Volunteers in Wales needed to support blind and partially sighted people

RNIB Cymru (Royal National Institute of Blind People) is calling on people in Wales to give up a few hours of their time to help blind and partially sighted people get online.
According to the findings of new research about volunteering by RNIB, 80 per cent of people who volunteer say it makes them feel happier. Another 47 per cent of respondents in the UK who do not volunteer said they want to in the future, with more than one in 10 people most keen to share their technology skills.
The research was commissioned to mark the start of RNIB’s initiative to recruit more volunteers for its Online Today project to help 6000 people with sensory loss across Wales get online.
Since its launch in 2015, Online Today events throughout Wales and the UK have helped thousands of people with sight and hearing loss get online. Now RNIB is appealing to local people to commit a few hours a month to visit blind and partially sighted people in their own homes and help them develop digital skills like browsing the internet, sending emails, and using an e-reader.
RNIB Cymru Digital Inclusion Manager Chris Hoyle said:
“It’s fantastic that people are so keen to volunteer locally. It proves that volunteering and giving back to your community really is good for the soul.
“This is why we want enthusiastic and committed people in Wales to become Digital Skills Support volunteers. Spending a few hours a month helping a person with sight loss to develop the online skills many of us take for granted can transform that person’s life, and boost their independence.”
There are more than 106,000 people with sight loss in Wales many of whom would benefit from being supported by volunteers to learn online skills.
For more information about volunteering for Online Today please go to www.rnib.org.uk/onlinevolunteer

The research for RNIB was carried out from 12-15 February 2016 among 1,004 adults in the UK.

About RNIB Cymru
Every 15 minutes, someone in the UK begins to lose their sight.
RNIB Cymru is the largest sight loss organisation in Wales. We provide support through education, transition and employment services; specialist advice through our welfare rights, Online Today and Visibly Better services; and emotional support through our Eye Clinic Liaison Service to people living with sight loss. We also campaign for improvements to services and to raise awareness of the issues facing blind and partially sighted people. For more information, see www.rnib.org.uk/cymru.

About Online Today
Online Today Cymru is funded by Big Lottery Wales and is being delivered by RNIB Cymru in partnership with North Wales Society for the Blind and Vision Support. The project covers practical topics to make sure that people with sensory loss can enjoy the same benefits of being online that many people take for granted; from browsing websites and setting up your email account to ‘Skyping’ with friends and family on the other side of the world.


Could you become a leading figure in a small team of volunteers in your area? Go to http://www.rnib.org.uk/volunteering/find-volunteering-opportunities-near-you/community-connector (http://www.rnib.org.uk/volunteering/find-volunteering-opportunities-near-you/community-connector) to find out more about RNIB's Community Connector role.

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