New helpline launches to support those impacted by sight loss

Falkirk residents impacted by sight loss can now access information, advice and support through a new telephone service.

By Jonathon Reilly
Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 4:45 am

Public Health Minister Maree Todd today (Wednesday, September 22) launched the new Sight Scotland Support Line.

There are an estimated 5210 people living with sight loss in Falkirk.

The Sight Scotland Support Line offers someone for people with sight loss and their families to turn to for information and advice.

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Staff from Sight Scotland's family well-being service will be involved with the new Sight Scotland Support Line. Contributed.

People impacted by sight loss can call the freephone service on 0800 024 8973, Monday to Friday (9am-5pm).

The helpline launches as Sight Scotland and Sight Scotland Veterans publish findings from their latest research involving over 200 visually impaired people.

More than 55 per cent of participants said they hadn’t had enough information about where to find post-diagnosis support, while over 80 per cent said it was important to provide more support to family members and carers.

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Almost 90 per cent felt it was important they and their families received help to deal with the emotional impact of sight loss.

The Sight Scotland Support Line is part of Sight Scotland’s newly formed family well-being service.

The charity has also produced a new information guide, Support for Sight Loss, alongside sister charity Sight Scotland Veterans.

Mark O’Donnell, Sight Scotland and Sight Scotland Veterans chief executive, said: “We are proud to officially launch the Sight Scotland Support Line nationally today.

“This new telephone service is there for anyone impacted by sight loss so that no-one in Scotland has to struggle with sight loss alone.

“Our friendly, caring community team are here to provide tailored information and advice for blind and partially sighted people, as well as families and carers.

“Our research has shown this is the kind of information that people want following diagnosis of an eye condition to help them find who can support them to live well with sight loss.

“We know it has been particularly difficult for people to access support due to the impact of Covid-19, and that it is particularly important to launch this national support line service now.

“We are delighted that the Scottish Government recently launched the Eyes.Scot website as an invaluable source of information and we are seeking to play our role in reaching more people with sight loss through the launch of our new community services.”

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