Victa Children Youth Programme 2023

On behalf of VICTA and the VICTA Trustees, we write to express our sincere thanks to the Vinchel Foundation for the very generous award of £41,500. This funding will allow us to deliver our Youth Programme in 2023. This bespoke programme, for students aged between 14 to 17, who are blind or partially sighted, delivers a series of challenges, activities and residential camps/expeditions that focus on preparing students for academic and workplace readiness.

Our aim is to support blind and partially sighted young people to become contributors rather than a burden to society; by improving educational and economic outcomes and by promoting healthy personal behaviours, thereby reducing the prevalence of mental health issues within the blind or partially sighted world.

The friendships and peer groups encouraged on these activities also help to overcome isolation. Our students often face very specific issues in mainstream school settings and the opportunity to connect with other students, who may have experienced the same issues or problems, often provides a great sense of relief and comfort, which in turn, helps to build confidence and self-esteem.

Sitting at the heart of this programme is our Summer Camp. An eight-day residential camp for 30 students with sight loss. We successfully launched the first such camp of its kind in the UK last year. Themed around empowerment, the camp was designed to strengthen social and academic confidence through teamwork and collaboration, foster positive self-evaluation and self-advocacy, and engender strong communication skills and resilience. In addition, all participants challenged themselves daily through onsite activities and sports such as raft-building and blind football and gained two recognised national awards – the John Muir Award and the Arts Award. Attached is a photo board highlighting some of the activities across the week.

Last year, 100% students reported that they felt more empowered at the end of camp, 88% felt that they had learnt more about themselves, 94% felt they had made new friendships and 94% were pleased that they had earned both the John Muir Award and an Arts Award. One 14-year-old participant wrote:

We have to push ourselves out of our comfort zone to try new things, we just have to find new ways of working around our disability. Dream big anything is possible.


Thanks to your award, we have been able to plan another Summer Camp in August this year. It has also allowed us to plan many other life-changing activities in 2023 for our young people and to continue our award-winning work focussed on helping students challenge limiting presumptions they and others have about their abilities.

VICTA is fortunate to have places in the London Marathon and we host a post-race reception for our runners at the Reform Club on Pall Mall – we should like to extend an invitation to you, the Trustees and any interested fellow members of your foundation to join us for afternoon tea. The date of the Marathon this year is 23rd April and the best time to visit the reform is normally between 1500 and 1700. It would be an opportunity for you to meet with members of the VICTA Trustee Board and members of our staff team, and also for them to meet you.

We will of course keep you updated on our activities and particularly to update you on how those activities showcase the lasting difference your generosity has made to the lives of our students.

We truly appreciate your commitment to empower the lives of blind and visually impaired people and extend a big thank you.