Volunteers sought to help get blind and partially sighted people online

Representatives for Online Today including Paralympian, Kelly Gallagher (left). Picture by Michael Cooper.

Representatives for Online Today including Paralympian, Kelly Gallagher (left). Picture by Michael Cooper.

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Volunteers are being sought to help support blind and partially sighted people.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is calling on people in the North East to give up a few hours of their time to help blind and partially sighted people get online.

Research on volunteering by RNIB found that 80 per cent of people who volunteer say it makes them feel happier. Another 47 per cent of respondents who do not volunteer said they want to in the future.

The research was commissioned to mark the start of RNIB’s initiative to recruit more volunteers for its Online Today project to help 125,000 people with sensory loss across the UK get online.

Since its launch in 2015, Online Today events throughout the UK have helped thousands of people with sight and hearing loss get online.

Now RNIB is appealing to local people to commit a few hours a month to visit blind and partially sighted people in their own homes and help them develop digital skills like browsing the internet, sending emails, and using an e-reader.

Karen Froggatt, head of volunteering at RNIB, said: “It’s fantastic people across the UK are so keen to volunteer locally. It proves that volunteering and giving back to your community really is good for the soul.

“This is why we want even more enthusiastic and committed people in the north east to become Digital Skills Support volunteers. Spending a few hours a month helping a person with sight loss to develop the online skills many of us take for granted can transform that person’s life, and boost their independence.”

For more information about volunteering for Online Today please go to www.rnib.org.uk/onlinevolunteer