Coffee & Information: Peer Support events

(Photo by David Baird - www.david-baird.co.uk)

During November 2013 to January 2014, York Blind & Partially Sighted Society (YBPSS) held 5 coffee & information mornings to offer peer support and information to people who were newly registered as blind or partially sighted. The events were “Informal, Informative and Inspiring”.

The handouts provided offered information about resources and equipment but, more importantly, we had the experience of blind and partially sighted volunteers who came to share lots of tips and advice, and chat about how they manage. The informal setting worked well and the room buzzed with conversation.

Impact

A total of 51 people attended these events and the positive feedback we received confirmed that everyone was pleased they had come along and that they had learned a lot and felt much more positive. People also had an enjoyable chat over coffee and cake – always a pleasurable way to spend a couple of hours!

Where the need for equipment was identified, people were able to use the services of the Equipment & Information Centre and leave with assistive gadgets – as well as an overview of equipment and services, ideas for the future and a good knowledge of how York Blind & Partially Sighted Society can support them.

The volunteers also reported how brilliant it had been to be able to support their peers.

Two people who attended the coffee and information mornings have now joined the Games morning at YBPSS, one has joined the Book Group and two people had a buddying session to share knowledge about iphones.

Next steps

We are hoping to continue running regular coffee and information mornings after the end of the OPTiC Project, as their value is evident by the very positive feedback from everyone involved.

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About opt1csilverdreams

Optic is a partnership of trusted organisations which will enable older people, especially those with or at risk of sight-loss, to develop and implement strategies to manage the changes they encounter in later life and reduce isolation.
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