Sight Loss Support Service completes 1000th referral

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A FREE service helping people with sight loss access information, advice and guidance has completed its 1000th referral in just 18 months.

Photo of three of Beacon’s Engagement team, Becky on the left with blond hair, Pete the man in the middle and Meena on the right with long dark hair. They are stood outside the Beacon Centre and are holding up large Perspex numbers which spell out 1000.

Photo of three of Beacon’s Engagement team, Becky on the left with blond hair, Pete in the middle and Meena on the right with long dark hair. They are outside the Beacon Centre holding up large perspex numbers which spell out 1000.

The Beacon Centre for the Blind, based in the West Midlands, launched its Information and Guidance Service in September 2020 to ensure that people could access support to help them maintain their independence, regardless of what stage in their sight loss journey they were at.

A team of expert sight loss advisors, some of whom have lived experience, are on hand to help people with a range of issues, from ensuring they can still make themselves a cup of tea to putting on makeup.

The advisors play a pivotal role in the organisation and can refer people to other Beacon services offered by the charity such as lifestyle day activities, care at home, or employment and skills advice. They can also help people access other support from Beacon’s community partners.

““We launched the service in September 2020, right in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. We were expecting a lot of demand as Coronavirus has presented extra challenges for people with sight loss, so we’re delighted to have now completed 1,000 referrals in just 18 months. Everyone’s journey is individual, but we often find that people just want to speak to someone who understands what they are going through and it’s wonderful when they realise they can still carry on doing many of the things they love with just a few adjustments. We’re honoured to be able to make a difference in people’s lives.”

Becky Green, Beacon Centre Engagement Manager

Additional information

  • 1 in 5 of us will suffer some form of sight loss during our lives (REF: RNIB/Specsavers 2016)
  • Beacon Centre for the Blind has been making a visible difference for people living with sight loss for over 145 years. There are currently 195,000 people living with sight loss in the West Midlands and by 2030 this number is expected to rise by 20%.
  • A donation of £3 could pay for 15 minutes of low vision advice for someone newly diagnosed with sight loss.
  • A £6 donation could support a 30-minute welfare call for someone with sight loss ensuring no one is alone through these challenging times.
  • A £10 donation could help provide a session of sight loss advice support to help a Beacon Member live a fuller, more independent life.

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