’t otherwise wear these as they can’t put them on or take them off themselves without Wilberforce Trust help. It is estimated around 1 in 50 people over the age of 80 has one (NHS UK).

Medication/Insulin Prompts
Ensuring clients with memory or mobility issues can safely and timely administer medication/insulin as independently as possible. Also monitoring diabetic patients’ glucose levels and reporting these to diabetes specialist when necessary. Can be required up to 2 or 3 times per day.




Client Testimonials

You don’t just have to take our word for what a great job Kaitlin is doing and how invaluable this service the trust delivers is, see what our clients and district nurses have to say:

Nurse Testimonials

“Administration of eye drops is a task which is time consuming for DN teams and would be referred to us if a patient was unable to self -administer or did not have a family member or carer who was able to do this. Our service is very stretched and we need to prioritise therefore if you were not assisting then patients may not receive the prescribed number of drops daily as we do not have the capacity to do multiple visits. Your input reduces the workload for the DN team.

By the time I refer to yourselves I will have exhausted all potential opportunities to enable patients to self -care therefore the support they receive from you enables them to continue and lightens the load on the DN teams.

I am sure that we will continue to work well together and thank-you again for your support and excellent communication.”

District nurse testimonial


“Happy 1st Birthday to the Wilberforce Trust

This service has been a great addition to the District Nursing team across York and continues to be a great asset to the service. Patients benefit from the continuity of same staff members visiting. The referral system is made simple and effortless and the communication is excellent and efficient The Wilberforce trust would benefit from another member of staff as I feel this service is starting to be a growing success.”

Aimee Gowlett, Clinical co-ordinator North District Nursing team

Welcome To Our New Sensory Outreach Officer

We’re so happy to have someone as passionate as Paul join our team and fill the role of Sensory Outreach Officer.

You’re likely to see Paul out and about in the community, so we asked Paul some questions as a way of him introducing him to you all.  We hope if you see Paul out and about you will take the time to say hello.

Introduce yourself. What makes you tick, what are your passions and what makes you you?

Hello, my name is Paul Senior.  I was born with a severe/profound hearing impairment and use a hearing aid along with lip reading skills.  I have always personally and professionally been passionate in supporting people with a disability.  My other passions are socialising with friends, watching TV, reading, cooking & DIY.  I also like going on trips including walking.

I strongly believe that people with disabilities whether they are blind, deaf, wheelchair users, etc.  should be treated with respect and understanding regardless of their abilities, just like anyone else.  They should be regarded as a person first with their own individuality rather than only focusing on the disabilities.

What made you want to work for Wilberforce Trust?

I have been aware of Wilberforce Trust for a few years and previously became a volunteer a few years ago, however I was unable to continue due to my previous job being full time.  I have always kept an eye out for any job opportunities at Wilberforce Trust, I felt with my direct experience of my hearing disability there was a lot I could offer.

What attracted you to this role specifically?

I was attracted to the Sensory Outreach Officer role specifically because I like to be out and about, interacting with the public and offering information and advice around hearing and sight disability.  I have extensive first-hand experience of technical resources and support available to help with my disability at home from when I was at school and college, in work situations and social settings as well as the daily challenges that can present.

Why should someone pop over to say hello if they see you doing outreach?

Because I am very passionate in creating awareness of how the Wilberforce Trust/Yorsensory service can help people.  I always bring a smile and make people feel comfortable and at ease.  They will walk away feeling reassured and have their questions answered.

Paul and Julie at Acomb Explore outreach

Paul is regularly out and about in the community, if you would like to see where he is going to be then take a look at our What’s On page or follow us on Facebook and keep and eye on our Events page.

InSight Magazine – Winter 2021 Edition

Our new Winter 2021 edition of Insight is out now!

This edition includes:

Click the image above to read the latest edition of our Insight Magazine.

