The benefits of volunteering

Sight Support Worthing couldn’t function as well as we do without the amazing help and support of our volunteer Sight Supporters. They undertake a range of valuable tasks for us, and they get a real feel-good factor from helping our clients! Each volunteer has their own reasons for giving their time and energy to us, and chances are some of those are listed  below. Take a look at some of the brilliant benefits of becoming a volunteer: 

Make a difference – yes, there’s no denying it: you will make a difference to everyone involved in Sight Support Worthing or wherever you choose to volunteer. Some days it might be small and help one person, other days you might do something that helps a whole crowd. Either way, you will affect someone, somehow in a positive way.

Gain confidence and build self-esteem – not all of us are as confident as we’d like, and volunteering is a great way to remedy this. Once you start volunteering you’ll begin to get a sense of accomplishment and pride in your achievements, especially when you see the difference you’re making to others. Your confidence and sense of achievement will be boosted even higher if your volunteer role takes you out of your comfort zone. 

This self-assurance will then spill over into other areas of your life so you’ll feel more confident and positive at home or work. If you’re shy, putting yourself into unknown (but hopefully welcoming) situations can condition you to find them less scary. Win-win.

Create new connections – whether you come away with a brand new best friend or find somewhere to have a regular chat with friendly faces, you’ll form new connections with like-minded people. If you’re someone who finds life a little lonely at times, volunteering is an excellent way to combat this. Choose somewhere to volunteer where you’ll be amongst people and you’ll be part of a whole new community.

Makes you happier – as humans we’re wired to want to help others, so the brain reacts well to situations when it knows you’re doing that, and makes you feel happier. Choosing a volunteering opportunity that’s right for you will also mean you spend that time having fun – and who doesn’t want an extra bit of fun in their life?!

Sense of purpose – most people choose to volunteer for an organisation or issue that is important to them. By giving your time and energy for free, and helping others achieve something, you’ll be boosting your sense of purpose and with it your feelings of happiness.  Studies have shown that volunteering can help with depression, anxiety and other negative feelings by providing that regular sense of purpose and a positive reason to get up and out of the house.

Help with your career – volunteering offers opportunities to learn new skills and many of those will be transferable to other aspects of life including work. It’ll also show any employer that you go above and beyond and take time to help others; who wouldn’t want someone like that working with them? Volunteering is especially good if you’re lacking in work experience as it can provide you with new skills and proof of attributes that can then be added to a CV or used as examples in job interviews. Say you’d like to work in admin… find a volunteering role that will see you helping out with filing, perhaps doing a stock inventory, or maybe sorting out mail. The more you help out, the more you will learn.

So if you score one or more of these benefits while volunteering, you’re on to a winner. Perhaps you’re already volunteering and can add to our list of benefits? What do you gain from being a volunteer? 

We’re always on the lookout for people like you to help us in volunteer roles. Take a look at our web page dedicated to volunteering opportunities at Sight Support Worthing or get in touch for a chat.

Categories
Activity

New weekly activity: Chair yoga with Renée

Join us online every Thursday for our exciting new chair yoga class. Led by Renée, these sessions will help you become more flexible, strengthen muscles and improve balance. These sessions are open to anyone with a visual impairment so do join us!

Depending on which is most comfortable, you can do the moves with seated or standing modifications. If yoga is completely new to you, do not worry: Renée will guide you through each pose with full instructions.

Classes are held over Zoom. If you do not have access to Zoom, do get in touch as we have options available to help you.

For more information or to book, contact info@sightsupportworthing.org.uk or phone 01903 235782.

Categories
Service technology

Now launched: our Sight Tech Scheme

  • Would you like to use email or video call distant family but don’t know where to start?
  • Would you like to try a tablet, laptop or Echo without having to buy?
  • Do you need help using or setting up assistive technology?
  • Do you have a sight impairment that cannot be corrected with glasses?

If so you could be eligible* for our Sight-tech loan scheme! Priority is given to Worthing residents but West Sussex residents are also welcome to apply. Everyone will be helped as much as possible, subject to availability.

Steps:

  1. Discuss your needs and choose a device.
  2. We set you up and support your use for 6 months
  3. Option to buy the discounted device after loaning

For questions and more details, please contact info@sightsupportworthing.org.uk or 01903 235782

 

Categories
VIPs

VIP: Ted Henter, inventor and waterskiier

To be honest, we only came across Ted Henter recently but we thought he was a great person to be our first VIP. We love the fact that he not only invented a brilliant product for the visually impaired, but then went on to become a top notch waterskiier.

 

Ted Henter is an American who, in 1978 aged 21, had a car accident that left him blind. In his early 20s he completed an Engineering background but after his accident he felt that opportunities for a blind engineer were limited. With this in mind, he took a series of courses with the aim of becoming a computer programmer. This led Ted to start developing some of the first talking computers for blind people in the early 80s.

