Investing in Volunteers – Sight Life gains volunteer standards award

9 October 2023

Sight Life is proud to be an Investing in Volunteers (IiV) achiever, having achieved the award the for the first time this year.

It shows that we value our volunteers and demonstrates our commitment to volunteering within the organisation. Investing in Volunteers is the UK quality standard for all organisations involving volunteers.

Sight Life chairman John Sanders said:

“Working alongside our staff, our volunteers are at the heart of what we do to support people with sight loss. So I’m delighted that we’ve met the rigorous standards needed to achieve IIV status. This award is a testament to how much we value our volunteers and the commitment they bring to Sight Life, as well as the welcome we offer to volunteers and service users alike.”

Operations Manager Michelle Jones said “I am absolutely delighted that we have been awarded this prestigious award. Our volunteers are the backbone of our charity, and I am thrilled that we have demonstrated our commitment to them and that their dedication to Sight Life has been rewarded in this way.”

Volunteer Development Manager Val Baynton said “Our volunteers are so incredibly dedicated to Sight Life and our members, running groups, being sighted guides, befrienders, drivers, fundraisers and helping with our reception and administration.  With this award, and our commitment to maintaining and improving upon IiV standards, we are demonstrating our dedication to their development and volunteer experience”.

About Investing in Volunteers:  

Investing in Volunteers aims to improve the quality of the volunteering experience for all volunteers and demonstrates that organisations value the enormous contribution made by their volunteers. Investing in Volunteers is delivered by the national volunteering infrastructure bodies in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Together they enable organisations across the UK to achieve the award.

Sight Life was assessed against six quality areas and proved to excel in all aspects of working with its volunteers. The Chair of UKVF (the Awarding Body) said “UKVF is delighted to announce Sight Life‘s successful achievement of this Award, they have demonstrated a real commitment to volunteering, proven that their volunteer management policies and procedures meet nationally recognised standards.”

Investing in Volunteers is unique in that it is the only standard that focuses on

volunteers. It is based on the following six quality areas:

  1. Vision for Volunteering
  2. Planning for Volunteers
  3. Volunteer inclusion
  4. Recruiting and welcoming volunteers
  5. Supporting volunteers
  6. Valuing and developing volunteers

Further information about the Standard can be found on

The Standard will enhance volunteer management and is rigorous but is designed to be simple to implement and not to generate large amounts of paperwork.


Thanks again to our brilliant volunteers. You are all amazing.


Picture of the group outside the Sight Life Office just before setting off on the Walk
Sight Life Members, Volunteers and Corporate Partners in a group photo outside Sight Life’s Cardiff Office. 


About Sight Life 

Sight Life (formerly Cardiff Institute for the Blind) supports people who are blind or partially sighted in south Wales. In 2020/21 we helped more than 3,000 people in Cardiff, Swansea, RCT (Rhondda Cynon Taf), Neath and Port Talbot.

We provide statutory services to people with sight loss on behalf of the local Councils in Cardiff and Swansea.

In cooperation with the NHS, we provide a support service (ECLO: Eye Clinic Liaison Officer) for patients newly diagnosed with sight loss in University Hospital of Wales (UHW “The Heath”) in Cardiff.

Our aims are to ensure that people with sight loss can take part in all aspects of society, including work and leisure.

We offer a range of training, clubs and activities including audio-described theatre trips, confidence building, cooking, drama, employment support, fitness, gardening, IT, music, photography, rambling and yoga to people with sight loss.

Established in 1865, we are one of Wales’ oldest charities. In spring 2022 we returned to being an independent charity after being part of the UK wide RNIB Group since 2009.

We have approximately a dozen staff and annual income in the region of £400,000 from statutory contracts, grants, trusts, The National Lottery, donations and legacies.

Sight Life changed its name from Cardiff Institute for the Blind in 2019 to reflect the fact that we work beyond Cardiff, including Swansea and RCT (Rhondda Cynon Taf). The name change also recognises the fact that we support people with any degree of sight loss, not only those who are blind.

Support Us! 

Please support our work and make a donation to Sight Life by clicking donate here. 

To fundraise for us please click fundraising.

To volunteer with us please click volunteering.

To run for us at an event please email us via [email protected] or call us on 02920398900 .

Thank you!