The new service, called My Guide, matches blind and partially sighted people with a volunteer for up to six months. During this time, they will meet up for a few hours per week to visit local shops, a leisure centre or a cafe, with the My Guide volunteer providing sighted guide support. They will work together to develop confidence and independence, working up to the service user being able to go out on their own.
Pauline Errington of Holywell, who lost her eye sight after having a stroke, feels the My Guide scheme would have helped to rebuild her confidence and stop her hiding away when she first lost her sight. The TBWS service user says “I went from a confident, working mother to someone who became anxious at going out and being around people”. Pauline thinks the scheme will help isolated blind and partially sighted people regain confidence and feel secure going out and about in their local communities.
TBWS and Guide Dogs are looking to recruit volunteers in and around North Tyneside to help blind and partially sighted people build their confidence, regain independence and reduce their isolation. The volunteers will benefit by taking part in a nationally recognised training course (endorsed by VISION 2020), developing new skills and giving something back to members of their community.
We welcome volunteers from all backgrounds, male or female, young or old, retired, studying or working. However, volunteers must be over 18 and able to commit to a minimum of one to two hours per week.
If you would like to become a My Guide – Sighted Guide volunteer or would like to find out more about the services provided by TBWS please contact Helen Farrow (Centre Manager) on 0191 257 4388.