New helpline offers people with sight loss someone to turn to

Residents in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire impacted by sight loss can now access information, advice and support through a new telephone service from Scotland’s biggest visual impairment charity.

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 8:32 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 8:32 am
Staff from Sight Scotland's Family Wellbeing Service

There are an estimated 6,430 people living with sight loss in Aberdeen and an estimated 8,690 people living with sight loss in Aberdeenshire.

The Sight Scotland Support Line offers someone for people with sight loss and their families to turn to for information and advice.

The new service launches as Sight Scotland and Sight Scotland Veterans publish findings from their latest research involving over 200 visually impaired people.

Over 55 per cent of participants said they hadn’t had enough information about where they could find support after their diagnosis; while over 80 per cent said it was important to provide more support to family members and carers.

Almost 90 per cent said it was important they and their families received support to deal with the emotional impact of sight loss.

Chief Executive of Sight Scotland and Sight Scotland Veterans, Mark O’Donnell, said: “This new telephone service is there for anyone impacted by sight loss so that no-one in Scotland has to struggle with sight loss alone.

"Our friendly, caring community team are here to provide tailored information and advice for blind and partially sighted people, as well as families and carers.”

RAF and Territorial Army veteran Harry Murray (90) has the sight condition retinitis pigmentos.

Harry said: “When I was first diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, emotional support was quite hard to come by. I had a chip on my shoulder and I suppose my wife bore the brunt of it. You sort of get into your own little shell and ask yourself, ‘why did it happen to me?’ Once I started to get support and was able to get out more it got better.  

“I certainly think it’s very important that people receive support at an early point after a sight loss diagnosis and that anyone impacted by sight loss is able to call up the Sight Scotland Support Line for advice.” 

People impacted by sight loss can call the freephone helpline on 0800 024 8973, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm; or visit SightScotland.org.uk.