Home Visiting Volunteers provide companionship and support to members who have asked for regular home visits. Our members are all blind or partially sighted – many are older people who have developed sight problems and may now find it difficult to live active independent lives without some extra help. Volunteers can provide a real life-line to help people maintain independent living skills and social contacts.
Volunteers may undertake a variety of tasks – just visiting at home for a chat, or perhaps going out to help with shopping or for a social activity. Many of our members value help with their correspondence – reading, sorting paperwork, answering mail etc. Or perhaps you would like to help someone with a hobby or skill – gardening, cooking, using the computer. Most visitors visit a client regularly once a week or once a fortnight for a couple of hours, and our clients look forward to their regular visit and value a fairly long-term relationship if possible. (Most of our volunteers so love the work they do that they stay for years!)
Volunteers are carefully matched with a client, taking interests, availability, and geographical location into account. All volunteers are required to undertake three initial short training sessions (3-4 hours) to learn about working with and supporting people with a visual impairment. Ongoing support and advice, and more specialist training, is offered as required.
No previous experience of working with blind or partially sighted people is necessary, but an empathy and interest in people, especially older people is a must for this role. You would also be a good listener and have a non-judgemental attitude, and be ready to allow the client to make choices. It is helpful if you have your own car, though not essential.
Volunteers will usually visit clients in their own homes which may be anywhere within the City of York. The Society will meet volunteers travel costs to the client’s home – any costs incurred while taking a client out should be met by the client.
Please contact Catherine Bamford on 01904 636269 to discuss this role further