A SERVICE for visually impaired children has been launched in North Yorkshire by the charity

Henshaws Society for Blind People.

Its Children and Family Service will be based in Knaresborough, but eventually will be rolled out to other locations across the North.

It will offer a diverse range of support services, including a parent information forum, support for health and education professionals and regular family-oriented events.

The service is supported by a Government grant of £219,000 and will be headed by team leader Vicky Cheney, 35.

She said yesterday: "We will be working closely with local statutory and voluntary agencies to eventually establish family services."

Henshaws chief executive Dianne Asher said: "The parents and families who we will be supporting often feel isolated, alone and fearful about what's best for their child.

"Our service will ensure they no longer feel marginalised, nor fall through the cracks between different services.

"We will do this by offering parents and families the information and support they need to better understand their child's visual impairment."

For more information about the Children and Family Service, including volunteering opportunities, visit the website at www.hsbp.co.uk