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New Beacon centre project is being driven forward

By Clare Butler | Sedgley | News | Published:

Kind-hearted former Goodyear workers are driving forward an exciting new project for a Black Country charity.

The Beacon Centre is investing in a new 3D design and technology centre to enhance employment opportunities and assist visually impaired people of working age back into employment.

The charity is setting up a new design and fabrication technology centre at its facility in Sedgley.

It comes as the project is being made possible thanks to the funding and dedication of the membership of the 5/344 Transport and General Union Benevolent Fund at the now closed Goodyear Wolverhampton factory.

Matthew Harrison, technical services manager at Beacon will be leading the new venture.

He said: “We are incredibly grateful to the workers of Goodyear for funding this new project.

"As well as paying for a new van to transport items and equipment, their generous donation is enabling us to create a fantastic technology lab, fully equipped with the latest 3D digital technology and high quality design software, where we will be able to make a range of products that will assist visually impaired people."

Bespoke products will be made including mugs with a liquid sensor built in.

Mr Harrison continued: "The list of possible products is almost endless, but we are looking at starting with things like mugs, made specifically to an individual’s hand shape and with a liquid level sensor built in, so that someone with restricted vision will know when to stop pouring hot water in the mug. These things sound very simple, but they can make a huge difference to the lives of people living with sight loss.”

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As well as making products that will help visually impaired people, the new facility will also employ people who are visually impaired.

Cyril Barrett, Chairman of the 5/344 Transport and General Workers’ Benevolent Fund, commented: “In creating a legacy to all of the members of the fund, having a long history of supporting Beacon, we are delighted to be supporting this new high venture.

"Beacon is a worthwhile local charity and has a very special place in the hearts of the members of our union who worked at the factory. The members’ legacy will live proudly on with this wonderful project.”

The Beacon Centre is dedicated to making a visible difference for local people living with sight loss.

Clare Butler

By Clare Butler
Senior Reporter - @CButler_Star

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