Galloway's is grateful for a grant totaling £10,000 to help reduce loneliness among people with sight loss in Lancashire and Sefton.
Community Foundation for Lancashire has donated £5,000 to Galloway’s, which will go towards supporting blind and partially sighted people in the region. The money is from the Lancashire – COVID-19 Community Support Fund and National Emergencies Trust.
Community Foundation for Merseyside has also donated £5,000 to help relieve the loneliness of visually impaired people in the Sefton area. The money is from the foundation’s LCR Cares – COVID-19 Community Support Fund and National Emergencies Trust
Whilst Galloway's has temporarily suspended face to face social groups, it has been coming up with new ways to support the blind and partially sighted community during lockdown.
Sight loss advisors are ringing up people on a regular basis, providing advice and support. They have set up Talking Together, a teleconferencing facility which allows people to dial in and talk to the friends they have made during the weekly social groups.
The charity also keeps people up to date through its monthly What’s Going On Guide which includes information on its services, eye clinics, as well as where to turn to for local community support.
Galloway’s is also continuing its Talking News service, which has been added to its Alexa Skill, enabling even more people to access audio news from the Lancashire and Sefton area.
Adele Dewhurst, sight loss advisor at Galloway’s in Penwortham, said: “We are very grateful for the support from the Community Foundations for Lancashire and Merseyside, as it enables us to continue to deliver our services to blind and partially sighted people in the area.
“Our sight loss advisors speak to a number of service users each week and we usually chat about how they are feeling and how they are keeping occupied.
“If people are feeling lonely and isolated, a weekly call can help lift their mood and make them feel that they are not alone.
“We know people are missing their friends at the regular social groups, so we have set up regular Talking Together group phone calls. This has been a great success with everyone saying how much they enjoy it.
“We want people to know are always here to support them.”
Carl Moore, sight loss advisor at Galloway’s in Southport, said: “We are ringing people on a regular basis, informing them what other services are available, such as food delivery, and how to keep in contact with people. They are finding it very useful and are very grateful for this regular contact as many of them have no family or friends who are calling them.”
Rae Brooke, Chief Executive for the Community Foundation, covering Lancashire and Merseyside, said: “Galloway's, who is providing a vital lifeline to improve the mental wellbeing and reduce the loneliness of blind and partially sighted people in Lancashire and Sefton, is amongst the many incredible organisations we have supported.
"We know the detrimental impact of this emergency will be evident over the long term and to enable us to continue supporting the work of groups like Galloway’s, we are calling on those able to do so to donate to the Lancashire COVID-19 Community Support Fund and LCR Cares COVID-19 Community Support Fund.”