ForSight: a new vision for community spaces
Visibility Scotland's townhouse headquarters in the Woodlands area of Glasgow’s West End has been underused for many years. We had previously considered selling and moving to purpose-built premises. However, the pandemic demonstrated the need for strong local communities. We took time to review the needs of our service users and the local community and developed a new vision for our building called ForSight.
What is our ForSight plan?
Visibility Scotland’s ForSight plan looks to transform our building into a dual purpose energy-efficient space, encompassing both a Centre of Excellence for Visual Impairment and a vibrant, accessible community space for local residents and organisations.
The transformed building will provide:
- ForSight Centre of Excellence: This is the backbone of our charitable free services, enabling forms of specialist therapy to be delivered to visually impaired people regardless of income or circumstances. Our vision for the centre of excellence is almost complete; we just need an accessible toilet and for the space to truly be accessible.
- A digital education centre and shop:Dedicated to providing advice and ‘hands on’ equipment demonstrations to visually impaired people with an emphasis on employability skills training. The digital centre offers a vast selection of cutting-edge Assistive Technology. We aim to support people in reaching their educational and employment aspirations.
- A commercial community café: A social firm operated by visually impaired people and local volunteers. Only one in four visually impaired people are in employment. The skills learnt at the café and employment training programme will provide opportunities rarely available in mainstream organisations. The café will be multi-functional, providing an accessible venue space for events for the whole community. We currently provide our weekly Charged Up café, which allows people to charge their digital devices for free while increasing socialisation with others with sight loss, and with the added benefit of free, nutritious vegan food.
- A specialist accessible conference/board room: Providing dual sensory loss digital equipment that can be used and rented out locally for online conferences, filming and recording.
We surveyed our service users, stakeholders and the local community about our plans, which met with large support from all three. A full feasibility study into our plans was completed in 2021. The study costed the full plan at £1.3 million.
Unfortunately, we have been unable to raise the full £1.3m costs. In addition, the total cost will have risen since 2021. Although we have been unsuccessful with this one grant, we aim to reach our final ForSight goal by 2030. We know Rome wasn’t built in a day, so each year we will focus on key priorities that will enable us to reach our ForSight dreams.
We hope you will join us on our community crusade.
If you would like to know more about ForSight, or our quest to make our building accessible, then email us at:
Our priorities for 2023
We have adopted a new staged approach to delivering on our ForSight plan. Therefore, in 2023 we are targeting two individual elements of the plan:
- An accessible toilet located in our Centre of Excellence
- Improving access to our building