 

Ted Henter’s most famous invention (so far!) is JAWS – Job Access With Speech. JAWS is a computer program that translates what’s on a computer screen into voice or Braille. Ted believed that being visually impaired should not stop you from living your life to its full potential. This translated into a desire to create a product to assist with finding work. Ted also worked on other assistive technologies for helping visually impaired people in everyday life.

 

And what of Ted’s waterskiing prowess? Prior to his accident, Ted was to become a professional motorcycle racer. With that no longer an option, he returned to a previous hobby of waterskiing which he triumphed at. Before his retirement in 1991 Ted won six out of seven competitions in the United States and scored two international wins. He also won the overall Gold medal in the United States and World Championship for Disabled Skiers.

 

What an inspiration! You can listen to an interview with Ted Henter here.

Categories
Activity

Art is for everyone! Join our Online Art Class

Whether you’re an experienced painter, or you’ve never so much as picked up a brush before, you’re welcome at our online art class! It is suitable for anyone with a sight impairment regardless of artistic experience. Paint, draw, sketch, glue, etch, cut – the choice is yours!

We meet every Tuesday from 10.30AM – 11.30AM.

For more information, give Roz a call on 01903 235782 or email her: roz@sightsupportworthing.org.uk

Categories
Health

COVID-19 vaccination programme guidance for Sight Support Worthing members

Two Sight Support Worthing Trustees recently attended a Vaccination Champions training session. The aim of the session was to educate its participants about how the COVID-19 vaccination programme works.

The following information is designed to help Sight Support Worthing members understand the COVID-19 vaccination programme and, in particular, any aspects that may be of particular relevance to those with visual impairment. This information has been interpreted by the two Vaccine Champions, and they have provided it in no particular order, although the point is in bold for anything believed to be especially important.

a. Everyone over the age of 70 is scheduled to be vaccinated by mid-February. Within the priority Groups, there is no specific order in which these people are contacted.

b. Patients will be contacted, usually by phone – you should not try to phone for an appointment yourself.

c. The second (of the two required vaccinations) will be up to 12 weeks after the initial vaccination.

d. The initial vaccine will take two weeks before creating an effective immunisation; normal COVID restrictions must be followed during that period.

e. All vaccines require a needle; nose sprays or other options are not yet available. If you have a needle “phobia” please make that clear when confirming the appointment so that you can be treated in a less public setting than might otherwise be the case.

f. The restriction “rules” do allow a family member or friend to transport you (or accompany you if it’s close enough to walk). That individual may be permitted to stay with the patient – but that is not always the case.

g. If you need transport, please contact the SSW office on 01903 235782 and either speak to a staff member or leave a message. We will do our best to  find a SSW driver regardless of the appointment day or time. We are here to help – please use us.

h. The Sussex NHS management team has recruited a number of “Vaccine Champions” with the aim of promoting the vaccination programme, providing a reliable source of information and being a contact point for any questions/problems. Sight Support Worthing has two of its volunteers, as well as one member and the charity’s President as Vaccine Champions. So, SSW is well placed to ensure that all its members (and others in the locality) are fully briefed about the Programme. If you would like to speak to one of the Vaccine Champions do let us know and we will do our best to put you in touch with one.

We hope this information is useful to our members and their families. If you have any particular concerns that you think we can help with, please do get in touch.

Categories
Activity

Living Well with Sight Loss group

Sight Support Worthing is pleased to be partnering with the RNIB to offer a Living Well with Sight Loss group. This is a FREE group for West Sussex residents. It is suitable for adults of all ages, including friends, family members or anyone affected by vision loss. The group takes place over six 1 hour sessions.

Each session covers a range of topics including:

  • understanding welfare rights
  • staying independent
  • tips and gadgets for everyday living
  • eye health
  • hobbies and interests.

Participants will also learn about other organisations and services that can provide support.

 

To access the group you can dial in by telephone or use your smartphone to join by video (link will be provided).

 

The six sessions take place on consecutive Mondays and Wednesdays in April, specifically: Monday 12th April, Wednesday 14th April, Monday 19th April, Wednesday 21st April, Monday 26th April, Wednesday 28th April 2021

 

To book your free place, please contact us either by email (info@sightsupportworthing.org.uk) or call 01903 235782

Categories
Uncategorised

Providing the Jam: a story of the visually impaired community of Worthing

‘Providing the Jam’ is a fascinating look at the visually impaired community of Worthing, and focuses on the past 100+ years of support that Sight Support Worthing has provided.

The book was written by authors Chris Hare and Lela Tredwell, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund without whom this project would not have been possible.

The book can be purchased for £4.99 from our centre in Rowlands Road, or through Amazon Kindle, where it is also available for £4.99.