My Guides meet with the blind or partially sighted person for a few hours each week to work on an action plan. This can include visiting local shops and cafes, day trips and visits, and building confidence on public transport. One volunteer, Sue Thompson, says “Being a My Guide is thoroughly enjoyable, worthwhile and very rewarding. It enables those who have a visual impairment to get out and about with support. You are carefully matched with someone and it only takes about two hours a week of my time”.
Service users develop confidence and independence, with many able to go out on their own terms. David Clithero, aged 42, worked with Gail, his My Guide, for six months, and the independence he gained has now allowed him to become a Guide Dog owner.
TBWS are looking to recruit more My Guides in and around North Tyneside to help blind and partially sighted people build their confidence, regain independence and reduce their isolation. TBWS welcome volunteers from all backgrounds, male or female, young or old, retired, studying or working. However, volunteers must be over 18 and able to commit to a minimum of one to two hours per week.
If you would like to become a My Guide or want to find out more about the services provided by TBWS, please contact Anne Moule (My Guide Co-Ordinator) on 0191 257 4388 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Colin Hall