The great news is that this time we had 134 people respond to the Quick Poll, that’s an additional 70 people saying what they think!
We asked: “Which one of the following options best describes your general preference to getting together with others in the Connect Community?”
57% said that you would be open to either of the presented options, 21% preferred mainstream activities with other blind and partially sighted people where the focus was on the activity and chats about your sight loss were secondary, 14% said that you would prefer to meet with other B&PS people to share experiences or swap tips and finally, 8% said you weren’t interested in meeting up with other B&PS people.
Of those 57% of you who would be up for any interaction and the 21% of you who wanted to do mainstream activities, the following activities were the most commonly mentioned:
Walking, Sports, Cinema, Bowling, Cycling, Visits, Chatting, Horse Riding, Book Clubs, Archery, Art, Swimming, Pub nights.
Other ideas included: meeting friends for coffee, lunch or evening meals, something active or keeping fit, stage and live music performances, art and exhibitions, discussions about technology, doing something practical like craft work or knitting, Netflix was also mentioned more than once but that supports other suggestions for film and trips to the cinema. Finally, lots of you referred to the importance of making friends, “anything with a social element” and the possibility of finding love!
Some more detailed responses gave thoughts about how the environment is important, “an environment that’s easy to chat”, “anything in nature”, others talked about how important it is to meet with others like them, “I’d like to do something with other blind people”, “I’d like to meet with other blind people when I need help with certain things…”. However, some of you said, “I’d like to meet new friend, regardless of whether they were VI themselves”.
The 14% of you who said that you would prefer to meet with other b&ps people for the purpose of swapping tips and sharing experiences, you were asked to say where you would like to meet and the results said:
40% - Café or Community centre or Hall
30% - Pub or it doesn’t matter where
25% - Library, at your most local RNIB meeting room or at another charities meeting room
5% - At one another’s houses
It seems that the most popular places would be in a Café or local community centre, with the Pub and ‘it doesn’t matter where’ being a close 3rd and 4th. These locations tend to be easy to get to and are relaxed and sociable places and this could be why most people chose these locations.
We can’t ignore that although less popular, Libraries, RNIB and other charities meeting spaces were valued by some of you. What we can say is that meeting at one another’s houses wasn’t particularly welcomed. Some charities support the running of tea parties hosted in your own home but as the appetite for that isn’t really here at the moment, this will be something we will focus less on.
What this Quick Poll showed us was that many of you want to do activities, as one of you said, the “same as most people” and that having opportunities to socialise, in whatever way you prefer, is very important.
The aim of Connect is to help you to socialise and connect in a range of ways. Our local teams and digital platforms will help you to do this and help you find answers to any barriers you might be facing in getting together or taking part in activities and events.
We will be doing further work to support people who want to try and get more things going in their area. It’s great to see people making connections via our 12 Connect Facebook groups. We are also working to establish regular ‘keep in touch’ social opportunities wherever you live. The idea is that people can drop in and take part – each event will be hosted by a Connect volunteer. You will start to see more info about this soon.