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#SupportCantWait social media day of action

Today, 6 April, RNIB is taking part in a social media day of action under the banner of #SupportCantWait to emphasise the need for further support with the cost of living as a new financial year begins.

We know that the rising cost-of-living is disproportionately affecting blind partially sighted people. Alongside 67 other sight loss and disability charities, including RNID, Sense, Scope, Blind Veterans, Thomas Pocklington Trust, Retina UK and Visionary, we are calling on the Government to address the long term factors which have led to blind and partially sighted people, and disabled people, entering the cost of living crisis at a major disadvantage.

To get involved, we’re inviting RNIB customers, supporters and partners to join in, and share content about the cost of living on Twitter using the hashtag, #SupportCantWait.

How the rise in the cost of living affects blind and partially sighted people

Blind and partially sighted people already face additional, unavoidable costs as a result of their sight loss, and are twice as likely to live in a household that has a total income of £1,500 a month, or less. Even with the extension of the Energy Price Guarantee, energy bills are far higher than one year ago and many people with sight loss risk having to choose between eating and heating, and RNIB is experiencing a consistent rise in calls to our Helpline for advice on energy bills at this time.

In addition, for those of working age who receive disability benefits but not means tested benefits, the one-off Cost of Living payment of £150 that is due to be paid this summer will only provide £2.88 per week across the year, at a time when food, transport, and essential technology to support independence, have all significantly increased in price.

What are we asking for

Together the group of charities is calling for:

  • The development and implementation of a social tariff for energy.
  • A review of benefits to ensure that they cover essential outgoings, rather than one off payments in a crisis.

The day is also an important opportunity to highlight the many sources of advice and support available to those who are struggling with rising bills as the new financial year begins. For practical support and help with money and benefits, visit our cost of living hub or ring the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999.

This social media day builds on a previous day of action held on 19 January, when 39 sight loss and disability organisations collectively reached 2.5 million people on Twitter and other social media channels under the banner of #SupportCantWait, with posts seen 11 million times in total.