MySight York is the new name for York’s long established charity, York Blind & Partially Sighted Society. In 2019 they celebrate their 40th anniversary and the time seemed right for modernising.
Karen Froggatt, Chief Executive of MySight York says:
“Our look and name felt dated and it really didn’t convey what we are all about. We are an important part of the community and our services are available to everyone.
“We help anyone affected by sight loss no matter what their circumstances are and we are there for their friends and family too. When one of our members said, ‘You can’t say MySight York without smiling!’ I knew the name was perfect “
MySight York has a simple core value of enabling everyone to ‘live well with sight loss’. Their services enable people to make confident choices about all aspects of their lives in order to combat the practical and emotional challenges of losing your sight.
Their staff are able to offer practical advice, emotional support and information. They can demonstrate a vast range of equipment and guide people in the use of technology. They also run a full programme of supported activities, ranging from Boccia and Tai Chi to more sedate pastimes like knitting, singing, book group or socializing with friends on a trip to the theatre.
A dedicated team of over 50 ‘home visiting’ volunteers enable people to be more independent in their own homes. They offer support and provide companionship and help with the little things that really matter; reading a letter, writing a birthday card or visiting a nearby cafe, for example.
MySight York also provides a free, confidential counselling service – Talking Space – offering the opportunity for people to talk openly about any emotional difficulties they may be experiencing in a supportive environment.
They also run a hospital based sight support service, where people can receive practical and emotional support, directly in York, Scarborough, Bridlington and other outlying hospital eye clinics.
The community also benefits from MySight York’s transcription service which provides information to a wide range of organisations in large print, braille and audio formats.
Greg, a MySight York member, lost his sight suddenly 8 years ago. He shared his sight loss journey and how MySight York has helped.
“I went from being a successful professional to someone on benefits.
“Losing your sight is extremely isolating and disabling. You suddenly are unable to do so many things that you used to take for granted. It affects you massively physically and mentally.
“When Adult Social Services introduced MySight York to me I felt a whole new world open up.
“Not only were there gadgets immediately recommended to me so I could do practical things again, but there were people, both sighted and non-sighted who understood me.
“Suddenly, I no longer felt so alone.”
Karen went on to say:
“There are many more people who will be going through a similar experience to Greg in and around York. We hope that changing our name to something that feels more accessible and inclusive will encourage them to contact us so that we can provide the help and support they need. We consulted with our members and volunteers and held focus groups in order to decide upon the new name so everyone has played a part and everyone has helped share the news by distributing posters and coasters around the City.”