A befriending service run by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has been offering a range of support to people with sight loss in the South West during the coronavirus pandemic.
RNIB’s Talk and Support service invites people with sight loss across the UK to connect with others weekly using a phone or computer.
Trained staff and volunteers facilitate the calls and match people together for general conversations.
RNIB Confidence Building Co-ordinator for the South West, Ben Gavan said: “Coronavirus has made life more difficult for a lot of people, but measures to prevent the spread of the virus, including social distancing, have had a dramatic impact on the lives of blind and partially sighted people.
“We know that many have been discouraged from visiting friends and family because of worries about social distancing, and isolation and loneliness has become a real issue.
“Our Talk and Support service has been able to offer some light relief to people with fun quizzes and wellbeing calls and we have had some really positive feedback.
“I would encourage anybody in the South West who is interested in finding out more to get in touch.”
Alongside the weekly befriending phone calls, RNIB Talk and Support has helped people to combat isolation by organising a selection of fun quizzes since mid-July, with themes such as ‘Lights, Camera, Action’ and a ‘Double Denim & Big Hair’ 80’s quiz.
Short story groups and wellbeing courses offering advice on how people who are isolating can get the best from each day have also proved very successful and hundreds of people have benefitted from this additional support.
To join an RNIB Talk and Support group, register your interest by visiting rnib.org.uk/talkandsupport or call the RNIB Helpline on0303 123 9999.