National Eye Health Week 2021
We are supporting National Eye Health Week (NEHW) from 20th to 26th September, an annual event promoting the importance of good eye health and the need for everyone to have regular eye tests. NEHW is an opportunity to highlight our specialist services for blind and sight impaired adults and children across West Sussex, and our recent announcement of new services for 2021, its 100th anniversary year.
Sight is the sense people fear losing the most, yet many of us don’t know how to look after our eyes – National Eye Health Week aims to change all that! Eye tests are not just about checking whether your vision needs correcting through glasses, but are vital for checking the health of the eye. Eye health checks detect many general health problems and early signs of eye conditions before you’re aware of any symptoms, many of which can be treated if found early enough.
It also promotes tips to keep eyes healthy including the importance of leafy greens, bright fruit and veg, eggs and oily fish in our diet, all of which contain antioxidants which can help to prevent retinal damage. It also explains the importance of protection from the sun such as choosing a pair of sunglasses with the CE mark which ensures you have the right level of ultraviolet protection.
Some of the new services introduced by 4Sight Vision Support, and open to all, are a direct result of how we have adapted to provide support to our members throughout the pandemic. We are now able to help with accessing benefits and concessions: advisors can assist with completing Personal Independence Payment (PIP) forms, which can make a huge difference to the quality of life, independent living, and general wellbeing. Advice can also be given on obtaining a 50% TV license discount, applying for a Blue Badge, and other travel concessions.
Other new services include a dedicated Accessible Technology Specialist providing advice and assistance with using everyday technology such as tablets, laptops, mobile phones, and home speakers, and a Dedicated Vision Support service for children, young people, and families.
We also continues to offer online social activities and peer support groups such as quizzes, book clubs, history and theatre discussion groups, as well technology Q&A/ demo sessions.
Our CEO Kirstie Thomas said,
“National Eye Health Week is an opportunity for everyone to discover how to take simple steps to take care of their sight in the long term and is a great platform for us to highlight the importance of eye health care. We are also very grateful to everyone at Bognor Regis Town Football Club for their continued support and allowing us to join them at their home match on Saturday 25th so that we can promote awareness of this, whilst raising some much needed funds to support 4 Sight Vision Support’s free services.”
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Sussex Community Foundation, Hospital Saturday Fund, Shanly Foundation, Nationwide Community Grants, National Lottery, Thomas Pocklington Trust for contributing to the cost of delivering these services and make this support possible.
In addition, it would like to thank the Postcode Society Trust for a grant of £19,898 towards a Vision Support Coordinator helping people of working age (31-64) to remain in/access employment, obtain benefits, and continue to be active participants in family life and their wider community.
To find out more about how we can support you or someone you know living with sight loss, call 01243 828555.
For more details about NEHW visit www.visionmatters.org.uk