The Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind

Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind (SRSB) and Rotherham Sight & Sound (RSS) Covid-19 Appeal

Help to us to support people with sight and/or hearing loss across the Sheffield City Region during the Covid-19 crisis. Living with sight/hearing loss can be difficult at the best of times, but life is incredibly challenging right now!
by 111 supporters
RCN 1047257


Living with sight and/or hearing loss can be difficult at the best of times, but with the current pressure of self-isolation, our clients are experiencing other challenges right now. There are difficulties with practical things; such as shopping, and social distancing when you cannot see, or hearing instructions when you are deaf. Then the closure of most forms of social interaction is having an impact on the mental wellbeing of many clients, who are at risk of becoming even more isolated.

Life for many of our clients is incredibly challenging right now, and as we begin to move to the new normal it will still have an impact on their everyday lives.

SRSB/RSS, following Government Guidance, has had to close down a number of its usual support services. However, we are very aware of how critical our services are to our clients. So even though our centres in Sheffield and Rotherham have had to close for now, our priority remains the same: the welfare of our clients.

We continue to offer the essential services that we have provided throughout the Coronavirus situation, but are now looking at other ways of operating in the short term to expand our support within the guidelines set out by the Government.

It has not been an easy time for our charity, adapting to different methods of working, at the same time as many of our fundraising events and collections being cancelled or postponed, and our work with other supporters limited. Unfortunately this has created an income shortfall.

We need to continue the work we are doing, look at developing other ways of operating in the short term and resume our services in the long term.

Your help could make a real difference.

Any donation could help us deliver the services we are currently offering our clients, and also to help us maintain our centres. Our centres are all about social activities and support, and it is critical we are there for our clients as soon as we are able to return to normal.

Examples of the difference a large or small donation could make to our services in Sheffield and Rotherham:

£5: Help us provide an Activity Pack for clients, containing large print words searches, crosswords, quizzes, craft activities etc to help keep minds occupied and a sense of connection to our charity.

£10: Help staff and volunteers to telephone all the clients who regularly attended our Activities Centres to check they are okay and offer support.

£15: Help us issue and deliver assistive equipment that will help our clients with daily activities, as well as other essential equipment such as hearing aid batteries.

£20: Help to keep our telephones open to offer advice and support for our clients, including welfare benefits advice, crucial at this time.

£25: Help us continue to do shopping for essential food etc. and collection/delivery of medication for our clients. This is primarily for our vulnerable and isolated clients without good support from family, friends and neighbours. (UPDATE: We have ceased providing this service now, from August 2020.)

£30: Help us offer Virtual Groups for clients to tackle isolation, such as singing, reminiscence, quizzes and general chat.

£35: Support us to provide a one-to-one appointment for clients (observing social distancing and infection control) who may be desperate to speak to one of our Community Advice Officers about personal matters.

£100: Could cover the loss of a day's income from one of our cancelled fundraising collections. We have had to cancel or postpone many of our fundraising activities and events and will lose income from these.

We have had so many lovely comments from clients in response to what we are doing during this difficult time, as well as many comments bout what they are missing about our charity. We want continue to be here for them now and in the future:

Comment from Ron (client in Sheffield): "I don't know what I would have done without Liz and Joanne sorting out my shopping and the little chat we have when Liz drops it off. Thank you for what you are doing and for going out of your way to help. I cant thank you enough or say enough words. I really hope things will settle down soon and we can get back to the centre. Thank you I wish I could give you all a big hug!"

Comment from Penny (client and volunteer in Sheffield): "I have been on the delivery service that Joanne and Liz are doing from SRSB. I dont have anyone else to shop for me as my sister is self-isolating and she is in her 70s. I am so pleased that you are helping me. It is lovely to see Liz, who comes, she waves and says hello and I speak to Joanne on the phone with my order. How good is it that you are doing this? Its beautiful. Thank you.

