Family support service

A picture of a two young girls holding hands in a music therapy session.

We offer advice, guidance and emotional support to the whole family, including Parents/carers siblings and grandparents. Our dedicated family support service will work closely with you to identify your needs and be there to provide friendly, impartial advice and information when you need it most.

Our teams work closely with other local organisations and agencies to provide your child with advice and support at home, at school and when out and about. We will put you in touch with a supportive network of other families who understand and can share their experiences.

We are part of the Local Offer in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, and work closely with the Special Education Needs Disability (SEND) teams to ensure children and young people with sight loss are supported through school and further education.

Our exciting new 3 year lottery funding project has enabled us to not only carry on with our existing work but to really develop our service in order to support more families and children on their sight loss journey.

Our project outcomes

    • Children, young people and their families will be better equipped to overcome the challenges of sight loss
    • Children and young people with sight loss will have greater opportunities to fulfil their potential and achieve their aspirations 
    • Families will feel a stronger sense of community support  

        Creative and Expressive Music Sessions

        A picture of a boy playing an instrument in a music therapy session.

        Run by our music practitioner and delivering monthly sessions of music and creative expression at ‘Mosaic – Shaping Disabilities Centre’.

        During these sessions the children, young people and families participate in a number of musical self-expressions ranging from vocal exercises to percussion rhythm where they can express themselves, meet other families, play and have fun. 

        There is an exciting and engaging play element, which is beneficial as it can enhance: wellbeing, developmental stages, cognitive development and help increase motor skills, as well as promote confidence.

        The use of tactile instruments, singing and expressive vocalisations in these sessions, allows communication and imagination to be explored in creative ways that children and young people may not always get the chance to do. This gives all children and young people an outlet of expression through music and sounds.

        Parents also learn how to bring music into their homes and continue the learning and practicing independently. This helps Vista and the music practitioner to identify individual family’s goals and outcomes and plan specific programmes around them. By structuring the programme this way it motivates and empowers the family to seek out other opportunities available in the community.

        If you would like more information about our creative and expressive music sessions please contact our Family Support Team on:

        Tel: 0116 249 8847  or  0116 249 8849

        Parent networking groups

        We have been able to set up facilitate and fund two new projects to enable parents to support network with each other through a variety of activities.

        For further information on these groups or wanting to get involved in them please contact. 

        The Family Support team on 0116 2498847. 

        We still continue to offer Stay & play twice a month in a city and county location this again offers parents/carers and children the opportunity to meet in a friendly stimulating environment. 

        For more information on this service please contact:

        The family support team 0116 2498847 

        Peer mentors

        We are offering our children and young people that have accessed our service for a number of years the chance to become peer mentors to welcome our new children and young people into the service and help support them on their sight loss journey.

        For more information or to become involved please contact our family support team on 0116 2498847.

        Vista’s family support service is funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund.

        Family Support Officer Paula Varney is the 2016 Professional of the Year (Children and Young People).
        Paula with her Pioneer award
        Vista’s family support service is funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund.

        Find out more

        For more information, please contact one of our team below.

        Emily Cross

        Emily Cross

        Family Support Officer

        Telephone: 01162498846

        Case studies

        View all case studies



        The early days were hard, but we are all amazed by the progress she has made, and I’m proud to show off my beautiful daughter.

        Macee-Mae was diagnosed with Optic Nerve Hypoplasia, Microcephalus and Cataracts at just six weeks old. After the medical consultation, Paula met Macee-Mae and her mother, Megan, to provide much-needed support.

        Read more



        She's now more confident in explaining her eye condition, and understands that with the right support, she can do anything.

        Isis, 10, has been supported by Vista for the last four years, after she was diagnosed with Optic Neuropathy.

        Read more