Sight Concern Worcestershire, your local charity which helps blind and partially sighted people lead independent and fulfilling lives, has been calling all their clients to check that they are coping in these troubled times.

Jenny Gage, Chief Officer, says, “We all know how devastating the Covid-19 epidemic is for us all, but people who are blind or partially sighted are doubly hit  – not only are they isolated at home but they are further isolated by their sight loss.” She added, “The dedicated team here at Sight Concern are all working remotely and are busy making welfare phone calls, helping people to access information and support, and setting up new befriending for the most isolated people with sight loss. We’d like to share some comments we’ve received.”

Redditch

“Thank you for calling today… I see you as a front line worker as you’re helping people like me… I wasn’t looking forward to today but you’ve made me feel better, thank you’.”

“Thank you so much for ringing me this morning, I do appreciate all you do… we’ll all get through this. “

“Really appreciate your call, you’re the first person from any organisation to check how we are. Thank you. “

Wyre Forest

-“You’re doing a wonderful job and I am really pleased you got in touch with my mother.”

-“Pleased that I called and it’s nice to know there is someone to call on if needed.”

-“Thank you for calling, people don’t realise how lonely and frustrating it can be when you lose your sight.”

Worcester

-“It’s very kind of you to call and to care.”

-“It’s nice to know that I’m not alone and can rely on Sight Concern for support at this time.”

-“You’ve really made my day by ringing.”

-“Thank you so much for ringing again. I’ve had a really bad couple of days and feel better now. Having someone to ring me regularly would be brilliant.”

Droitwich

-“I’m so grateful for any support that you can give me.”

Bromsgrove
-“It’s wonderful to know that there are people out there who care – thank you so much.”

-“Thank you so much for your call – it’s really very kind of you.”

Evesham

-“I have a great deal to thank the NHS and Sight Concern for. You have really helped me with my sight loss.”

-“I really appreciate your call.”

-“It’s very kind of you to think of me.”

-“You have set my mind at ease.”

 

The team is available to provide information, advice and support over the phone.  Please call 01905 723 245 if you, or someone you know, needs assistance.

The charity is also looking for befriending volunteers. Social distancing is so much harder for people with sight loss, especially if their regular friends and family can’t support them at this time.  Could you spare some time to make a regular phone call to reduce loneliness and isolation for someone with sight loss? If so, please contact Jackie at j.murrall@sightconcern.co.uk or ring 01905 723 245.

Sight Concern is also joining the 2.6 Challenge raising money to support UK charities on Sunday 26th April.  For further information visit our website www.sightconcern.co.uk or https://www.twopointsixchallenge.co.uk.

Notes to Editors:

About Sight Concern Worcestershire

  • Sight Concern Worcestershire is your county charity supporting blind and partially sighted people to lead independent and fulfilling lives; we have been successfully supporting people with sight loss for more than 130 years.
  • There are an estimated 8,280 people in Worcestershire suffering from sight loss that has a significant impact on their daily lives. Each year in Worcestershire, more than 200 people will be registered as blind or partially sighted.
  • The RNIB report that “nearly half of blind and partially sighted people feel moderately or completely cut off from people and things around them”.
  • Many people face a diagnosis of sight loss with concerns and questions about how their condition might develop and how their day to day lives will change. In the last year the charity has received more than 1,000 enquiries for advice and support on topics such as specialist lighting, playing blind golf and accessible public transport. Our Advice & Support Officers have spent more than 1,500 hours supporting clients on a one to one basis with tasks such as ordering new household goods, accessing a local walking group and support with looking for employment.
  • As a registered charity we rely heavily on the support of the public, to deliver our services both in terms of donations and volunteering.

Here are some examples of how a donation could make a huge difference:

 

£10 could train a befriending volunteer to visit someone with sight loss. We have opportunities for befrienders to help people with reading post and food labels in order to be independent at home, accompany someone on outings to do their shopping in order to build up their confidence again, or to go swimming, exercise their dog or offer telephone support to help reduce loneliness and isolation.

£24 could fund a one to one advice session to help someone with sight loss to learn about useful equipment such as talking microwaves to assist with preparing a meal, or making a hot drink, weighing ingredients and to help them follow recipes and continue cooking independently.

£50 could fund a visit from our Local Eyes Team to help identify what support someone needs to remain living confidently at home, or fund the cost of one person attending our Which Way Now sessions for people newly diagnosed with sight loss to discuss aids and adaptations, benefits, concessions, reading facilities, leisure and travel facilities and give them the chance to meet other people who are also experiencing sight loss and so help with emotional support.

£50 could also help us run our Low Vision clinics (low vision is reduced vision that cannot be improved with spectacles). For people who are just starting to experience sight problems or who have a changing condition, a trip to our Low Vision clinic could make a huge difference. At the clinics a specialised sight test is carried out and advice given on lighting and magnifiers which are prescribed and loaned free to help people maximise their remaining sight together with the opportunity to personally view a range of electronic magnifiers and choose the most appropriate for them.

£100 could help us deliver One to One Information and bespoke support and training on digital technology to help people use talking smart phones to keep in touch with family and friends or to access new Apps such as Be My Eyes, an online service via a smartphone or other device where a volunteer can assist people with everyday tasks such as changing a fuse or a battery. Such technology also enables people to discuss their shared interests and overcome barriers to using these valuable devices.