Continue Funding our Volunteer Visiting Service for Blind and Visually Impaired People

This petition made change with 87 supporters!

Somerset Sight is a charity supporting people with sight impairment and severe sight impairment, and the only provider of fully trained and vetted volunteers to visit, aid and befriend blind and visually impaired people in their own homes in Somerset. This Volunteer Visiting Service has been running under contract to Somerset County Council and is now under threat.

Pictured is Jean, who is blind, with her volunteer visitor Margaret. Jean has no family living locally; her only regular visitor is her volunteer. Jean has had visits from Margaret every week since 1998. Jean cannot see to read or write her Christmas cards, see the smiles on people’s faces or watch the television. Like many others, Jean is socially isolated by her sight loss, she cannot see who she is talking to and cannot go out alone.

Jean feels lucky. She cannot see but she can still hear. Many of the volunteers visit people who are both blind and deaf resulting in even greater isolation from the world they live in.

People find their independence taken away from them when they can no longer perform simple tasks they have done since childhood such as to read, write, go into the garden by themselves, or eat their food on their plate without making a mess.

This loss of independence can result in feelings of isolation, loneliness, depression and a loss of confidence. The regular support of a friendly and knowledgeable volunteer can help people to cope with these issues, rebuild their lives and start to feel more independent. This service has been used by over 1000 people since it began 17 years ago.

Somerset County Council plan to cut funding for the Volunteer Visiting Service provided for blind and visually impaired people. As a result, the service will cease to exist. There is no replacement service for them. These are some of Somerset County Council’s most vulnerable people; surely they have a duty to look after them?

Many of these people do not have a voice, they are isolated by their sensory loss. Many are deaf as well as blind and have no control over this service being taken away from them.

Jean says:

“Please sign our petition and tell Somerset County Council to keep this support in place for blind people in Somerset, the regular visits from our volunteers make such a difference to our lives in so many ways”

Somerset County Council: Please, continue funding our Volunteer Visiting Service for blind and visually impaired people.

Today: Somerset Sight is counting on you

Somerset Sight needs your help with “Cllr William Wallace, Dept of Adult Social Care: Continue Funding our Volunteer Visiting Service for Blind and Visually Impaired People”. Join Somerset Sight and 86 supporters today.