Edinburgh Libraries’ VIP (Visually Impaired People) Service won in the ‘Tackling Inequality and Improving Health’ category at the COSLA Excellence Awards on Thursday.

The partnership project launched in 2013 supports the information, learning and employment needs of blind and partially sighted people through the use of digital technology.

The service, co-designed by visually impaired people, targets people who face challenges when using libraries and local services, using technology such as iPads, specially trained staff and volunteers to support independent living.

The project has also been praised for establishing dedicated reading groups, helping to combat social isolation amongst service users.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture and Sport Convener and libraries champion, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for a truly worthwhile initiative, which has not only encouraged more visually impaired people to visit the library but has also resulted in the formation of new groups and connections.

“It is clear the impact this service has had upon its users, and I hope that this model will prove beneficial for fellow councils and partners.”

More information about the service here.