Read our answers to frequently asked questions.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Here at Sightbox Trust in Liverpool, Merseyside, we reach out to developing countries around the world with a box of educational tools for visually impaired students. You may browse this page to learn more about us and what we do.

Sightbox Trust was founded in Liverpool, Merseyside to provide resources and assistance to visually impaired people. Our founder, Dr John. A. Patterson was originally an engineer and retrained as a teacher.

He works in Merseyside and was seconded onto an Objective One programme to write innovative projects to raise educational standards across a Mersey footprint.

General Questions

What's your mission, short-term, and long-term goals?

Our ultimate mission is to support young, visually impaired people wherever they may be in the world to access education and generate both friendship groups and routes to employment. To secure this vision, we will collaborate with local school communities and their intermediary agencies in the Merseyside Region and other Rotary Clubs in our District 1180.

Then, with some joined up Rotary, we will replicate school community and Rotary collaborations nationally and internationally. Our aim over the next year is to produce lesson plans in the mother tongues of where the Sightboxes are sent for this website.

How do we know we can trust you?

We are part of and bound to the values of Rotary International and their terms of engagement. We share our impact stories and journey with you in real time on Twitter and moving forward the impact case studies from the VI schools we collaborate with. We are and will remain transparent in our service to VI young people through the Sightbox medium.

What long-term commitments have you made towards the projects?

Using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a guiding framework, our long-term commitment to generate routes to employment is reflected in SDG 17 ‘partnerships for the goals’.

We will be connecting individual and partnered Rotary clubs, schools and ‘networks of neighbourhoods’ to twin with and adapt international VI schools supplied with Sightboxes, sightpacks, and via the sustained and surrounding curriculum support from St. Vincent’s pupils and staff.

How do you identify which organisation to gift to?

We rely on the first instance of our collaborative partners asking for our support to named schools or individual children they are personally aware of and wish to help.

Beyond testimonials, is there any other way to measure your success?

Together, we are at the start of measuring the real impact of Sightbox internationally. It is, therefore, our intention to work closely with Sightbox and sightpack recipients to take impact reports to share on Twitter and this website.

Simultaneously, the new materials we generate for the box will be monitored and assessed by our university colleagues. We will maintain research and peer review publications.

Furthermore, the work of Sightbox as part of St. Vincent’s curriculum will be and has been monitored by school governors, trustees, and the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) where St. Vincent’s is currently graded as OUTSTANDING. These reports are accessible on the school website www.stvin.com and reflected in real time on the school Twitter @stvincentsL12.

What are your criteria for choosing a product?

Our criteria are simple: can help a VI child to be included and access friendship groups and education and, ideally, assist VI children to participate in its research and development as part of their learning.

Is there any plan to expand your products and projects?

Yes, absolutely. Sightbox is an ever-evolving concept. We have products that we are researching at St. Vincent’s and hope to hear from our collaborative partners and ‘twinned’ schools about new ideas. Simultaneously, we generate teaching and training positions for VI pupils internationally.

Who supplies your equipment?

We are supplied by organisations with the content under production (i.e. a ball with a bell in it). Our aim is to help VI children themselves innovate and own the products which add to the Sightbox concept. We will seek the best providers to produce new Sightbox content with content developers (i.e. VI pupils and their school communities).

Innovation and Projects


How do you use the money I donate?

We use any donations to source Sightboxes and sightpacks to individuals and groups across the globe. We want you to be part of that process, so you know exactly where your donation has gone and who it has supported.

How can I set up regular donation?

You can send to us via PayPal or drop us a cheque–its up to you. Cheques made payable to “Sighbox Trust” should be sent to Sightbox Trust 35 Heathfield Court, Firtree Grove, Whitby, Cheshire CH66 2QT. Please enclose a letter with your name, address, phone number, email address, and donation amount. Additionally, please do not send cash through the mail.

We would be happy to discuss with you the best method that suits you, contact us at enquire@sightboxtrust.co.uk

How do I cancel my donation?

You can cancel at any time with your bank.

How does my donation or money raised make a difference?

By supporting VI pupils with access to sports and education, we are right at the start of something new. We will share with you the difference it is making for individuals and groups as we move forward together.

Support – What Happens After You Receive the Products

We will work with you to provide best solution.

Receiving the products is the first step from which we build the help from your point of need. Learning how to use each item in the box comes first, and then how to generate the surrounding curriculum for your VI school and VI individuals. This support is a work in progress and frames how we wish to use this website. This way, we also have a multimedia approach to help you sustainably use the Sightbox and connect you with a range of lesson plans for each item. Simultaneously, this is where we nurture teaching and learning which surrounds the use of and innovation within technology. St. Vincent’s is open to VI pupils from around the world for immersion courses in how to use Sightbox and then peer tutor its use on return to the country of origin.  

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