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MP sees bright future at RNIB service re-launch

4th July 2019

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin joined MPs across the country helping to publicise services which help people coping with sight loss.

The Royal National Institute for Blind People hosted a briefing event in Westminster to re-launch a service which helps people who have recently been diagnosed with sight issues. More than two million people across the UK are currently living with sight loss.

Harriett chatted to Eleanor Southwood, who is chair of the national charity, about the work that they do helping people cope with the diagnosis and help to maintain their independence.

RNIB runs a helpline advice service which handles up to 7,000 calls a year from people needing assistance. The charity is also relaunching a service which offers face-to-face support for people in eye clinics acting as a bridge between the health and social services.

Harriett said: “With an increasing elderly population both in West Worcestershire and across the UK, sight loss is an issue which is affecting more and more people.

“I am happy to support the charity’s efforts to raise awareness of the importance of practical and emotional support for blind and partially-sighted people.

“The diagnosis of deteriorating eyesight or sight loss can be traumatic and it was useful to hear more about how the RNIB helps people at a time when support is really important.”

David Clarke, RNIB Director of Services, added: “Losing your sight can have a massive impact on your life and we believe everyone should have access to emotional support when they need it.

“It’s not just the big, life-changing aspects that people need support with. Sometimes it’s the smaller, everyday things that stop people in their tracks or prevent them from living the life they want to.

“These questions or fears can chip away at your emotional wellbeing if you don’t tackle them and RNIB’s Sight Loss Advice Service can help with this.

“Our Sight Loss Advisers and Eye Clinic Liaison Officers receive specialist training on living with sight loss, and many have personal experience of sight loss themselves.”

Photo: (l-r) RNIB chair Eleanor Southwood with Harriett Baldwin MP.

RNIB chair Eleanor Southwood with Harriett Baldwin MP

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