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How the Be My Eyes app allows David to 'borrow someone else's vision'

Photo shows David, wearing dark glasses, holding up a Tablet. He has the Be My Eyes menu on the screen
David Buckley with his Tablet, showing the Be My Eyes app

When David Buckley, who has sight loss, needs someone to tell him what is on his medication bottle, or which CD he is about to play, there is a way he can ‘borrow someone else’s vision.’

The father-of-two from Preston uses the Be My Eyes on his phone to video call a volunteer who can read or describe what David shows them.

As sight loss charity Galloway’s has been added to the Be My Eyes Specialised Help app, blind and partially sighted people across Lancashire and Sefton now have the option to be put through to one of its sight loss advisors.

David uses the app regularly and says he finds it very useful in helping him with everyday tasks.

He says: “Be My Eyes is a tremendous app and is very helpful.

“I have used it to sort my medication out, read my letters or when I have to write anything. The app has helped me pick out which CD I want and connected me with sight loss advisors who can give me ideas of how I can use the buttons on my microwave.

“I am hoping to use it to set up my TV, as I struggle to see the menu on the screen.

“I use it mainly around the house, but if you have good internet connection, you can use it outside.

“It is very useful to have sight loss advisors from Galloway’s on board as they have that extra bit of knowledge.”

Photo shows someone holding a phone which shows two tins of food on a video screen
Using the Be My Eyes app

David, who has four grandchildren, has been registered blind since the age of 15. He has several eye conditions, including retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts.

He adds: “I was told by the specialist at Chorley Hospital that I have no sight, according to their testing equipment, but I do have a tiny bit of sight in the bottom right quarter of each eye.”

The 67-year-old admitted he hated people knowing about his sight loss, and believed at times it affected his career opportunities. Over his working life he has worked at various places: DWP, Littlewoods, Natwest and has volunteered with a variety of sight loss organisations.

David leads an independent life and although he has been aware of Galloway’s for many years, he joined in September 2019.

He says: “I have approached Galloway’s for various things. They have been tremendous with me as they answer all my questions. I get a lot of help with my IT as they are very informative. I also go on walks with the Get Active team.

“I try to tell anyone I know who has sight problems to speak to Galloway’s.

Adele Dewhurst, sight loss advisor at Galloway’s, says: “We are thrilled to be added to the Be My Eyes specialised help app to provide visual support to people with sight loss in Lancashire and Sefton.

“We are always here to answer your call and offer assistance for a range of things, from reading food labels, letters and cooking instructions, to giving advice on what equipment and visual aids you may need.”

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