I learnt of the volunteering opportunity with Sightline through a friend who also volunteered for them. I’m quite a chatty sort of person so thought I’d put my love of talking to good use.
I am speaking with three befriendees each week at the moment, one of whom I have been supporting for two years. Everybody’s sight loss experience is unique to them. I was blind from birth so don’t know anything other than living without my sight. To have been able to see through part of your life then lose it at some point later must be so difficult to adjust to. One of my befriendees tells me he feels like he is grieving, which I always reassure him about as it’s a completely natural human reaction.
These calls provide friendship to people who feel lonely. That might be because of their visual impairment, the fact that they live alone or in some cases both. Two of my befriendees often tell me that their mental health would be a lot worse should the Sightline calls not take place. I just feel if I can share my own experiences of sight loss with someone in a similar situation and make them feel better about it; I am more than happy to do that for as long as they want.
Volunteering for Sightline has been such a positive experience for me – I like trying to help people. If I finish a call and feel like I have made them feel better about themselves; it gives me such a great feeling.
I’d recommend it anyone; it’s so rewarding and can be done from home at a time to suit you so can fit round home, work and family life quite easily.
Name has been changed to protect identity.
We currently have a number of volunteering opportunities available. Please get in touch if you can spare as little as 1 hour a week. Your call can really make a difference to someone living in the sight loss community.
Call 0800 587 2252 or email us at email@example.com to find out more.
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(*0800 numbers are free to call from BT landlines and most mobile networks)