Insight Magazine – Summer 2023 Edition

Our latest edition of InSight is out now.

This edition includes:

Yorsensory 5 Year Impact Report

Lauren Talbot our Yorsensory Business Manager talks about creating our Yorsensory 5 Year Impact Report

The Wilberforce Trust have been supporting people with sensory loss since 1833. Through our experience in supporting our community we understood that pathways for sensory loss were dis-jointed and delivered by different providers. Sensory loss can be overwhelming and emotional, through our work facilitating a low vision service and supporting sensory provision, we developed a pathway to independence which could streamline sensory services and successfully won the tender for this in the City of York in 2016.

So when I was asked to complete the YorSensory Teams first Impact report, I wondered how I was going to possibly document the highlights and headaches, largely encountered by a team who have only known me for a year. What started as a passing request for ‘2 pages of something’ that highlights our reach and the vital work we do, grew into the report being launched today. As I started to research the facts, figures and moments of interest, I realised that The YorSensory Team are driven by people, and their client interaction, not numbers or statistics and I would be doing the team and the Wilberforce Trust a disservice if I didn’t give this 100%.

The YorSensory Team make a difference each and every day. I learned just how much the team that I had inherited have changed, enhanced or maintained people’s independence in past 5 years; how they’ve advised businesses, communities and professionals of the barriers faced by people living with Sensory Loss, in order for them to improve accessibility in their own work.

The team have navigated through a pandemic, which brought about many challenges both personally and professionally. Working from home for the first time, compromising communication with clients due to restrictions amongst those too vast to mention. The team had to change their practice to be able to provide support for some of the most vulnerable in our society, swiftly introducing telephone assessments as standard, reviewing past clients to ensure they had strong support networks in place, posting out or safely delivering equipment which they had to talk clients through over the phone.

They have campaigned and advised on issues that affect the people we serve, such as the Tier E-Scooter trial and Purple Tuesday. They have collaborated with, supported and been supported by many other organisations and charities in order to maximise outcomes for the clients.

Having long past the 5 year anniversary, it humbles me to be able to present the Impact Report and not only the journey I have been on to complete it, but the journey that my incredible team have been on the past 5 years. With the service being commissioned for a further two years I’m excited to be present for the YorSenosry Team’s next chapter. I hope you enjoy the impact report which gives an amazing insight into our work.


Click here or the image below to read the Yorsensory Impact Report




Queen Alexandra College Sight Village
The QAC exhibitions are described as leading the field for blind and partially sighted people and for businesses, organisations and charities which work with people with sight loss. It’s an opportunity for members of the public to see and hear about help and products available and for industry professionals to catch up post COVID19 and look at new products and technology too.
Cathy Woodward one of our Rehabilitation Officers found that the event provided a great in person opportunity to network with other Rehabilitation professionals, learn about other services such as Sightline Telephone Befriending and connecting with Look who provide mentoring support for children and young adults with a visual impairment in schools, further and higher education.
As a trust, we were there providing information about us and what we can offer in York, and to make connections with other Yorkshire and northern organisations, to better help signpost and to bring our knowledge bank up to date with products and services.
We also used the opportunity to update people on our move to our new build and the facilities and activities we will be offering, as well as Club Wilber.

Lauren Holmes our Yorsensory Business Manager said that it was a pleasuring exhibiting alongside other local and national sight loss organisations. Sight Village provided the YorSensory team with valuable opportunities for sharing knowledge and service models across Yorkshire, Lancashire and Lincolnshire. We met with many organisations who have updated our signposting library and ensured when our new equipment hub is open it will have access to the most up to date, user approved and friendly equipment

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).

Insulin Prompts
Ensuring clients with memory or mobility issues can safely and timely administer 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.