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Northumberland County Blind Association

Spotlight on: Vision Northumberland

As part of our Spotlight on… series we are shining a light on Vision Northumberland, formerly Northumberland County Blind Association.

Vision Northumberland is a local charity based in Morpeth which provides advice and support services to blind and visually impaired people to enable them to gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to live a fulfilled and independent life. It offers a home visiting service, clubs and support groups, telephone counselling, volunteer drivers to help clients get around, computer training, help with energy bills, low vision aids assessments and much more. Clients can also benefit from regular phone calls with the charity’s telephone support service, Client Connect (formerly Sightline).

Vision Northumberland’s volunteers based across the county have recently been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

The award recognises the vital support that the charity provided to the community in response to the pandemic by setting up a telephone befriending service with 91 volunteers making telephone calls. At the height of the pandemic over 600 visually impaired people were contacted to reduce isolation, loneliness and provide a lifeline during unprecedented times. Our very own Healthwatch staff team and volunteers were happy to be involved in this project.

You can get in touch by calling 01670 514316 or email info@visionnorthumberland.org.uk

fuel advice northumberland

Fuel Advice for Sensory Impaired

Two Sensory Impairment Fuel Advisors  – Julie Swan and Karen Renner – have recently been appointed on a project being delivered by Citizens Advice and Northumberland County Blind Association. Julie has worked in the charity sector for over 30 years, including with The Macular Society.  As a parent of a son with visual impairment she has some understanding of the challenges faced by visually impaired people. Karen has worked with a number of charities in Northumberland on several projects including cancer advocacy and mental health programmes. Karen has worked with a number of charities in Northumberland on several projects including cancer advocacy and mental health programmes. Julie and Karen welcome the opportunity to assist people in reducing their fuel costs and improving the efficiency of their usage.

What do they do?

The Fuel Advisors can work with you to give you more control over your energy bills.  This may involve assistance with switching your supplier, using technology to help you get the most from your fuel or showing you visual aids to assist you with your meter readings or general energy use.

They can also inform you about the availability of services such as the Warm Home Discount or Priority Services Register.

You may just want information about small things you can do or adjustments you can make to manage your energy bills more efficiently.

What financial advice is available?

As a result of coronavirus measures many of us are spending more time at home and especially with winter on its way.  As a consequence, households may be facing increased energy bills.

Northumberland County Blind Association is working with Citizens Advice to deliver support to people in relation to their energy use.

Citizens Advice can help you find out if you qualify for benefits or if you are eligible for a grant.

 

If you would like to know more about this service or how it may be able to help you please call: 01670 339749.