Since 1864, Sight Support have been supporting local people of all ages in Hull and East Yorkshire living with sight loss or visual impairment. They continue to help people living with sight loss adjust and give them the tools to live each day as they want to. Losing your sight can be such a scary experience and Sight Support are there to make sure you are not alone, as they have been for the past 150 years.
This service offers the opportunity for people living with a visual impairment to have a friendly conversation with a trained professional, with knowledge of sight loss. Talking to someone regularly can reduce the feeling of isolation and improve emotional wellbeing. Users of this service have said "I look forward to my befriender's calls on a Monday morning. He's more often than not the first person I speak to for 2-3 days. It's a well enjoyed break for me to have someone I can talk to and I enjoy the conversation".
Assistive technology suite
Situated on Beverley Road in Kingston Upon Hull, Sight Support have a Resource Centre where people with a visual impairment can go to get assistive equipment and seek advice on resources to help them in their day to day lives. Within the centre is an Assistive Technology Suite, which offers both workshop and personal tuition on how to use computers, the internet, mobile phones and much more. All tuition is free of charge and if someone wanting to use the service could not attend the suite, Sight Support staff can send someone to the home to assist. Assistive technology can open up a whole new world of possibilities to someone living with a visual impairment and provides the chance to enhance lives and help people gain independence.
Working towards inclusion
The Equality Act, 2010, means that employers are legally obliged to make their services accessible to all, including visual impairment. To further support inclusion in the workplace and beyond, Sight Support offer an array of services and activities to be as inclusive as possible and raise awareness. These include a translation service, groups, clubs and Visual Impairment Awareness Training for businesses.
Sight Support provide useful information on supported housing on their website to help those living with a visual impairment who want to live independently and can care for themselves. A supported housing complex in Hull called Beech Holme Court, contains 23 flats for people with a visual impairment or have low level support needs. Tenants can enjoy organised social activities, such as quiz nights and coffee afternoons, in the knowledge that help is close by if needed.
Living with sight loss can mean that some aspects of life can be difficult, but Sight Support have a wonderful team of staff, including Community Support officers with extensive knowledge and are on hand to offer assistance. They have proved invaluable during the Covid-19 pandemic, completing welfare calls and assisting those needing to apply for help from the local council during times of hardship. The Sight Support staff have helped individuals and families effected by sight loss for over 150 years and will continue to offer their services through generous donations.