Improving the health and well-being
of people living in East Yorkshire
and Northern Lincolnshire
At their September 2016 meeting, the Trustees of Help for Health approved a grant of £2,000 for the individually tailored befriending service ‘A Friend in Sight’ that specifically helps those who suffer from severe visual impairment or blindness and the consequential social isolation, which has a proven negative impact on mental and physical health. ‘A Friend in Sight’, involves volunteers in social activity with clients. Volunteers visit blind, partially sighted and visually impaired people in their own homes to provide practical help, emotional support or companionship.
Lincoln & Lindsey Blind Society aims to make life easier for blind, partially sighted and visually impaired people whatever their age and personal circumstances, to enable them to keep active and independent in all aspects of daily living. Blindness and severe sight impairment is an invisible disability and it is almost accepted by society that deteriorating sight is to be expected as people age. The effects of loneliness and isolation in elderly people, again invisible afflictions, are seriously underestimated. Many are especially vulnerable as they often also suffer from loss of hearing and other disabilities. They find themselves confined to their own homes, not seeing anyone from one day to the next.
The volunteer befrienders particularly encourage and help people get out and about to local services and facilities. People taking part have spoken with warmth and sincerity about how the project has helped them. Ruby, 81, is registered blind and said “I’d been trying to cope since I lost my sight but I got very lonely and miserable. It’s lovely to have a friend to buy birthday cards and a Christmas present for. My befriender Suzanne is great, I’m so much happier in myself.”
Suzanne, said “I was matched up with Ruby as we both like doing the same sort of things. I visit, take her to the social groups or to lunch, and we often go shopping. We’ve become good friends. It’s interesting and rewarding being a befriender and Ruby’s got her spark back!”
These companionable and enjoyable visits are proving a lifeline to some of our most vulnerable sight impaired and blind people.
For further information, please visit their website: http://www.llbs.co.uk/