As part of our Waterman Aspen CSR programme, one of our clients, Manchester City Council, shared with us some volunteer sites and ways in which WA could help the community. Waterman Aspen have signed up to a few volunteer sites, and one of Divisional Director Linda McGregor’s choices was “Be My Eyes” as she has often wanted to find how to assist in this area.
The charity makes it so easy for support to be offered, using a simple phone app. As a sighted volunteer you help just by installing the Be My Eyes app and responding when the alert comes from blind or low-vision person requesting assistance to sighted volunteers.
With approx 278,000 blind or a low-vision users signed up to this, they can require help with anything from checking expiry dates, distinguishing colours, reading instructions, or navigating new surroundings. The support is required not just in Manchester but in the whole of the UK.
Linda commented “It’s honestly been a joy to help and chat as a volunteer and it has given me a further insight as to the challenges and also successes encountered in their life, despite having one of their 5 senses limited or completely impaired.
I’ve found it an interesting way to offer support, be it reading the details on a tin and describing how to drain tuna, to describing an item found in a garage that the person could not understand what it was or assisting when their normal aids were away or sick. Many of the people I have spoken to have good careers (civil service included) through the intervention of IT and specialised “readers”. I have also spoken to children or younger people and helped them with shopping online.”
Jade Tonge from Manchester City Council said “MCC encourage all of their suppliers to give back to the local community through various social value opportunities. We are delighted that WA has found a charity that goes the extra mile for those that really need it. A wonderful initiative that any supplier can get involved in.”
If you want to know more about it or wish to volunteer, the website can be found here Be My Eyes – See the world together