Support Services

What support services can we offer?

Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO)

Eye clinic Liaison Officers (ECLO’s) are in the hospitals to help link you to the right services and help you navigate the complexity of possible treatments and services.

They are there to help you to understand your diagnosis, to give emotional support, guidance through sight loss registration and wherever possible to smooth the way for you.  Losing sight is never easy, but an ECLO can prevent it being even more distressing than it needs to be.

Please see our contacts page for ways to contact our ECLO’s

Supporting People Services

“Supporting Local People with Sight Loss to live Independently in their own homes”.

N.B. This particular service is only available to people living within the borough of Caerphilly.

The Sight Cymru, Supporting People Team aims to help people with sight loss to overcome difficulties they have so that they can live independent lives. This is a home-based service and provides information, advice and practical support. The type of support may include:

  • Managing budgets and accessing welfare benefits
  • Helping someone to stay safely in their own home by using safety appliances, identifying risks and requesting repairs
  • Ensuring people are safe from intruders and fire
  • Helping people to comply with tenancy agreements
  • Assistance with making and attending appointments
  • Providing access to other services including further education, training, employment, health and social services
  • Helping to ensure a healthy lifestyle by planning weekly meals and introducing to shopping schemes
  • Helping people to maintain good relationships with neighbours, develop life skills and links with the local community
  • Helping people to develop and maintain social relationships
  • Helping people to use other agencies, such as Care and Repair or Dial a Ride
  • Making sure people know what equipment can help their sight, accessing the Low Vision services and helping them use the equipment provided
  • Assistance with completing forms and applying for concessions such as TV licenses and Disability Badges.

How can someone be helped by the Supporting People Project?

Individuals can be referred to Sight Cymru via Supporting People, by a family member, a carer, a health visitor, social worker, an ophthalmic surgeon or low vision specialist. Once we receive the referral we will then arrange a visit from one of our team who will do an assessment of what help is needed. If we are able to help we will agree a support plan that will make clear the assistance that we can give.

A support worker will call for around an hour or two a week for several weeks (maximum of two years) to provide that support.

If you think you fit the criteria please contact Caerphilly Supporting People – 01443 864548

 

Rehabilitation

Specialist Rehabilitation Officers help to support people who have lost, or who are losing their sight. Many aspects of daily life can be affected by sight loss and can cause frustration and anxiety for the individuals and their family or carers. Many of the problems that are associated with sight loss can be overcome with appropriate help and advice.

Rehabilitation Officers can help you to stay independent, regain lost skills or rebuild confidence. Rehabilitation is very practical and could help you regardless of your sight difficulties. For example, if you have difficulties with making a cup of tea you may find that a Liquid Level Indicator (an audible gadget that lets you know when your cup is full) helps you to make a drink without spilling liquid everywhere. Or if you are having difficulties with using your magnifiers we are able to work with you to show you how to get the most out of using one.

Another service that a Rehabilitation Officer can provide is mobility training. This training can help an individual regain their confidence in going outdoors safely and independently. Training can consist of demonstrating suitable long canes and tips, followed by a training programme looking at correct use and technique of a long cane, learning safe route’s to a local shop or other places of interest with additional training focusing on crossing roads safely, negotiating steps and stairs as well as use of public transport.

How do you get help from a Rehabilitation Officer?

There are many ways to get the help that you require and the easiest way is to contact your local social services department and they will pass your information to your Rehabilitation Officer.

How to contact a Rehabilitation Officer

There are many ways to get the help that you require and the easiest way is to contact your local Social Services department and they will pass your information to your Rehabilitation Officer.

Alternatively, you can contact Sight Cymru on 01495 763650 and we will put you in touch with your Rehabilitation Officer. If you would like a friend or family member to refer you instead they are more than welcome to do this for you.

Some people may be seeing a consultant and are being, or have been, certified as Severely Sight Impaired or Sight Impaired. These are the new official terms for ‘blind’ or ‘partially sighted’. Once Social Services receive notification of your certification, they will contact you to find out what help, if any, you require and if it is appropriate we will refer you to the Rehabilitation Officer.

