Our Eye Health Week tour of Sandwell gets results

As part of National Eye Health Week, 21 to 27 September, SVI members and friends visited some of Sandwell's major supermarkets to encourage people to take action to look after their eyes. Having regular eye tests, giving up smoking, eating healthily and taking regular exercise are some of the steps you can take to maintain eye health.

Jo, Sandra, Faye and Sue at Tesco Cradley Heath

During the week we had support in five different venues from 17 helpers and volunteers, all of whom are either visually impaired themselves or regular volunteers/helpers of SVI. Pictured above are Jo, Sandra, Faye and Sue at Tesco Cradley Heath.

At all events supermarket staff were supportive and welcoming. Members of the public were keen to stop and talk to us and were pleased to support a local organisation.

Here's how we made an impact.

We encouraged people to have eye tests, including one man who had not had one for over 20 years! At Tesco West Bromwich and Tesco Burnt Tree, we gave away free eye test vouchers from the in-store opticians.

Several people talked to us about their own or relatives's eye conditions and took away information. For example, we were able to advise someone to contact Aston University for a free low vision assessment for his elderly mother.

A number of people took our newsletters and contact information to pass on to family members.

People asked us about visually impaired young relatives and the support they can get to access higher education.

We signed people up to receive the Sandwell Talking News and gave information out to those who were interested in registering to receive it or to volunteer to read for us.

We networked with five Sandwell organisations: Agewell and BUDS (two Community Offer providers); Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Hospital Trust; and Sandwell Valley Riding Centre and the RSPB who have kindly offered services to SVI members. Our members could soon be riding horses in Sandwell Valley Park or taking part in a guided autumn walk and next spring, a dawn chorus walk!

We successfully raised money for SVI, to go towards health and wellbeing activities. The total raised was £565.49.

Some very positive outcomes all round.

Thank you

A huge thank you once again to all the supermarket staff and customers and also to our members, volunteers and helpers for your generosity and support. We could not have done it without you.

And now ...the week in pictures

Day 1 - Asda Oldbury, Monday 21 September

Sandra, Tony, Tracey and Pam at Asda Oldbury

Tracey, Sandra, Tony and Pam urge people not to turn a blind eye to sight loss


Day 2 - Tesco West Bromwich, Tuesday 22 September

Sandra and Gina with Jangle the guide dog and Tony and Sam with Buster

Sandra, Jangles and Gina with Sam, Tony and Buster encourage customers to take up the offer of a free eye test.


Tony and Sam

Sam and Tony - information with a smile


Day 3, Tesco Cradley Heath

Jo, Sandra, Faye and Sue

Jo, Sandra, Faye and Sue ready for action


Jo, Lisa and Kevin outside Tesco

A warm welcome - Jo with Lisa and Kev and their guide dogs prepare to give out leaflets outside Tesco


Day 4 - Tesco Burnt Tree, Tipton

Tony, Sandra and Tony with Jangle and Buster

Tony, Sandra and Jo with Jangles and Buster


Sandra having an eye test at the opticians in Tesco

Sandra has an eye test - you should have one too.

Day 5, Asda Cape Hill

Jo and Bill at Cape Hill

Jo and Bill - there's always time for a nice cuppa and a chat with SVI

Stuart and Sandra

Stuart and Sandra show that supporting each other makes all the difference


We will see you at the supermarket again next year! Thank you all so very much.



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