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Sight loss group tackling loneliness awarded by Tesco community scheme

A group for people with sight loss in Corstorphine, Edinburgh has been awarded £500 from Tesco’s community grant scheme.

Launched by sight loss charity RNIB Scotland, The Corstorphine Connect Sight Loss Group meets monthly to connect and socialise. For its blind and partially sighted attendees, the group can represent a lifeline to combat isolation and loneliness.

The group’s Chair and lead volunteer, Hazel Kelly, says,

“We’re so grateful for this grant as it lets us offer more support, organize more activities and, most importantly, help us create a stronger and more inclusive community for everyone.

“I lost who I was with sight loss. I lost the essence of me by not being able to be me. And by being part of the sight loss group, I've got me back again.

"When you come new to sight loss, or your sight loss has got worse, it does affect you emotionally more than anything, I think. And that's what people particularly need support for. I set up just over six years ago and run along with some great volunteers and we have 40 members who are mostly elderly.”

The group meets regularly each month, as Hazel adds,

"Everybody is welcome and you can bring a friend or family member too. We meet for coffee, cake and chat with others with sight loss. For the second part of the meeting, there is a guest speaker or some musical entertainment. In addition, the group provides information about sight loss and discusses ways to help live better.

"You also meet and make new friends with other people with sight loss, so it's a whole new community you become friends with. Last time we met up for an outing to go on a steam train, and everybody came back with a big beam on their face. It’s community funding like this that helps us organise these sort of activities.”

Tesco’s Stronger Starts – previously Tesco Bags of Help and Tesco Community Grants - has already provided over £100 million to more than 50,000 projects across Britain.

Tony McElroy, Tesco’s Head of Communications in Scotland, said: “Tesco Stronger Starts help support local good causes but especially local causes close to our colleagues’ hearts. ”

* The Corstorphine Connect Sight Loss Group welcomes new members and invites anyone in the Corstorphine area living with sight loss to join their supportive community, every third Saturday of the month at the Corstorphine Astoria Centre, 18 Kirk Loan. For more information contact [email protected]