When a Rehabilitation Officer visits you they will carry out an assessment. This will help them to determine the type of support and help that you require. They will then provide you with information, equipment and training that is specific to you and your needs. In some cases they may need to refer you to another specialist, such as an occupational therapist, but this will be discussed and agreed with you first. The Rehabilitation Officer will work with you for as long as it is required and ensure that you get the best possible support.

Projects

MEGAFOCUS

Megafocus is Sight Cymru’s emphasis on provision of eye care for people from ethnic groups that have a higher likelihood of sight loss.  Megafocus helps health professionals and policy makers to embrace community  understanding and meet needs to improve engagement.

Where do I find out more?

For any further details of the project please contact Esther Weller  – esther.weller@sightcymru.org.uk

Telephone: 01495 763 650 or visit the Sight Life Facebook page

Digitial Inclusion

Our Digital Inclusion service also known as our A.C.E. project aims to enable as many visually impaired people to access all forms of technology. Whether a complete novice or tech savvy, the support provided is accessible to all within South Wales.

The Covid-19 pandemic meant we all had to adapt to doing things a little differently from the norm, making us more reliant on the use of technology, from contacting friends and family, working from home and ordering our grocery shopping.

The A.C.E project aims to make technology accessible to a person with sight loss so that it can help to improve day-to-day living.

A.C.E provides a range of different tech support, this includes:

  • Smartphones, phones & tablets
  • PCs & laptops
  • Smart speakers & radios
  • Smart TV’s
  • General advice
  • Tuition
  • Support with other technology aids & equipment

The project is lead by Calum Briars and supported by Brett Lewis, you can find their contact detailed below:

calum.briars@sightcymru.org.uk
brett.lewis@sightcymru.org.uk
or call 01495 763 650

To access the service you can make a self-referral or ask someone to contact us on your behalf.

Wellbeing Services

Sight Cymru offers a range of services to support the mental wellbeing of our service users.

Ring-around Service 

This service is currently run by our fantastic volunteers and provides a weekly phone call to service users who would benefit from having a regular chat with someone to discuss day-to-day issues, an ideal service for someone who perhaps lives alone and is socially isolated would appreciate a regular friendly conversation.

Emotional Support

The Emotional Support service is run by trained staff members who can provide a higher level of emotional support. This service is for those service users who may need a more intense support service than the Ring-around Service offers.

This service allows individuals to talk through their feelings and concerns on a more in-depth level in order to support them to overcome the wellbeing challenges that they may be facing.

Clubs

Here are some of the localised clubs that we are currently running at Sight Cymru:

  • Caldicot
  • Torfaen
  • Penarth
  • Barry
  • Cowbridge
  • Newport
  • Blackwood
  • Risca
  • Monmouth
  • Abergavenny
  • Penarth Audio book club

The clubs typically meet twice a month and are currently being held via telephone conferencing due to the the Covid-19 pandemic.

We also run a Sightlife group for people from BME communities in the Cardiff and Newport area, this club meets once a week via Zoom (due to current  COVID restrictions) and carry out a range of online activities such as quizzes, yoga, cooking, knitting and language lessons, as well as inviting external speakers to present.

These clubs are a great mechanism for peer support,  facilitating knowledge and advice sharing as well as a great socialising opportunity.

 

External Wellbeing Support Services

Samaritans

Freephone: 116 123    Email: jo@samaritans.org

Samaritans offer emotional support by telephone, email and face to face (outside Covid times) and are available 24hours a day and is a confidential service.

Mind

Telephone: 0300 123 3393 (9am-5pm Monday to Friday)
Email: info@mind.org.uk 

The Infoline gives information on types of mental distress, where to get help, drug treatments, alternative therapies and advocacy.

Cruse Bereavement Care

Free helpline: 0808 808 1677

Cruse offers telephone support for those suffering bereavement

 

Other Services

Wales Eye Care Services – WECS

The website www.eyecare.wales.nhs.uk provides vital information for the general public, patients and professionals about the range of eye care services that are provided (many free of charge) on high streets throughout the country and how to access them.

These Welsh Government funded services and website are designed to help prevent avoidable sight loss, identify eye disease as early as possible, provide help and support to those with impaired vision and to inform those in high risk groups of steps they should take to look after their sight.

For more information visit www.eyecare.wales.nhs.uk