Local voluntary agencies and support groups

There are various agencies that can support, give advice and provide equipment to aid you.

Dorset Blind Association

17 Bournemouth Road
Lower Parkstone
BH14 0EF
Tel: 01202 712860
Email: info@dorsetblind.org.uk

Dorset Blind Association provides a resource centre for people who are visually or hearing impaired throughout Dorset. They offer advice, support, contacts, information and equipment, social opportunities across the county. Services include:
• Resource Centre – a wide range of low vision aids and equipment is available to help improve life for people with sight loss. For people with hearing loss a member of the local Social Services Sight and Hearing Team can be seen by appointment contact 01202 712869 to arrange this. The Resource Centre is open Monday – Friday 9am – 12 noon.

• Home Visiting Service – provides visits by trained and vetted volunteers to members in their own home. A flexible service adapted to the individual members needs, help is offered with going on short walks, assisting with forms and paperwork, sorting/reading mail, tidying kitchen cupboards, writing letters or cards, general friendship. Younger members can also access this service on request.

There are five Home Visiting Co-Coordinators covering Christchurch & East Dorset:
• Christchurch, Highcliffe, Ferndown, Verwood, Wimborne - Lorraine Smith tel: 07989 671908

There are two Home Visiting Co-Coordinators covering Purbeck and North Dorset:
• Dorchester and Purbeck – Swanage, Wareham, Studland, Upton – Helen Basson tel: 01929 481110.

• North Dorset – Blandford, Sturminster Newton, Gillingham, Sherborne and Shaftsbury – Leah Cross tel: 07789 997620.

There are three Home Visiting Co-Coordinators covering West Dorset areas:
• Dorchester and Purbeck – Swanage, Wareham, Studland, Upton – Helen Basson tel: 01929 481110.

• North Dorset – Blandford, Sturminster Newton, Gillingham, Sherborne and Shaftsbury – Leah Cross tel: 07789 997620.

• West Dorset – Weymouth, Portland, Bridport, Beaminster, Lyme Regis – contact the main office on 01202 712860

• Audio Library – an extensive catalogue of up to 2,000 talking book titles are available through our Audio Library. Titles are available through our mail order service which operates under the free Articles for the Blind postage service. For more information contact the Resource Centre on 01202 712869.

• Social, Handicraft, Activity Clubs – We run clubs in many areas of the county managed and supported by volunteers. The format of each club differs slightly offering a range of entertainers, speakers, quizzes, bingo and raffles. Handicraft clubs work on knitting, sewing, basket making, and cane work. Activity clubs range from ballroom dancing, talking book clubs, to Indoor Bowls. For info about clubs in Christchurch and Highcliffe contact 01202 712860.

• Sight Equipment Vehicles – travel the county promoting the charity and taking low vision equipment to members in their own homes enabling them to touch and try out equipment to suit their needs.

Low vision services

The RNIB is working with Social Services, Primary Care Trusts and other Voluntary Agencies to develop UK-wide, high-quality low vision services. Low vision services are available to people who despite having regular eye tests, wearing up-to-date glasses or contact lenses, are still experiencing problems with their sight but are not registered blind.

The RNIB produce an ‘Adapting to Sight Loss’ guide, other information products and aids that offer practical advice and assistance on how to make the best of your sight. The
guides cover low vision aids such as magnifiers and give ideas for changes you can make at home to make things easier to see. The RNIB also offer help with:
• Information on your eye condition and available treatments

• Advice on financial benefits and discounts you may be entitled to

• Let you know of support available in your local area via RNIB and Action for Blind People

• Recommend products to make life easier

• Provide information about social groups, leisure time activities

• Audio Library Service

• Employment, Training, Education opportunities

• Housing options

• Emotional support and access to counselling services

For further information contact:

Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB)

105 Judd Street
Tel: 020 7388 1266 (Admin).
Email: helpline@rnib.org.uk

Helpline: 0303 123 9999 – Open: Monday – Friday 8.45am – 5.30pm. Answerphone available out of hours.

Local low vision centres

Royal Bournemouth Hospital (Eye Clinic)
Outpatients Appointments: 01202 704355 open 8.30am – 5pm Monday – Friday

Able to provide written information, individual information and support, referral from GP or other health professional required for treatment.

Dorset Blind Association also staff a Help & Advice Desk at the Eye Unit, Royal Bournemouth Hospital as a way of providing people who are newly diagnosed with severe sight loss or see their condition worsening, with immediate information and support of a non-medical nature.

Out of hours emergencies please visit the Accident and Emergency Dept.

Clinics may also be held at:

Dorset County Hospital
Royal Eye Infirmary
Williams Ave
Dorchester, Dorset
Tel: 01305 255254

Able to provide written information, individual information and support, referral from GP or other health professional required for treatment.

Bridport Community Hospital
Out Patient Dept
Hospital Lane
North Allington
Dorset, DT6 5DR
Tel: 01308 422371
Fax: 01308 426239

Yeatman Hospital
Hospital Lane
Tel: 01935 813991

Swanage Hospital
Out Patient Dept
Queens Rd
BH19 2ES
Tel: 01929 475021


National organisations

British Blind Sport

Pure Offices, Plato Close
Tachbrook Park
Leamington Spa
CV34 6WE
Tel: 01926 424247
Fax: 01926 427775
Email: info@britishblindsport.org.uk

The work of the charity enables visually impaired people to have the same opportunities as sighted people to access and enjoy sport and recreational activities in the UK.

British Telecom (BT)

BT offers a range of services to older or disabled customers to help them communicate more effectively. For further information contact: 0800 800 150 or visit the website: www.btplc.com/inclusion

BT Basic is a low cost line rental scheme for customers on the following benefits:
• Income Support

• Income-based Job Seekers Allowance

• Guaranteed Pension Credit

• Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

For further details contact BT on 0800 783 1675 or visit the website: www.bt.com

Healthcall Optical and Hearing Services

Unit 5, Titan Court
Laporte Way

Local office

Unit 3 & 4 Arena Business Centre
9 Nimrod Way
BH21 7SH
Tel: 0845 601 7241
Email: info@healthcalloptical.co.uk

A full and comprehensive eye examination within your own home using the most up-to-date equipment specifically designed for home visits. Our teams carry a large variety of spectacle frames, ranging from budget styles (provided free to those entitled to an NHS voucher) to the latest designer frames, plus all types of lenses at highly competitive prices. (Please note the lenses are not carried by our clinical staff).
When the spectacles are ready they are delivered to the patient’s home and expertly fitted by one of our dispensing opticians or trained clinical assistants. For further details and to book an appointment call 0800 089 0166.
Healthcall are also able to carry out hearing tests in your own home if you require one, for details and appointments for the hearing test contact 0845 644 5000.

The Macular Disease Society

PO Box 1870
SP10 9AD
Helpline: 0300 3030 111
Email: info@maculardisease.org

The Macular Disease Society aims to build confidence and independence for those with central vision impairment by offering a range of support and information services to those newly diagnosed and those with an interest in Macular Disease.

Partially Sighted Society

7/9 Benntthorpe
Tel: 0844 477 4966
Fax: 0844 477 4969
Email: info@partsight.org.uk

The Partially Sighted Society provides information, advice, equipment, and clear print material for people with a visual impairment to help them to make the best use of their
remaining sight. The Society can call on the skills of ophthalmologists, optometrists, and lighting and rehabilitation specialists.


Wimborne and East Dorset Macular Degeneration Support Group

4A Tower Lane
BH21 2QP

A local support group for people with Macular Degeneration. For further information contact: Mr Alan Barr Tel 01202 887792.



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