Blind Low Vision NZ’s financial assistance

Blind Low Vision NZ administers a number of funds that could provide additional financial assistance and support to people who are blind or have low vision.

To find out more about any of the funds please get in touch on 0800 24 33 33 or

Kindred Sharp Children’s Trust

This Trust provides grants to children up to the age of 16 who were blind before reaching their second birthday and are registered with Blind Low Vision NZ.

Grants may be approved for the funding of equipment, improving quality of life or personal development programmes. The maximum grant this Trust will approve is $500.00 per child.

For more information please contact the Fund and Product Administrator, Murray Peat, on 0800 24 33 33.

Sir Arthur Pearson Memorial Fund

This Fund was established in 1923 from the proceeds of a public appeal for funds to aid both civilian and war blinded persons. It can provide assistance to meet the additional financial costs of blindness; enhance member rehabilitation, habilitation and personal development needs. The Fund does not provide assistance to meet the ordinary costs of daily living or welfare.

Pearson Fund Guide to Operations – August 2017 (.doc).

For more information and an application form, contact the Pearson Fund Administrator on 0800 24 33 33 or email:

Henderson Fund

This is a special Fund established by the late Mr C. W. Henderson of Wellington. It is administered by its own trustees and is able to make grants in the Wellington region.

Applications can be made to: Henderson Fund trustees, c/- Blind Low Vision NZ, Box 27177, Wellington 6141.

Please contact our Wellington Office for an application form.

Oppenheim Tertiary Education Trust Fund

The Oppenheim Trust was founded in November 1989 by Dr and Mrs Oppenheim to provide assistance to Blind Low Vision NZ clients undertaking or about to enter tertiary education.

Priority is given to assisting with the cost of fees. Successful grants are awarded in mid-February each year.

The Trust will call for applications again in early October. Please check back later for updated application forms and relevant dates.

Forsyth Fund

Applications for grants from the Forsyth Fund can be made by registered clients of Blind Low Vision NZ who live in the Forsyth Fund Area. The grants are to help meet the additional costs of blindness, thereby assisting clients to enhance their potential and independence.

The key areas for which grants are available are:

  • Provision of equipment directly related to sight loss – applicants require a supporting recommendation from a qualified rehabilitation staff member.
  • Assistance with sporting and peer support activities – an organisation may make an application on behalf of one or more of its members.
  • Educational purposes, eg additional tutoring.

The following City and Districts comprise the Forsyth Fund Area: Hamilton, Matamata-Piako, Otorohanga, South Waikato, Waikato, Waipa, Waitomo.

In 1984, Bob Forsyth, a farmer of Te Puninga, near Morrinsville, donated a parcel of shares to Blind Low Vision NZ.

The gift was initially treated as a restricted fund but, following Mr Forsyth’s death, the Foundation sold the shares and invested the returns in the Forsyth Fund Capital Account. This is classed as an Endowed Capital Fund which means the Foundation manages it, but there are independent Trustees.

The interest earned from the Capital Account is deposited in the Forsyth Fund Distribution Account. As there was no specific designation on the gift when it was made, the Foundation decided that the benefits of the gift should be applied only in the Waikato area.

Accordingly, the money in the Distribution Account is made available to the Waikato Regional Committee for distribution, as grants, to clients who live in the Forsyth Fund Area.

Blind Low Vision NZ Board has approved the document Forsyth Fund Policy and Procedures which was developed to assist the Committee with its decisions in response to grant applications. The Committee is responsible for administering the Distribution Account in line with the document.

From time to time, the Committee may wish to recommend that the document be updated. Changes can be implemented only after approval by the Board. The document and application forms were revised in March 2015, and updated in April 2016.

Applications can be made at any time, preferably by email. For enquiries and application forms, contact the Waikato Regional Office at

The Shirley Owen Trust: Learn music

If you are a client of Blind Low Vision NZ, and you would like to learn an instrument or practice singing, apply for some funding assistance through the Shirley Owen Trust.

The Trust has gifted Blind Low Vision NZ a sum of money to be used to encourage and foster blind and low vision musicians.

Shirley Owen Trust Application Form – Standard.doc 

Shirley Owen Trust Application Form – Accessible.doc