Sight loss charity British Wireless for the Blind Fund (BWBF) has announced a new service which enables them to continue to support people living with sight loss throughout the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
BWBF provides a range of specially adapted audio equipment including DAB/FM radios, USB (memory stick) players, CD players and more, all designed to make it simpler for someone living with sight loss to use. The equipment is given free of charge to those who meet BWBF’s criteria.
Ordinarily, this equipment would be delivered to the recipients’ homes by a BWBF volunteer who would install and provide training to the recipient. However, due to social distancing, this is no longer an option. Therefore, the charity have launched BWBF Connect – a modified version of the standard service which will see the charity adapt how it supports its beneficiaries, many of which are vulnerable and isolated, especially during these challenging times.
The BWBF Connect service allows the recipient to receive their chosen piece of audio equipment via a doorstep delivery. Further ongoing telephone support is offered to the recipient to ensure that they have successfully received, unpackaged and installed the equipment.
Regional Development Manager, Sophie Wheldon, said: “Our recipients are already some of the most socially isolated people in the country. The Covid – 19 crisis has only made this much worse for many. This is why it is so important that we have found a way to continue to provide our equipment to blind and visually impaired people across the U.K.
Our radios are vital to someone who cannot see – they provide news, information and entertainment but also, more importantly, companionship and a friendly voice. This is all the more important at the moment.”
Hundreds of devices have already been delivered to people living with sight loss across the UK and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. One of the recipients, Julie, said:
“Having this radio means I can read my books and listen to music, which is a comfort. You put the TV on and all you get is sadness.
“The radio is a respite from Covid 24/7. It gets overpowering when you’re by yourself and can’t talk to anyone. It’s just in your head all the time.
“I put my stations on and just chill – so it’s a total escape. It’s such a positive thing!”
“I live alone – this has just been a God send. It’s helped me keep my sanity.”
If you or someone you know is interested in receiving a device, please contact BWBF on 01622 754 757 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about British Wireless for the Blind Fund, follow us on Twitter @BritishWireless, like us on Facebook or go to www.blind.org.uk