Comment from Lara (Mum of Amber, one of our younger clients in Sheffield): "I wanted to get hold of some talking kitchen equipment for my 10 year old daughter as she is severely sight impaired and finds mechanical and digital scales really, really hard. With being in the home a lot we are baking frequently. I thought these would help her to be more independent. We contacted SRSB and Liz from the charity surprised Amber by delivering a basket not only with the talking scales, but some long oven mitts and a stay put mat! Amber has since been helping me with weighing out for pies, helped with the Sunday dinner, and has done some baking! The emergency basket also had a little SRSB Ellie mascot and a balloon! She loved it and has really enjoyed helping with the cooking!

Comment from Carole (client in Rotherham): When we realised that a lockdown was likely to happen, I told Sue at RSS that we would appreciate support with shopping as my husband and I would have to self-isolate. Sue put us in touch with Joanne who stepped in to support us with this. She has never let us down, and rings to take our order each week. She has been doing this since the lockdown began and we are really grateful for this."

Comment from Sarah (client and volunteer in Sheffield and Rotherham): "As a client, I miss my family. The comfort of walking in the centre and seeing and hearing warm friendly voices that make you so welcome. There is no barrier between staff and clients, I walk in and instantly feel at home, safe, like putting on your comfy dressing gown! Theres always someone to talk to, no matter how you feel when you walk in, you leave feeling happy and with a tale to tell! The laughter, there is so much laughter, nothing is held back! We share our highs and lows of living with Sight Loss. My sight loss ruled my life, it was my excuse not to do anything. Now I own it, SRSB and RSS have taught me that. I dread to think how Lockdown would have affected me I had I not gained the confidence from our centres!"

Comment from Amy (client and volunteer in Sheffield): I am really missing coming to SRSB every week as a volunteer. It gives me some routine and it makes me feel like I have done something useful with my time. It gives me a reason to get out of the house and socialise with different people. I really do miss all of my SRSB friends. I also miss coming to the yoga group every week. I could really do with that at the moment to relax me. If I could I really would be counting down the days until I could come back. "

Comment from Kath (client and volunteer in Rotherham): "What I miss most is the socialising and all the friends I've made. I miss the outings and activities and all the laughter we have. Life without RSS is very boring and lonely."

Comment from Martin (client and volunteer in Rotherham and Sheffield): I miss getting to these centres to meet up with friends and staff, who I class as my second family. The atmosphere is so friendly towards visually impaired / blind people you almost feel like you are at your second home. The support, empathy of staff who get to know you like friends would only do. It feels like Ive lost something in my daily living without the wonderful centres that I miss and love so much.

A message from Joanne, Deputy General Manager of SRSB and RSS.

A message from our Patron, The Earl of Scarbrough and his wife The Countess of Scarbrough, from Sandbeck Park in South Yorkshire.

I am proud to have been Patron of the Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind since 2013, during which time, we have watched the charity grow and develop, with one of the most recent changes being the opening of a division in Rotherham, Rotherham Sight and Sound. SRSB is celebrating the fact that it is 160 years old this year. However, none of us anticipated the challenges that the coronavirus has brought. So instead of pressing ahead with a full calendar of celebrations, the charity, like so many others, has had to adapt to the current situation. We are pleased to hear about the adaptations that the charity has made to its services, in line with Government guidance, to rise to these challenges, whilst keeping the welfare of clients foremost in their priorities, and continuing to support people with sight and/or hearing loss, through this difficult time. The guidelines are changing all the time, so they continue to review the situation constantly. We look forward to supporting them in rebuilding their critical services, as we all try to get back to normal. It is hard to believe that last summer we hosted the Vintage Garden Party fundraising event, here at our home Sandbeck Park, on a glorious sunny day (where this picture was taken). Sadly, this year has seen many fundraising events cancelled or postponed, and whilst we know that the team are working hard to adapt, it is creating an income shortfall. If you are able to support this local charity in their work, please donate. Any amount would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your support.

About the charity

Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind (SRSB) provides opportunity, support, friendship and services to people with sight loss in Sheffield City Region. Rotherham Sight & Sound is a division of SRSB and is a sensory service providing services for people with a sight and/or hearing loss.

Donation summary

Total raised
+ £689.33 Gift Aid
Online donations
Offline donations
Direct donations
Donations via fundraisers

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