Spare thought for those with sight loss

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WITH winter upon us, Action for Blind People is urging local people to spare a thought for residents with sight loss.

Many blind and partially sighted people find it difficult to get out and about on their own; particularly in crowded places, when it’s frosty and hazardous under foot, and when there’s less daylight and shorter days. They can’t see the obstacles and dangers.

We are encouraging anyone who has a blind or partially sighted neighbour to help make sure they’re not left isolated by the cold weather. The majority of people with sight loss are elderly and are particularly vulnerable. You can help by:

n Contacting visually impaired neighbours to make sure they’re okay;

n Offering to help them get out and about – perhaps driving them into town or helping them use public transport;

n Being their sighted guide – walking with them around shops or on short journeys to friends or to their place of work;

n Guiding them around icy and slippery surfaces, if it’s frosty or snowing;

n Simply giving them your phone number in case of emergencies.

Action for Blind People provides a range of services for local visually impaired people of all ages; from confidence building, to employment and welfare guidance, and how to make the most of technology to help them live independently.

But if blind and partially sighted people are struggling to get out because of the winter weather, they might also need some neighbourly support. Your help could be a real lifeline. Don’t leave blind people in the cold. For more information about our local services: www.actionforblindpeople.org.uk

SHARON MEADOWS

Area Operations Manager North East

Action for Blind People