Sight Support HEY is delighted that four of the charity's volunteers have been shortlisted for prestigious regional awards in recognition of their longstanding support of local people with sight loss.

Ann Massam and Robin Russell have both been nominated in the Trustee category, Elaine Cornforth in the Fundraiser category and Chris Walker in the Behind the Scenes category of the regional Proud to BEE a Volunteer Awards organised by the HEY SMILE Foundation and partners; Nisa Local’s charity Making a Difference Locally and East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

Chris (pictured above) has volunteered with us for more than sixteen years helping in our centre two or three days a week with a range of administrative duties, helping to compile mailings as well as helping serve food and refreshments within our Day Groups and set up rooms for event bookings as well as regularly cleaning computer equipment and keeping cupboards and storerooms tidy. Chris also supports our fundraising events from time to time. In spite of his own visual impairment (nystagmus), Chris gives tireless dedication to Sight Support.

Elaine (pictured above left) is a prolific fundraiser for Sight Support. From marathon running to climbing the O2, cake sales to raffles, Elaine gives hours to raises thousands of pounds every year for the charity. Other fundraising activities include themed party evenings, book sales, car boot stalls, collections, and face painting stalls. Elaine has been involved for 8 years and it would be hard to quantify how many hours she has given due to the time she spends baking, hosting fundraising stalls, reaching out to business for raffle prizes and more. Elaine’s fundraising is carried out in memory of her mother, Ida Rose, who lost her sight.

Robin (pictured above) is a long serving Trustee at the charity regularly attending board meetings and being part of a team of people directing the charity and ensuring it is run in a professional and legal manner and maintains its focus to improve and enrich the quality of life for local people with sight loss at all times. He has also been leading Beech Holme Court Tandem Club for over 15 years. The club allows blind and partially sighted riders to ride behind sighted front riders to allow them to stay fit and healthy, achieve regular exercise and develop a social network. Robin is also heavily involved with his local Rotary Club in supporting the wider community through their fundraising.

Ann (pictured above centre) has had a connection with Sight Support Hull & East Yorkshire for most of her life, even as a very young woman Ann used to volunteer to support visually impaired people when her Sister was the General Manager of the charity. Ann was later recruited as the Services Manager and held this role for many years, regularly going above and beyond the duties of her role by supporting visually impaired people to enjoy a wide range of social activities and even accompanying people on an annual holiday to Scarborough and being a bit of a ‘red coat’. Following her retirement in 2010 Ann returned to a part time role in 2014 providing activities for visually impaired people living in the supported housing linked with the charity and did this role for a further 2 years. Ann left the employment of the Charity in 2016 only to be invited later the same year to become a Trustee of the Charity which she does with enthusiasm and passion. Ann is also a member of the committee of the local Hull & East Yorkshire branch of national Macular Society in Hull which is a specific degenerative eye condition experienced by many, often elderly people.

Sandra Ackroyd, Chief Executive of Sight Support HEY says, “We are incredibly lucky to have people like Chris, Elaine, Robin and Ann helping us to guide, deliver, and raise funds for, our support services which are helping to change lives of thousands of local people with sight loss.”

The winners of the Volunteer of the Year awards will be announced at a special event which will take place virtually via live stream, on 8th October at 6pm and will be able to watch and cheer on the nominees via Facebook and YouTube.


If you are interested in volunteering for Sight Support HEY then there are many ways you can get involved. Please get in touch by calling us on 01482 342297 or emailing volunteering@sightsupport.org.