The aim of involvement is to give blind and partially sighted people an important role in our decision making; your insight and personal experiences are really important to us, everything we do, the way we think and the decisions we make will be influenced by our daily conversations. Whatever your age, wherever you live, whatever kind of sight condition you have, whether you have family member or friend who has a visual impairment, how much or little you want to contribute or get involved, there is something for you. Please read on to find out why involvement is so important to us.
During lots of recent conversations many blind and partially sighted people told us that they wanted to help us improve what we do by helping us to understand what it is like to live every day with little or no sight. More than that, they said they wanted to help others facing the challenges and worries that they had once had. Our staff too said they thought we could do better. And so ‘Involvement’ was born, based on the simple belief that blind and partially sighted people have experience and social connections that can inform, influence and improve all that we do. We have simplified the theory of Involvement to the following three principles which guide how we want to work:
- Value: Your personal experiences and insight adds value to nearly all of our work
- Equal Partnership: If you are involved in our work you are an equal partner. No distinction will be drawn between members of staff and yourself
- Mutual respect: If you are involved in our work, you will receive the same information, tools, and support to do the job properly and you will work under the same confidentiality and sensitivities
It has been great to be involved as a member of the Connect project board right from the beginning. As a customer it felt like my input was welcomed, respected and appreciated.
Will, Connect community project board
Throughout my involvement, I feel I've been treated as an equal partner - receiving the same information as members of staff and trustees, and knowing that my ideas and observations are treated with the same respect as those from other board members.
Angus, Connect community project board
Join the RNIB Connect Community
There are many ways that you can get more involved. One of the simplest ways is to share your views and challenge what we are doing, to connect with other like-minded people or to share your story. Sign up to RNIB Connect and become part of the growing national network of people who are blind and partially sighted, their friends and family members. Through the community you will have the opportunity to read others stories, share your own, help answer people’s questions, ask questions yourself, find out what’s happening nationally as well as in your local area and/or be a part of setting up or identifying things that are missing in your area.
I have found sharing my story to be a positive way of inspiring hope and motivation to others who have been through similar experiences. Sharing knowledge has opened up many doors of opportunity to make a bigger impact from healthy lifestyle blogging, radio interviews and delivering talks to health care professionals and young children.
Jaina, blogger, fitness and wellness coach
The most important thing to me from joining Sight Seekers and helping to run the group is that I have made a tremendous friendship with Wilma, the other person who helps run the group....I feel the group has become a large extended family. We all really look forward to seeing each other at our monthly meeting, and we laugh and share moments just like family do.
Lynne, Co-host of Sight Seekers
Joining the community will also give you access to some opportunities to work alongside specialist staff and influence how we, as an organisation, think, what we do and how we do it.
However, if you are particularly interested in getting the latest news about our developments and the opportunities to get more involved with our work then why not sign up to receive 'Connected', a fortnightly newsletter (in your preferred format), sent to you directly, containing a variety of different opportunities. To receive this newsletter please contact the team via [email protected] or call 0303 1234 555.
The team can also help if you’re unsure how to get more involved and chat to you about your interests and experiences. Please do call or email them, they are always happy to help!
Ways you can get involved
Share your story
Your story and experiences may help others going through similar situations. Jaina above puts it perfectly so why not get in touch with us if you have a story to tell.
Work with us
To receive updates about our developments, along with opportunities for you to get more involved with our work, please email [email protected] to receive the Connected newsletter or call us on 0303 1234 555.
Alternatively, if you simply want to read the list of the latest opportunities, ranging from surveys and interviews about your experiences to longer term project work, then visit Play your part.
Why not share your opinion in our new fortnightly Quick Poll. It will take you less than a couple of minutes to complete. Some questions are just for fun, some will be topical, others will help inform decisions within RNIB. There will be something for everyone. Use the link below to access the most up-to-date poll anytime or call the Connect team to complete it over the phone on 0303 1234 555.
Volunteering with RNIB can be very rewarding and there are a wide range of different volunteering opportuntities from helping with databases and admin in the local offices to working in the community helping to set up local events.
Fundraise or donate
Ever wanted to trek across Iceland, jump out of a plane or swim the channel? Why not do it as a fundraiser for RNIB?! Perhaps helping with donation collections at a local supermarket is more your thing, or perhaps you want to make a montary contribution yourself.
Why not join thousands of people across the UK are campaigning for change at a local, national and international level.
Work for us
One of the biggest benefits of working for RNIB is in knowing that the hours you spend at work make a difference to people’s lives. At RNIB we are ending the isolation of sight loss and the work that you do will contribute to our success. We offer various employed roles, including Trainee Schemes and other work experience and local placements.
We hope you add your support. Together we can make a real difference to the lives of so many more people who are blind and partially sighted.