Leaving a Legacy

Leaving a Lasting Legacy

None of us like to admit that ‘there’s nothing more certain in life than death and taxes’ but it’s only a cliché because it’s true!

Sadly, almost a third of us die without leaving a will, and unless you’ve written a will, what happens to your estate – big or small – might not be what you wanted.   Many people think it won’t be worth leaving a will, but it is important – apart from anything else it means that your loved ones know what your wishes were.

So first and foremost, it is important to leave a will. Obviously, you’ll want to look after your family and friends, but you may also wish to leave something by which others will remember you and thank you.

A lot of our work is funded by legacies after people have already expressed what they want to leave to their friends and family or by people suggesting that instead of flowers, a sum is left towards their favourite charity at their funeral.

Leaving money to charity is a tax-efficient way of distributing your estate, and we’d encourage you to remember us. We are charity 214215, and please make it clear to your solicitor that it is Sight Cymru (or our previous name Gwent Association for the Blind) rather than just referring to us as ‘the Blind’ as this last name is unlikely to reach us.

We want everyone with sight loss in Wales to live life to the full regardless of how much sight they have.    So we provide grass roots support to people in Wales who have lost their sight.   We are not a large charity with head offices in expensive cities, but we work from a leased building in Pontypool.  We keep our costs to a minimum so that every penny left to us as a legacy is spent wisely.

We recognise the donations left to us in our Memoriam Book, in our talks to people and in our reports. So it truly is a legacy, doing good, for years to come.

Our beneficiaries include people like Mr Watkins from Abersychan who was devastated when the eye clinic told him there wasn’t anything they could do to improve his cloudy vision, and he was ‘registered blind’.

‘I was so grateful to Sight Cymru, they’ve been really good. I’ll never get my sight back but at least I know where to go when things get difficult.  I’ve been out learning how to use a cane, I joined a club and I even had a go at learning Braille.  I was hopeless at it, but it was a good laugh!’

What do we do with the money people give us?

It is important to know what will happen to your money. After all, it took you a lifetime to accumulate it.

We help people who have lost their sight – imagine being told that you are blind, or that your child will never see – always devastating news. One in three people told this will seriously consider suicide, and many will experience clinical depression or other mental health issues.   Our role is to help those people come to terms with their sight loss, and help them mitigate its effects.

We may work with people for several months to help them regain confidence and the ability to get on with their lives despite their disability. We spend almost 60% of our income on this type of help.

We research blindness and sight loss, so that future generations may avoid losing their sight. We’ve looked at depression and sight loss, what helps people get on with their lives the most effectively what can be done about young children being born with no sight.    Around £50,000 is spent every year on research, although we know this is no-where near enough.

We try to prevent sight loss – Almost half of sight loss is avoidable, and we’re working hard to make it clear to youngsters and families as well as older people that there are things that can be done to stop blindness having its devastating impact.  About 20% of our income is spent on helping people avoid sight loss.

How do I leave a legacy?

A legacy is a gift left in a will, and the best way to do this is to ask your solicitor to help. Sight Cymru has a number of local solicitors that offer a reduced fee to those with sight loss, so if you don’t already have a solicitor please telephone 01495 763650 and ask to speak to Emma or Sharon.

If you would like to leave a gift to Sight Cymru in your Will, ask your solicitor to include us in the list of bequests.     Recognised by the Charities Commission, our Charity number is 214215, although using the name Sight Cymru or Gwent Association for the Blind will be sufficient for the gift to reach us when the times comes.

We would just like to remind our friends and supporters that we are not part of RNIB or Guide Dogs and that ALL of our money is spent in Wales and not in the rest of the UK as tends to be the case with the larger national charities. We do work with these organisations, but any money left to them does not filter down to us.

If you would like to have your will put into accessible formats such as Braille or an audio copy, please contact us as we can help; there is no charge for this service.

Finally ……. Thank you!

We want to say thank you now, whilst we still can. The funds people leave us help us to support over 5000 people every year.  That’s amazing, so thank you.  Thank you.

Sharon Beckett, CEO