York Blind and Partially Sighted Society is a thriving, independent local charity, working to help people with sight problems to be independent.
The services we provide include a Volunteer Visiting Service.
Home Visiting Volunteers provide companionship and support to members who have asked for regular support and friendship. Our members are all blind or partially sighted – many are older people who have developed sight problems and may now find it difficult to live active independent lives without some extra help. Volunteers can provide a real life-line to help people maintain independent living skills and social contacts.
Volunteers may undertake a variety of tasks – just a visit at home for a chat, or perhaps going out to help with shopping or for a social activity. Many of our members value help with their correspondence – reading, sorting paperwork, answering mail etc. Or perhaps you would like to help someone with a hobby or skill – gardening, cooking, using the computer. Home Visitors normally visit a client regularly once a week or once a fortnight for 2 – 4 hours. You would be matched with a client who will look forward to your regular visit and value a fairly long-term relationship if possible. (Most of our volunteers so love the work they do they stay for years!)
You will be carefully matched with a client, taking interests, availability, and geographical location into account. All volunteers are required to undertake initial training to learn about working with and supporting people with a visual impairment, and then benefit from ongoing support and advice. More specialist training is offered as required.
Potential Home Visitors need to attend all three preparation sessions of 3-4 hours. Trainign is organised two or three times a year and takes place at our premises on Rougier Street in central York.
This is a wonderful opportunity to make a real difference in your community, and can be fitted around most other commitments.
No previous experience of working with blind or partially sighted people is necessary, but an empathy and interest in people, especially older people is a must for this role. You would also be a good listener and have a non-judgmental attitude, and be ready to allow the client to make choices. It is helpful if you have your own car, though not essential.
Volunteers will usually visit clients in their own homes which may be anywhere within the City of York. The Society’s full accessible offices (where training will be held) are at Rougier House, Rougier Street YO1 6HZ. This is in central York, easily accessible by bus or train. There is an NCP car park very close and we have access to a limited number of disabled parking spaces.