You can donate online or get involved to help us raise £150,000 for RNIB Scotland's Vision Support Service.
The service provides critical emotional and practical support within eye clinics in Ayrshire and Arran, enabling individuals to maintain independence and wellbeing at a time of potential trauma.
Hazel McFarlane has been living with a degenerative sight condition all her life. Then in June 2007 she attended the eye clinic as an emergency case.
Hazel says, "I had known for some time that one day I would become totally blind. I tried to prepare for it, but now I had to digest this news in a busy public waiting area in the clinic. My mind started racing through all the things that I would have to deal with and in seconds dozens of questions had turned into total panic."
Hazel used this experience, which is unfortunately very common, to help develop RNIB Scotland's Vision Support Service in Ayrshire and Arran so that others can now have the privacy, the specialist support, the listening ear and the guidance to come to terms with living with sight loss.
This proved to be a turning point for her. "I now have a determination and many strategies that help me deal with everyday life. I enjoy other ways to 'see' my son, through conversation and cuddles; I have found ways to continue my love of cooking; and I feel liberated when I run with my running club."
There are around 4,900 blind and partially sighted people in Ayrshire and Arran with a registered visual impairment, with a further 20,000 estimated as having significant sight loss. Without support, patients, their families and their carers, find it very difficult to develop positive coping strategies, and often manifest this through feelings of depression, anger and confusion.
Since the Vision Support Service opened we have helped hundreds of people at the point of diagnosis but there are so many more who will need our help in the future.
We aim to raise £150,000 to continue funding this service which not only brings early support to blind and partially sighted people but also enables eye clinic staff to refer their patient on to a positive future. There are thousands more people like Hazel who can rebuild their lives devastated by sight loss.
You can support us through your work, school, university, club or with your friends by holding your own event. We have loads of fundraising ideas and tips. Find out more about how to help raise funds by organising your own event for the Ayrshire Vision Appeal to help us get closer to our £150,000 target and help us make a difference to the lives of blind and partially sighted people in Ayrshire and Arran today.
We really need your help to reach our target! Can you spare just a few hours every now and then? We need volunteers to help us with events, local activities, collections and talks to local groups. Contact your local fundraiser at [email protected] or call us on 0345 345 0054 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).
For more information contact your local fundraiser at [email protected] or call us on 0345 345 0054 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). Keep up-to-date with the latest news and events for the appeal on our RNIB Scotland Facebook page, and tweet about us on Twitter.