Wilberforce Trust Collaboration With Nimbuscare

Julie Day (Sensory Awareness Training Officer at the Wilberforce Trust) was asked to provide a bespoke Sensory Awareness training morning for Nimbuscare with the view to looking at how best the service could provide support for people with sensory impairments as they attended the mass vaccination site. Nimbuscare staff were engaged and keen to learn as much as they could to enable them to understand some of the difficulties facing people with sensory impairments. Julie ran two sessions across two different venues and used simulation glasses so the attendees could experience different levels of sight loss and a variety of eye conditions. The groups took part in a guided walk experiencing what it is like to mobilise with limited vision.

Nimbus Care Sensory Training

Jessica Hedley (Mass Vaccination Duty Site Manager at Nimbuscare) had the following to say:
“We have been thrilled to collaborate with Wilberforce Trust at the Mass Vaccination Site on Askham Bar. Julie and the team have been fantastic, working with us to identify patient support needs and accessibility across site for those with hearing and sight impairments. Overall, we have enhanced our patient experience through developing clear signage and direction, improving accessible reading materials for vaccination aftercare with braille and large print formats. Whilst also further developing our website, extending FAQ’s covering patient accessibility and communication. Julie worked closely with our site management team providing training and promoting open discussion on Sensory Awareness through workshops. We found this incredibly insightful and overall we feel more confident as a team in developing a further understanding as to how we can best support our patients on site.”

You can learn more about our Sensory Services for Businesses here. If you would like to explore how we can help your business call the YorSensory team on 01904 760037 or email email.

Introducing The Knowledge Hub

The Wilberforce Trust have recently begun to build their very own Knowledge Hub online.  The aim of the Knowledge Hub is to collate all our information, advice, support, and answers to commonly asked questions in one place, making it easy to access and follow up if further information is required from the Yorsensory Team.

This part of our website will grow continually as new information is added, and new technology or advice is available and required.  It is very important to us that it remains relevant and current, therefore if you have further questions or information you would like to find, please do feed this back to the Yorsensory Team.

Getting out and about with confidence following lockdown

A trip out, shopping and how we access services changed for everyone in 2020​ because of Covid-19, with changes such as social distancing, PPE, shop layouts and queuing systems being just a few.  However, these have posed extra challenges to people with a visual impairment since the beginning of the lockdowns.  Some people have reported to members of the Yorsensory team being anxious about going out because they haven’t been able to identify how far they are away from other people or read signage in a shop explaining directions or new layouts, some have even experienced abuse as a result.  This has impacted on confidence, physical strength, and feelings of isolation.

The Rehabilitation Officers in the Yorsensory team have continued to work with and provide remote support to adults with a visual impairment throughout Covid-19, however, lockdowns, shielding and changes in restrictions have meant that home visits and mobility training have not always been possible or available.

With the easing of restrictions and a return to visits and mobility training some clients have been ready to get out and about.  Others have reported loss of confidence, impact on overall physical health and concerns about being able to socially distance and navigate new obstacles appearing in public areas because of the pandemic.

Rehabilitation support with Martin Heppell

As businesses began to reopen in April 2021 and find new ways to operate within the guidelines there has been client feedback about new challenges and layouts, such as pub and café furniture spilling out onto pavements, pedestrian areas, roads and even blocking footpaths in the city centre.  Examples of other new obstacles appearing include barriers outside shops for queuing systems, ‘A’ Boards and low level signage in shops indicating entrances, exits and directions.  These are posing new difficulties, some recent referrals to the team have been for new and refresher mobility training based on these changes, as well as lack of opportunity to get out and about.

Some people have found reassurance in knowing that other people with a visual impairment have had a similar experience, finding it difficult to get out and feeling isolated.  A client reported that the combination of health difficulties, shielding and sight loss had made them feel like they wanted to become a ‘hermit’.  Another client reported that whilst shielding, to keep up their mobility skills and physical stamina they had developed and adapted a mobility route around the house which extended into the garden weather permitting!

What Might Help:

If you have lost confidence, need reassurance, refresher or further mobility training to help support getting you back out and about, please contact the Yorsensory Team on 01904 202292 or email us at [email protected]