Coronavirus: Four ways to help people with sight loss

Post date: 
Monday, 23 March 2020
Image of a person's hands holding and using a smartphone

Here are a few ways you can help people in your community with sight loss through the coronavirus pandemic.

Since coronavirus (Covid-19) came to the UK, communities have come together to offer support and help to people most affected by the threat of the virus and self-isolation. One of the groups who can be greatly impacted by self-isolation are those with sight loss, as the emotional impact can be coupled with the loss of independence – as blind and partially sighted people rely on public transport. If you’re interested in knowing how you can offer a helping hand to people with sight loss, check out our top tips below:

1. Stay in touch

One of the most simple and effective things you can do is reach out to people. Whether it’s setting up a neighbourhood WhatsApp group to offer each other help or, making a weekly phone call to your neighbour to see how they are, communication is vital in helping people avoid feelings of isolation.

2. Lend a shopping hand

Many people who have sight loss rely on online shopping to get their groceries, but as supermarkets run at capacity, many are unable to get their weekly shops delivered. Others, who rely on public transport to get to the shops, are struggling with the conflict of getting food versus running the risk of contracting Coronavirus. So, if you know someone in this situation, why not just simply offer to get their shopping as you do your own? You may need to bring a few more bags for life, but it could make a huge difference to your neighbour or friend.

3. Make offers of support accessible

We’ve seen wonderful examples in the news and on social media of good Samaritans popping little notes and postcards through neighbours’ doors to offer them support. But if you have sight loss, it may be that you can’t read these small little offers of kindness. So, bear this in mind and either attempt to make contact in a different way, or make sure your notes are in at least size 14 font.

4. Be their eyes

There’s an app called Be My Eyes, which allows people with sight loss to call on sighted volunteers any time they need a little help reading or doing something. It could be as simple as reading cooking instructions on a ready meal, to helping someone coordinate an outfit, but no matter how big or small, this can make a huge difference. So, why not sign up to be a Be My Eyes volunteer?

Further information

If you’re interested in finding other ways you can help to support people who are blind and partially sighted, visit our volunteering page.