A health and wellbeing service offering new online social clubs and peer support groups including quizzes, book clubs, history and theatre discussion groups has been launched to support blind and sight impaired adults and children living in West Sussex.
The service includes a dedicated ‘accessible technology specialist’ who will provide advice and assistance with setting up and using tablets, laptops, mobile phones and home speakers so that people can get involved in all the new activities.
The fresh approach to services evolved as a direct result of the pandemic when charity 4Sight Vision Support had to adapt to provide support to its members online.
The charity is also now able to help with accessing benefits. Specialist advisors can assist with completing Personal Independence Payment (PIP) forms, which can make a huge difference to quality of life, independent living and general wellbeing.
Service user Kathleen, who is partially sighted said:
4Sight Vision Support’s adviser Tara took the time to read and explain the form, wrote out the answers and read these back to check I was happy. It’s enabled me to overcome the previous barriers I had trying to complete this form and means I now have access to financial support.
According to research by the RNIB in 2020, it is estimated that there are over 2 million people living with sight loss in the UK, and over 35,000 people living with sight loss or low vision in West Sussex.
West Sussex charity 4Sight Vision Support has been providing specialist services to blind and sight impaired adults and children for 100 years this October and was recently honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. Its services include providing advice on sight loss conditions, support with adapting to living with sight loss through magnification, lighting and equipment aids, as well as emotional support, and signposting to other forms of assistance.
Photo: 4Sight Vision Support