Help for blind or partially sighted people is coming to your town soon. Thanks to a grant from the Esmee Fairbairn Epic programme, local user-led organisation Sandwell Visually Impaired (SVI) will be setting up support groups in all of the six towns of Sandwell. The grant of over £7,000 will help SVI to work with local people to set the groups up and train volunteers to run them independently.
Do you or someone you know have problems with your sight? Meet SVI’s friendly team and find out about help available, local support services and much more. Get practical help and support to overcome problems, assistance to complete forms, or just chat with somebody who understands what it’s like to lose your sight.
SVI also invites people to come and find out about volunteering opportunities with the organisation.
SVI Development Worker Sandra Troth said: “Our members have asked us to provide more support nearer to where they live. We also want to build stronger links with the local community, raise awareness and reach more people. We want to create a welcoming environment where visually impaired people or their sighted family and friends can drop in and have the help they need there and then, without having to travel too far.”
Tony Averis, SVI Chair said: “This is a great opportunity for blind and visually impaired people to come along to a local venue to find out information on how SVI could help them – both in a practical and emotional way. There will be people there who have experienced sight loss and, there will be opportunities to share experience and knowledge over a cuppa.
“We want to remove some of the barriers that stop people from taking up the services and support they need. Having these meetings in local towns will give people the confidence to come along and find out much needed information.”
The first group is on Friday 31 January from 10.30am to 12noon at the South Staffs Water Community Hub, Union Street, Wednesbury WS10 7HD.
The Oldbury group will start on Thursday 6 February 10.30am to 12noon in Oldbury Library, Jack Judge House, Halesowen Street, Oldbury B69 2AJ.
More dates and venues will be announced for other towns over the coming weeks.
Other activities planned in the local venues include free, sighted guide training and support with using access technology on mobile devices.
Groups will take place in each of the six towns’ every six weeks. Contact the SVI Office for more information.