What help is there for people who are blind or have visual impairments?

The Visual Impairment Resource Centre provide a variety of helpful services for people living in the St Helens borough with visual impairments. Trained Rehabilitation Officers for Visually Impaired people can provide low vision assessment to help improve independent living, advice and signposting, teaching of new skills and demonstrations of equipment and aids.

Royal National Institute for the Blind can provide emotional support to blind/visually impaired people (and their family/carers) through their counselling service – offering time for people to concentrate on themselves and to talk things over with someone who will understand things from your perspective. The Royal National Institute for the Blind can also provide support and information about independent living, equipment/aids, training and accessing employment.

The Macular Support Group provide a national helpline (0845 241 2041) that includes a confidential telephone counselling service, and they are also able to give an advocacy service for people with macular degeneration who find it difficult to get access to treatment or care that they are entitled to. Finally, they run a monthly support group in St Helens held every second Tuesday of each month except January and August from 1.30pm to 3.30 pm at the holy Cross Church Hall.

There is a Craft and Chat club for visually impaired people living in the borough of St Helens and crafts include jewellery making, glass painting, drawing and painting.

The Royal National Institute for the Blind have a helpline (0303 123 9999) for information about sight loss and their website is jam packed full of information.

The Merseyside District Guide Dogs Team can be contacted on 0845 372 7420 or mersey@guidedogs.org.uk for more information about getting a guide dog; helping people get out of their homes and back into the community.