The Focus - June Newsletter

In our summer edition we talk to Christine who we helped through our Emotional Support Service. We also meet Bee who suffers from Charles Bonnet Syndrome and Jane who works at RNIB College Loughborough along with our latest news, and more much!

Helping Christine get to grips with sight loss...

The day Christine was told she was losing her sight felt like the end of the world. The keen flower photographer admits, “It was very hard to accept. There have been many tears and lots of anger and frustration.”

Fortunately, our Emotional Support Service (ESS) offers confidential telephone support and counselling. This helps people just like Christine get through these tough times, giving them the time to talk about their situation, and how they're feeling.

Providing emotional and practical support at the right time, particularly at the point of diagnosis, can help people who are experiencing sight loss to retain their independence and access the support they need.

The counselling helped me to understand and accept my situation better so I could start getting over it and move on.

You can find out more here and download our free leaflet about our emotional support service.

Offering a ray of light for Bee

Bee has Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS), which is a common condition among people who are losing their sight. It causes visual hallucinations and can be distressing.

Many people experience these symptoms for around 12 to 18 months, after which they become a lot less frequent. The visual hallucinations caused by CBS can take many forms, ranging from simple shapes and dots of colours to detailed pictures of people, landscapes and buildings.

There are thought to be around 100,000 cases of Charles Bonnet Syndrome in the UK, and research suggests that up to 60 per cent of people who have serious sight loss may develop it.

If you’re worried about the condition, and want to find out more, go to Charles Bonnet Syndrome.

Every 15 minutes another person in the UK starts to lose their sight

Please help us be there for them

Make a donation today

This October we’re asking everyone to Wear dots… raise lots for RNIB

Wear dots...raise lots is our annual fundraising event and we need your support to make it bigger and better than ever!

By wearing dots you’ll be celebrating braille and raising money to help us be there for those who need us most. There’s lots of ways to take part, like holding a bake sale, a raffle or being sponsored to wear dots. We’ve produced special lesson plans for use in schools, so if you have children or grandchildren who want to get involved - get in touch!

Taking part is easy. Just register for Wear Dots and you'll receive a free fundraising pack filled with posters, balloons and ideas for planning your event.

Jane puts her new employment skills into practice...

When Jane started struggling with her sight she couldn’t work, and didn't receive any help.

After enrolling on our Employment Skills course at RNIB College Loughborough, Jane learnt all the skills she needed to work again.

Our employment team supports people with sight loss to achieve their employment goals - through skills training, help with job searches, coaching and planned work placements.

Three months after finishing the course, Jane began work as the college receptionist, a job she loves. She’s been able to meet new people, working with both students and staff.

To find out more about Employment programmes, and other services we offer, visit RNIB College Loughborough.

Help more people losing their sight

We couldn't do it without you! Your donations enable us to provide support for blind and partially sighted people across the UK.

I want to make a donation

Who put that there?

If you're blind or partially sighted, roads and pavements can seem like a daily obstacle course with bins, advertising boards, street furniture and parked cars to negotiate. Just getting to the doctor's, the shops or walking in their local area can leave people feeling frightened, anxious and in real danger of injury.

We think this issue is really important, so we've written a report which shows the challenges people face when they're out and about. It's called our "Street Charter" and we're going to use it when we talk to local councils about how they can improve the local area.

Watch or listen to Terri's experience in the video below.

Find out more about our On my street campaign.

80 Years of Talking Books

This year we’re really excited to be celebrating the 80th anniversary of Talking Books. Through this service we offer a huge range of audiobooks to blind and partially sighted readers.

From June 2015, we’ll be running a series of events and activities exploring the history of this landmark service and the many changes it’s undergone. We'll talk about the impact it's had, and continues to have, on the lives of blind and partially sighted people.

The finale of the celebrations will be a special live recording at The British Library of the first Talking Book ever recorded: Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.

Keep up-to-date with the celebrations by signing up to our reading choices email, or keep an eye out for the Focus newsletter. If you'd like to find out more or sign up to the service, go to Talking Books.

I just find books and reading so relaxing. They fire your imagination and enable you to experience different emotions, places and give you an insight into other people’s lives. I like being able to read what everyone else is reading.Susan, a Talking Books user
What your money can do...
£12 could help blind and partially sighted people stay included and independent with access to talking newspapers for a week
£30 could help a child read the same books as their sighted friends
£70 could pay for a weekly emotional support session for six people
£105 could pay for four hours of support so that someone newly diagnosed with sight loss doesn't feel lost and afraid
£250 could help us answer 10 helpline calls and provide support straight away