North West telephone befriending charity in desperate need of volunteers

Sightline Telephone Befriending Service based in the North West are in need of volunteers to aid their heavy workload.

By Emma Downey
Thursday, 17th February 2022, 4:55 am

The free telephone-based befriending service designed to reduce loneliness and isolation for anyone living with a visual impairment, saw a demand for the service increase by more than 100 percent throughout the pandemic.

Engagement and Marketing Manager for the charity, which is funded by the National Community Fund, Rebecca Billington said: "We’re in real need of more volunteers to support our waiting list of service users.

"Some of our volunteers are handling multiple calls with several service users which, although at their request, is never ideal. Volunteering opportunities start from as little as one hour a week."

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Could you be a volunteer for Sightline?

Established in 2003, Sightline was set up by Eileen Green who was registered blind. She identified a need for visually impaired people to have an opportunity to communicate their experiences, from the comfort of their home.

Sadly, Eileen died suddenly in 2013 but her legacy lives on through Sightline, based in Lancashire, but operating across the UK.

Today, Sightline provides an innovative service focused on delivering practical and emotional support to blind and partially sighted people, through a telephone befriending service.

One service user called Simone said: "I received an age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) diagnosis in 2019. Currently my vision is very blurred in my left eye with my right eye not quite as bad just now.

"My telephone befriender calls me each week and we talk about all sorts of things. She’s a really nice lady and is a great support to me as she also has AMD."

The service has already helped over 150 service users in the sight loss community, supported by nearly 100 volunteers, with an aspiration to help many more.

If you are interested in other people, a good listener and someone who is reliable this may be the perfect job for you.

For further information call: 0800 587 2252 or email [email protected] to find out more.