New service provider for people with sight loss in Midlothian and East Lothian
East Lothian and Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnerships (HSCPs) have announced a new service provider for local people with sight loss.
The charity Sight Scotland take over from the Royal National Institute of Blind People as the East Lothian and Midlothian Visual Impairment Support Service provider on a three-year contract.
Sight Scotland aims to extend their support to hundreds of people with sight loss in the council areas through the Visual Impairment Support Service.
Alison White, chief social work officer, Midlothian HSCP, said: “We are delighted to be working with Sight Scotland going forward.
"This well established and highly thought of provider shares the same values and commitment as Midlothian HSCP. In partnership, we aim to provide the right care and support, in the right place, at the right time, to all Midlothian residents living with, or affected by, sight loss.”
Women’s Royal Army Corps veteran Marjorie Paton (86), from Bonnyrigg, has received specialist support from Sight Scotland’s sister charity, Sight Scotland Veterans. She said: “The more people we can get to realise that there is help out there, the better. It’s about getting to know where you can go to get help.
"I think there are many people out there who are struggling to cope with their eyesight. It will be wonderful for anyone impacted by sight loss to have this support through Sight Scotland.
“When I was diagnosed with macular degeneration, I remember I just burst into tears. I felt like that was the end of my world. But with the support of organisations like Sight Scotland Veterans I’ve learned you can still do things with sight loss.
"My sight is getting bad now, but I can still get out. It won’t defeat me.
"I’ve learned new skills and am using helpful equipment like talking scales – what a difference that has made to my baking. All these things you don’t know exist until you get some support.
“Recently my rehabilitation officer has helped me with suitable portable lighting and advice to get me back to watercolour painting at home.
"These changes can be very simple things, but the impact it has and how it helps me is unbelievable.”
Mark O’Donnell, Chief Executive of Sight Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be delivering East Lothian and Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnerships’ visual impairment services. Sight Scotland has provided life-changing support, education and learning to people with sight loss for over two centuries. We are looking forward to reaching out to even more people with our provision of the Visual Impairment Support Service.
“Sight loss impacts people in different ways, and we are dedicated to working closely with each individual to provide them with support to help them reach their own goals and maintain their independence.”
To enquire about support from the service, call 0131 385 7488 or visit https://sightscotland.org.uk/EdinburghandLothians.