What is the Eye Buddy Scheme?
A very simple concept. A volunteer visits a blind or partially sighted person in their home on a regular basis.
What do the visits entail?
Tasks that a person with vision loss may find difficult, for example reading mail, organising paperwork, writing letters or perhaps a walk to the local shops. Another frequent request is for companionship to ease loneliness and isolation, so just a cup of tea and a chat.
Many visually impaired people are unable to go out because of their sight loss and appreciate being taken out for short visits to the shops, the park or the river.
How are blind and partially sighted people referred?
Referrals come from Social Services, local charities such as Age Concern, Churches, hospitals, local blind clubs etc. Blind and partially sighted people and their families may also make direct referrals.
What does the Kingston Association for the Blind offer volunteers?
After an informal chat and completion of an application form, a blind awareness session will be offered. Once matched with a client KAB will provide continuous support. Volunteers are always accompanied by one of the team on their first visit to their client. Reimbursement of travel expenses is offered to volunteers when visiting their clients.
Who can be a volunteer?
Anyone over the age of 18. All that is required is the commitment to visit a client once a week, sometimes once a fortnight, on a regular basis. Volunteers will be asked about their interests, likes and dislikes, travel arrangements etc and taking all this into consideration an introduction will be made. Volunteers can visit during the day, evenings or weekends.