And still these strange times continue! Here at Sight Advice South Lakes we continue to support our members with sight impairments in ways we had not thought possible. At the beginning of lockdown, we would never have thought that we would be linking in with so many of our members – both visually impaired and sighted – in mostly unchartered ways. Not only that, but we are being contacted by folk with sight impairments from all over the UK who are enjoying the services we are providing on Zoom.
As part of the Circles project we are keen to find opportunities to challenge the preconceptions of the wider public of the potential achievements of those with sight impairments and to increase understanding of what our members can do despite their reduced sight. Sometimes we have to work with our members to reassure them that activities they had automatically considered impossible may indeed be obtainable with the appropriate support.
One such opportunity has been a talk by Jesse Dufton (see his amazing film Climbing Blind on BBC iplayer) who agreed to talk to us about his rock-climbing career despite his almost total sight loss. His stories of how he climbs even the most extreme climbing routes and his positive thinking has been inspirational to some of our members. I have just spoken to an 84-year-old former cyclist who attended his talk and is now considering a trial on a tandem once ‘this is all over’ as a result.
We may be working in difficult circumstances and in very different ways but the person-centred approach of the Circles model continues as the basis of our work within Sight Advice. I wonder what changes the next few months will hold for both our members and the delivery of the Circles model. We’ll let you know!