"There are more than 1,500 older blind and partially sighted people living in my constituency. RNIB have found that thousands of older people are being left to cope alone when their sight fails. While the plight of pensioners is well documented, the survey commissioned by RNIB and British Gas as part of the 'here to HELP' project uncovers the additional suffering endured when sight fails, which until now has largely been hidden or ignored. It was a pleasure to meet Peggy Sharp, who has been helped by British Gas and RNIB."
'Unseen' - the Report Peggy is holding - suggests that the extremely high incidence of older blind and partially sighted people living in poverty, experiencing unnecessary accidents and facing social exclusion can be countered. The report makes recommendations for both national and local government.
RNIB is working with British Gas on the 'here to HELP' project. The project is a unique alliance between local authorities and charities to offer low-income households a package of essential services for the home, free of charge. Aimed at improving the quality of life for families, older people and people with disabilities, the programme targets some of Britain's most deprived areas. To qualify for'here to HELP' constituents have to live in a 'here to HELP' zone.
RNIB will be targeting national and local media to raise awareness of both the 'here to HELP' project and the key findings and recommendations of the report.
"The reception offered the opportunity to discuss the issues affecting many older visually impaired people and the ways in which we can work together to improve matters."