MySight York

MySight York’s free befriending service can be accessed either over the phone or in person. The aim is to bring joy and positivity to those living with sight loss in York, helping to reduce loneliness, isolation and providing practical support.
In Person (Home Visiting) - The Befriending Service provides free, one-to-one support and friendship to people living with sight loss. Our volunteers can visit clients in their own home or garden or support clients to get them out and about.

The aim of the befriending service is to support individuals living with sight loss to remain as independent as is appropriate to their circumstances. The service provides volunteers on a long-term and is about doing “with” rather than “for”. The service is open to residents within the City of York Council boundary.

Volunteers are carefully matched and can visit people in their homes or at other locations, depending on people’s individual needs and interests. Visits usually take place weekly or fortnightly and last for around 1 – 2 hours.

Examples of things a volunteer and client might do include:
o Going for a walk, exercising or participating in a hobby together
o Shopping together
o Writing cards
o Reading out loud for pleasure
o Sharing a chat over a cuppa

Please note that volunteers do not carry out any personal care or undertake cleaning, food shopping or household chores.

Clients can access the service themselves or make a referral on behalf of someone else. The Befriending Service Manager will talk you through the scheme, find out what support is needed and give an idea of the timescale for matching you with a volunteer. If you are a professional making a referral, please use the professional referral form.

Over The Phone (Keeping in Touch).
Our Keeping in Touch Volunteers provide a telephone based befriending service. Volunteers telephone their clients either weekly, fortnightly or monthly for a friendly chat to help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. The Keeping in Touch service is open to residents living in York and the surrounding area.

Clients can access the service themselves or make a referral on behalf of someone else. The Befriending Service Manager will them through the scheme, find out what support is needed and give an idea of the timescale for matching you with a volunteer.

Information for volunteers

Our home visiting service is a free service which aims to enable visually impaired people to be as independent as possible. Home Visiting volunteers provide companionship and support, and can be a real life-line to help people maintain independent living skills and social contacts.

Volunteers may undertake a variety of tasks, ranging from visiting at home for a chat, helping with light practical tasks, reading and helping with correspondence to going out for a walk, social shopping or day trips. Some volunteers help clients to continue with hobbies or to find new ones, such as gardening, playing games or using the computer.

Most visitors visit regularly either weekly or fortnightly for a couple of hours on a long-term basis. They are carefully matched with clients, taking interests, availability and location into account. Volunteers will usually visit clients in their own homes which can be anywhere within the City of York. MySight York will meet reasonable travel costs.

Our 'Keeping in Touch' service is free and provides clients with a friendly weekly phone call.

No previous experience of working with blind or partially sighted people is necessary as full training will be given. A friendly nature, empathy and an interest in people, especially older people, is a must. You would also be a good listener and have a non-judgemental attitude. Most importantly you must be ready to allow the client to make choices.

If you are interested, you will need to complete an application form and meet with the Befriending Service Manager. We ask for two references and you’ll be required to undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before starting. Training and an induction is provided.

Contact

Catherine Bamford
MySight York
14 Merchants Place
Merchantgate
North Yorkshire
YO1 9TU

Age Groups

Regions