Sight loss helpline gets cash boost

Chair of Sightline Carole Holmes (on the phone), with volunteers Hilary, Jean and Karen

Chair of Sightline Carole Holmes (on the phone), with volunteers Hilary, Jean and Karen

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A vital helpline for people affected by sight loss has received lottery funding of £272,700.

Penwortham-based Sightline Vision offer an “out of hours” service delivering practical and emotional support to the blind and visually impaired community through a confidential freephone helpline.

The cash boost has helped secure the organisation’s future and will allow it to develop a befriending service for people across the North West.

Sightline manager Kevin Lonergan said: “We are delighted to receive further funding form the Reaching Communities Big Lottery funding and it secures our service for the next three years.

“We will be able to offer our support a lot sooner to help people cope with their sight loss.

“We will work together with all agencies that support people to provide the best possible service for people.

“We will also be developing a telephone befriending scheme alongside our Helpline.

“Sight loss causes so many problems and including isolation and loneliness and the befriending scheme will aim to support many people who find things difficult to come to terms with.”

The helpline service is available to callers with any visual impairment, their families, friends and carers .

It is staffed by trained visually impaired volunteers every evening between 6pm and 10pm.

Sightline is now on the lookout for staff to join its team. For further details contact Kevin at Sightline via email: kevin@sightlinevision.org.uk or by telephoning 01772 753701.

The helpline can be accessed from 6pm to 10pm by telephoning 0800 587 2252.