The front cover of the Nystagmus Network annual report 2021.

We publish our Annual Report 2021

With two years of global pandemic behind us, the Nystagmus Network is still here, supporting the nystagmus community, thanks to the dedication of our valued supporters, fundraisers and members.

Thanks to you, in 2021 we

·       supported almost 600 people with enquiries, helping them to make sense of nystagmus

·        engaged with and provided information to over 13,000 people on social media

·        invested a further £17,320 in nystagmus research

Read the Annual Report 2021 here

Community Fund logo

The Nystagmus Network receives £8,000 from the National Lottery to increase our support services

The Nystagmus Network is delighted to have been awarded just over £8,000 in National Lottery funding to underpin its work supporting adults with nystagmus. The charity will use the funding to expand our support services to meet the greater needs of the nystagmus community during the pandemic and particularly to reach those who are isolated and would not normally turn to the charity for help.

With events and meetings postponed for now, the charity is continuing to run its support and information services during the current pandemic, by phone, email, on social media and via the website.

The new funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK, means we will be able to increase our reach by offering our services to an ever wider nystagmus community.

There are many people living with nystagmus who have not needed our support until now, but in lockdown they have been experiencing additional problems with shopping, social distancing and spending time outside. They have also been feeling increasingly isolated. We can now let people know that we are here for them.

Sue Ricketts says: “We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work in this way. Now, thanks to National Lottery players, we will be able to let far more people know we are here and can offer support and information on a whole range of things from accessing help with shopping locally to benefits advice and more.”

About The National Lottery Community Fund

We are the largest community funder in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.  

We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.


Seeing Beyond The Eyes

The Nystagmus Network is pleased to share this guest post from our friends at Visualise Training and Consultancy. The new guide ‘Seeing Beyond The Eyes’ includes details of the charity’s services and our contact details so that patients with nystagmus can find us easily for information and support.

Eye care and Health Professionals armed with information to improve lives of patients with sight loss

A free resource pack for eye care and health professionals containing valuable information on sight loss support services, charities, equipment and referral pathways has been produced by Visualise Training and Consultancy  with the support of Thomas Pocklington Trust.

The pack complements the ‘Seeing Beyond the Eyes’ CET workshops  currently touring the UK which raise awareness of the difficulties faced by patients diagnosed with irreversible sight loss. It contains valuable information on local sight loss charities, Eye Care Liaison Officers (ECLO),Vision Rehabilitation Workers, low vision assessment services and Habilitation Workers. It also lists national organisations supporting people with sight loss and condition specific charities. Daniel Williams of Visualise said “It is vital patients with sight loss are referred immediately to sight loss services that can enable their independence and help them deal with a difficult time in their life. However Optical professionals can’t refer if they don’t know who they are referring hence why we have created such a resource pack and training roadshow.At the age of 8, I was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a gradual loss of sight, and had consultations with Dispensing Opticians, Optometrists and Ophthalmologists and at no point was I referred to any support services which is why I am so passionate about empowering eye care professionals with the awareness of what is available for people with sight loss to live independent lives”

Links to professional resources are also included such as the Government’s Access to Work grant scheme, an A – Z list of eye conditions and Thomas Pocklington Trust’s guide to designing a home for someone with sight loss.

Charles Segal, Dispensing Optician from D and H Hantman Optometrists said “It was one of the best CET courses, I have attended. “I had no idea that there was such a range of services, it made me fully aware of where we can send people and not just refer to the eye hospital. It was a highly informative meeting where the attendees actually met people who are dealing with or have dealt with people with sight loss,it was the first time I have actually met someone who has Retinitis Pigmentosa. It was moving and inspiring to hear how people with low vision get-on with their lives. The course has given me the confidence to help people who enter my practice and give them advice. The details of suppliers of low vision aids and daily living solutions are also invaluable for people facing sight loss during their transition to a different way of life”.

The pack can be downloaded free of charge by clicking here

For more information on Visualise Training and Consultancy visit their website

People stand at a clinic reception holding Nystagmus Network balloons.

Nystagmus Awareness Day – for clinics

Please help us to promote national and international Nystagmus Awareness Day, on Wednesday 20 June, in clinics and hospitals all over the UK and the world.

We have free to download PowerPoint presentations which can be displayed on a screen in reception. We also have a free bunting template.

For those organising a fundraising event, we also have posters – and don’t forget your bunting!

If you would like some leaflets or postcards to take into your eye clinic the next time you visit, or some balloons, please contact us.

To make a donation for Nystagmus Awareness Day, please visit our Justgiving page. Thank you.

Nystagmus Network launches new information and support line

Anyone needing information or support from the Nystagmus Network can now speak to someone on the phone throughout normal office hours. From Monday to Friday, Sue will answer the phone whenever she is available. If she happens to be away from her desk, or in the evenings and at weekends, you can leave a message. Then Sue, Rachel or Sara will call you back.

The number to call is 01427 718093

Alternatively, if time is short, you can continue to use the [email protected] email address for all enquiries, or request support and information through our contact form.

This new service is thanks to BT telecomms engineer, Jason, who braved the falling snow to install our new landline. Thank you, Jason!


Check out our new nystagmus booklets!

One of our main objectives at the Nystagmus Network is to provide information and support to the nystagmus community. To achieve this we have been working hard reviewing all of our documents to make sure they are up to date, readily available and appeal to a wide audience.

Not only have we have produced brand new leaflets on nystagmus which we are busy posting out to eye departments across the country, we have also made all our publications for adults, children, parents and teachers free to download from our online shop here.

We want to make sure that everyone receiving a nystagmus diagnosis will know they can turn to the Nystagmus Network for support! If you can’t find any of our new leaflets at your local eye clinic, please let us know by clicking here and we will get in touch with them.

Wide range of topics

These documents cover a wide range of topics from font size to friendship, from coordination to confidence. Whether your nystagmus was diagnosed when you were a baby or you’ve only just discovered that you have nystagmus, the Nystagmus Network is here to support you.

One of our most popular documents is the newly updated ‘Wobbly Eyes’. The first incarnation of this booklet was produced back in the 1990s to explain nystagmus to a child and help them and their parents and teachers come to terms with the condition. The brand new version serves exactly the same purpose and has been designed to appeal to a child, gently outlining what it means to have nystagmus.

“As a QTVI I always recommend the Nystagmus Network to parents and schools where pupils have nystagmus. Great work at getting information out there.” – Janet

There’s more to come!

But we’re not stopping there! There’s much more to come. Your help in the form of membership subscriptions (you can sign up here), fundraising and donations, means that we will be able to continue our important work.

We’ve already begun drafting a brand new book, with the working title ‘Nystagmus explained’. Written very much in plain English and layman’s terms, this book will cover the more medical aspects of nystagmus such as diagnosis, causes, heredity and lifelong effects. It will serve to explain some of the clinical terms you may hear from your ophthalmologist and give you the confidence to engage in discussions with them.

Far from being sent home with just that one word ‘nystagmus’ ringing in your eyes, our publications will empower you to take control, build your knowledge and manage your life with nystagmus.

“Brilliant. Thank you. Been trying to explain things to my six year old” – Marilena