Pick up the phone it's time to talk

Post date: 
Friday, 8 December 2017

Connect member, Linda Chave, tells us about the time she decided to pick up the phone and join one of our Time to Talk courses.

I recently took part in an RNIB Time to Talk course and I am so glad I did!  And the great thing is, it was all done from the comfort of my own home.
There are two different Time to Talk courses, one for under 65s, the other for over 65s. I took part in an under 65s' group, and, once a week, at the same time, someone from the RNIB would phone and connect me to my group, there were eight of us and we ranged in age and levels of sight impairment, some people had only recently been registered as visually impaired and others, like myself, had been registered blind for many years.
Each session was facilitated by someone from the RNIB and covered different topics, such as mobility, benefits, advice on getting back to work, socialising and activities. As well as learning what help is available, and where and who to contact, it was just lovely to talk to others in the group. We were encouraged to join in, and discuss things we find difficult, quite often someone in the group would come up with a possible way of solving this. We could talk about our sight loss and how it affects our families.
I have been blind for many years, and I used to be quite active, and, with the help of my guide dog at the time, Nicole, I would go out and about to different places, giving talks on life as a visually impaired person and the experience of having a guide dog. Then I moved abroad for fifteen years, and on returning to the UK I found so much had changed, I found it hard to make friends, the systems for getting help, such as from social services had changed, my confidence was really low - if I could stay at home I would.

Time to Talk has also given me the confidence to consider doing some voluntary work

The Time to Talk course has given me the information of where to go for help. It was amazing to learn how many different activities there are available for the visually impaired, so many sports and hobbies to try.   I have also found out about a gardening group I can join, which is definitely on my list of things to do. 
I used to build and manage websites, so I am interested in anything techie and I am keen to keep up to date with new developments in computing technology, so it was interesting to hear what the rest of the group had to say about new technology aids they had tried; and I now have the details of a computer group I can join.  In the past year I have been gradually moving to use voice over, and I am pleased to say that I managed to complete this blog on my iPhone, using voice over and a Bluetooth keyboard.
I am thinking of doing some voluntary befriending, and I have been given details by the Connect Team of who to contact in my local area to discuss how I might get involved – so I have no time to sit and feel sorry for myself.
I would recommend taking part in Time to Talk. Go for it!

More information about Time to Talk

Time to Talk is one of the services offered through Talk and Support, which is part of our confidence building specialist services. The groups meet weekly over four weeks, and each session covers a different theme
  • Session 1: getting to know each other and signposting to sources of information, including who they can talk to about sight conditions and treatment.
  • Session 2: sharing experiences of practical help and support, and information about low vision and rehabilitation support.
  • Session 3: products, equipment and technology.
  • Session 4: social and leisure time, and exploring the range of national and regional services available, including organisations that are not specific to sight loss.
Customers should contact Talk and Support on 020 7391 2218 or email to [email protected]
Best of Connect