Each week we are going to be saying “Hello” to another organisation in the VI world to learn more about who they are and what they do.
This week, we are chatting to Brittany Stead who is an RNIB Community Connection Coordinator (for Yorkshire and the Humber region).
So, Hi Brittany, please can you tell us about your role and the services that RNIB Connect provide:
I cover Yorkshire and the Humber region, but I have colleagues in other regions who do the same, or very similar. We have 3 broad areas of work, connecting blind and partially sighted people with –
1) Each other (peer support)
2) Wider services within RNIB
3) External opportunities
Can you tell us a bit more about each?
Connecting blind and partially sighted people with each other (peer support) is based around a variety of specialist interest groups. Currently, these meet ups are all online or over the phone. Coming up in March for example we have lots of different sessions planned including: a Book group; a Cooking group; a Fitness group; an LGBTQ+ National Celebration event; a Women’s group; a Young Person’s group (age 18 to 36) plus ‘Natter up North’ and a ‘Saturday Night party’!
Connecting blind and partially sighted people with wider services within RNIB is based around signposting for additional support. This could be to our Employment team; our Technology team; our Children, Young People and Families (CYPF) team; our Campaigns team; our Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLO’s); our Counselling service; or our Sight Loss Advice service. We also regularly deliver ‘Living well with sight loss courses’ whilst ‘Connect Voices’ is an opportunity to get involved in RNIB research groups to help design and test products and influence publications.
Connecting blind and partially sighted people with external opportunities may be directly for their benefit, for example, linking them to their Local Sight Loss charity, Eye Condition support group or sporting opportunities (like a Goalball Club); or indirectly, for example, speaking to ophthalmology students to raise awareness (with future generations) around sight loss.
How do people get in touch if they would like more information?
We have community led Facebook group pages for each of the 9 English regions plus Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. We also have a group specifically for Parents and Carers:
Yorkshire and the Humber
Parents and Carers
Alternatively, you can call the RNIB National Helpline on 0303 123999, which is open from 8am to 8pm on weekdays and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the RNIB website, listen to RNIB Connect Radio online (or on Freeview channel 730) and follow RNIB on social media: