What can a Home Visitor help me with?
We respect that our service users are individuals and therefore each visit will be as unique as the service user. Your Home Visitor can help with many things, including:
- A friendly, regular visit offering company and conversation.
- Reading and writing correspondence.
- Providing information about local social groups, activities and events.
- Arranging the loan of a radio/CD player through the British Wireless for the Blind (subject to their criteria)
How often can I expect a visit?
We aim to see all of our Service Users once per fortnight.
How many people does a Home Visitor see?
Each visitor sees between 45 and 50 people within the same borough every fortnight. This involves visiting between 4 and 5 people a day. We currently operate 1 Home Visitor per Borough.
How do you select your home visitors?
We look for people with a range of qualities and skills that include emotional intelligence, sensitivity, practical common sense, empathy and warmth together with life skills that offer a firm foundation for building friendships with our Service Users.
Our recruitment process is rigorous. We are fortunate because the Home Visitor role always proves to be popular – when we advertise we typically receive around 80-100 applications. All applications are read thoroughly and those meeting our criteria are selected for an initial telephone interview. Successful candidates are then invited to attend a formal interview to meet and discuss the opportunity further with a panel which includes at least one of our service users.
Following formal interview candidates are then invited to go out for a day with one of our Home Visitors to gain some experience of the role first hand before a final interview, CRB check and appointment.
Where do you provide services?
We provide a Home Visiting Service in the 12 Inner London Boroughs:
- Hammersmith & Fulham
- Islington & The City
- Kensington & Chelsea
- Tower Hamlets
We also provide an Early Support Service that offers emotional support for recently diagnosed patients as well as information on other relevant services and organisations. The Early Support Service is available via eye clinics at:
- St Thomas’s Hospital
- University College Hospital
- The Royal London Hospital
- King’s College Hospital.
Most recently, we have begun a partnership project to provide a Visiting Service specifically for kidney patients in conjunction with Guys and St Thomas’s Hospitals and the Kidney Patients Association.
If you live outside the 12 Inner London Boroughs, we are unable to provide a Home Visiting service, but we can make referrals to other organisations who offer support to people who are blind or partially sighted.
I prefer not to have a Home visit – how else can you support me?
BlindAid also offers a Telephone Support Service which provides fortnightly telephone contact to provide regular friendly conversation. If needed, we may also refer you to additional organisations that may be helpful.
How can I make a referral?
Complete a referral form for the service you need. These can be found in the ‘make a referral’ section.
Do you have any blind or visually impaired employees or trustees?
Yes, we have several visually impaired people working for the charity.
How are Service Users involved?
In 2009 we set up a Service User Group. This currently consists of approximately 15 people, all of whom are recipients of our services. The group meets 6 times a year and we discuss a wide and varied range of topics all relating to living with sight loss. The group also made a presentation at our Annual Service of Celebration in 2011 in front of several hundred other service users and Mayors of the London Boroughs which offered a unique insight into our work and how valuable this is to the people we work alongside.
Do you run any Events for your Service Users?
Every year we host our Annual Service to celebrate our work which usually takes place in Central London. We provide transport for our Service Users as well as entertainment and refreshments. This event is always very popular and includes guest speakers, live music and is a great social event that we welcome everyone to attend!
How many people in Inner London are blind or partially sighted?
There are over 12,000 people who are registered blind or partially sighted in the twelve inner London boroughs in which we work. There will be many more people in these Boroughs who are experiencing deteriorating sight but who have not yet registered. As our population generally lives longer there will simply be more of us living with sight loss going forward. Combined with the increasing incidence of obesity and diabetes, this means that without intervention the number of people with sight problems is set to increase dramatically over the next 25 years. It is predicted that by 2020 the number of people with sight loss will rise to over 2,250,000. By 2050, the numbers of people with sight loss in the UK will double to nearly four million.