Volunteers wanted for guide roles

A NEW service is aiming set to transform the lives of blind and partially sighted people in North Tyneside.

Tynemouth Blind Welfare Society (TBWS) in partnership with Guide Dogs is introducing the new service.

Called ‘My Guide’, it matches blind and partially sighted people with a volunteer for up to six months.

During this time they will meet up for a few hours each week to go out and about with the volunteer providing sighted support to help develop confidence and independence so the service user will be able to go out on their own.

TBWS centre manager Helen Farrow said: “The service will help to develop the independent lifestyle for blind and partially sighted people.

“The society is working in partnership with Guide Dogs to deliver the scheme and we are thrilled to be the first in the north east region to sign the agreement, which promises to deliver so much to local blind and partially sighted people but also for volunteers who wish to be involved.”

Pauline Errington, of Holywell, who lost her eye sight after having a stroke, said the scheme would have helped to totally rebuild her confidence and stopped her hiding away when she first lost her sight.

She said: “I went from a confident, working mother to someone who became anxious at going out and being around people.”

TBWS and Guide Dogs are looking to recruit volunteers in and around North Tyneside.

The volunteers will benefit by taking part in a nationally recognised training course (endorsed by VISION 2020), developing new skills and giving something back to members of their community.

To become a My Guide volunteer or for more details contact Helen Farrow on (0191) 257 4388.