Forever Manchester is working with UK Community Foundations to distribute funding raised by the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal. This money is being distributed to community organisations responding to the needs of local communities across Greater Manchester via our Community Support Fund.
Bury Society for Blind and Partially Sighted People enhance the quality of life for visually impaired adults in and around the Bury area, providing a range of services including practical support, specialist equipment, training, home assessments, rehabilitation programmes and one-to-one counselling.
The Society’s locally based centre also provides a daily ‘drop-in’ alongside hosting a range of activities and specialist support groups to help ensure those experiencing sight loss can have access to relevant support, retain their independence and and live life to the full.
As a result of Covid-19, usual activities at the centre have stopped, resulting in enforced social isolation for many, while generating a number of new and emerging needs as well as a marked increase in calls for assistance.
These calls were particularly noticeable from those normally considered to be very independent and highlighted such things as not hearing the usual sounds from the window, being unsure of life in lockdown and worrying about what lies ahead. Advice was also sought as how to recognise the new and unusual situations where social distancing of 2 metres is now required in everyday life.
The lockdown measures have had a further impact on the Society’s service users, with many experiencing feelings of anxiety, loneliness, depression, lack of confidence and the impact of reduced physical exercise. In response to the pandemic, Bury Society for Blind and Partially Sighted People are providing additional support.
They are now providing suitably trained guides and appropriate transport to assist those attending appointments or undertaking other essential tasks to help blind or partially sighted people adjust to ‘the new normal’.
They are expanding their ‘Phone Friends’ service by recruiting and training additional volunteers to make regular calls to the most isolated and vulnerable people. Appropriate protective equipment and high visibility jackets are also being provided to service users, volunteers and staff.
They are also making reasonable adjustments to their ‘Drop In Centre’ to ensure people feel safe on their return to the centre, as well as upgrading their audio recording capabilities to enable the sharing of regular updates and information on the latest Covid-19 related best practices and developments.
By providing these additional services they hope to decrease levels of anxiety and stress, increase mental wellbeing, counter feelings of isolation, increase awareness in the community of sight loss, ensure people stay active and feel safe, and maintain their independence.
An award from the Forever Manchester Community Support Fund is helping Bury Society for Blind and Partially Sighted People provide additional support for visually impaired adults in Bury adjusting to the new challenges that have arisen as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
More information about The Community Support Fund can be found by clicking the buttons below.
Community Support Fund View the list of all groups funded to date
This year, Forever Manchester is celebrating 30 Years of supporting our local communities. We are currently working with UK Community Foundations to distribute funding raised by the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal to support community organisations responding to the needs of local communities across Greater Manchester.
Date added: 3rdJune 2020