The current challenges faced by those with sight loss:
Living with sight loss is frightening, isolating and extremely challenging. Yet, it is not a health condition that falls into the Covid-19 shielding categories which means that there have been no food parcels or reserved online shopping deliveries for the visually impaired. Instead, those with sight loss have had little option but to go out and fetch their essentials whilst trying to keep the required social distance from others.
Imagine having sight loss and trying to navigate your way around your local shop when overnight it has changed its once familiar layout and social distancing restrictions prevent you from using a guide from another household. Imagine how difficult it is to keep your distance when you can’t see your surroundings, or trying to select the correct product off the shelf without touching it first.
Imagine how limited your options are when products you need are out of stock. Imagine the difficulty of finding the end of a queue and knowing when to move forward. Imagine being shouted at by another shopper for not keeping your distance when you simply couldn't see them.
Covid-19 has made the incredible challenge of living with sight loss so much more difficult in every way, so much more isolating and so much more terrifying.
Adapting our services:
We've already adapted our community outreach to support local people with sight loss through the Covid-19 crisis. We’ve been making vital grocery deliveries, collecting prescriptions, carrying out distanced door step check ins, making regular phone calls and providing advice on staying safe whilst out and about; but we need to do more.
We now need to expand and extend our community support to ensure that we can not only continue this vital lifeline but also restart face to face home visits using appropriate personal protective equipment. These home visits will reduce isolation and enable us to increase people's confidence and independence through the teaching of new techniques for staying safe outdoors. We will also assist those who are able to utilise smart devices to increase their independence through the use of technology, enabling them to confidently shop and interact online, to use video chats to discuss medical issues and eye health with clinicians and to connect with others. This will reduce isolation further and support their general health and wellbeing.
The impact of our support:
Reducing the feeling of chronic isolation and the negative impact on the mental health and wellbeing of the visually impaired are our two key areas of focus. By recommencing our home visits we aim to:
* Reduce social isolation for people with sight loss.
* Increase the general health, mental health and wellbeing of those who are isolated.
* Increase confidence and independence for people with visual impairment to live a full life both within and outside of their own home.
* Increase in the number of visually impaired individuals engaging with assistive technology within their homes to help with every day tasks and communication.
* Increase in use of assistive and smart technology within the home environment where it already exists.
We need to raise £10,000 to ensure that our home visits can restart as soon as possible to the most vulnerable and isolated members of our visually impaired community. This will cover the cost of the increased demand and the need for the service, personal protective equipment and training to ensure the safety of our visually impaired community, our staff and volunteers and the investment in smart technology to assist those with sight loss in regaining their independence.
With your help we can restore the morale, independence and wellbeing of our sight loss community and equip them to live safely and without fear in the post Covid world.
Points mean prizes:
What's more, we've got lots of rewards available to project funders, from pens and pin badges to tote bags and football tickets. The more you pledge, the better your reward.