I want to ……. listen to my music, read the latest novel, cook a meal, do a Sudoku, catch a bus, go on holiday, find out what’s on TV, look at photographs, use a mobile phone, email my grandchildren in Australia….
When people consider what it would be like to lose their sight the everyday tasks aren’t necessarily what first spring to mind. But as much as 80% of information about our environment is gained from seeing, from where the tea bags are to reading the bus timetable. Almost two million people in the UK live with sight loss, whether they become completely blind or partially sighted, and in the midst of a world full of colour, scribe and sites it can be easy to feel cut off from your surroundings.
York Blind and Partially Sighted Society are there to help retain independence and choice in life for those who are struggling with their sight. An independent charity, YBPSS support over 1060 visually impaired people in York.
Visiting the centre allows people to find out about specialist equipment, every day solutions and support but YBPSS offer something which takes this support to another level, building on confidence and comfort in their own home. Volunteer Home Visitors provide practical and emotional support for visually impaired , and are a lifeline to maintaining independence. From helping reading and answering emails, accompanying them on the weekly shop or just chatting over a steaming cuppa, regular visits give a chance to help alleviate any day to day frustrations, and help continue the support of YBPSS. As they state, just a little time can make a big difference, and it is through volunteers that YBPSS can keep working to improve the lives of the visually impaired in York.
There’s no need to have any training or understanding of sight loss as you’ll be given full training and the opportunity to meet with other volunteers and learn together. All YBPSS are looking for is a good listener who enjoys the company of other people, and is willing to give two or three hours on a regular basis to provide companionship and a helping hand. You’d be matched according to your interests, availability and location, so visits can be organised when it’s suitable for you.
If you’re interested in finding out more about becoming a Home Visit Volunteer and other ways of supporting York Blind and Partially Sighted Society, simply click on the ‘Volunteer Today’ button at the right-hand side of this article, and fill in your details.