Visionary and RNIB are working in partnership to ensure that people living with sight loss are aware of the range of services available, especially those provided by local sight loss organisations. This work pre-dates the emergence of COVID-19, however the major disruption COVID-19 restrictions brought to sight loss services saw a significant shift to telephone helplines as being sources of information and support – something both Visionary members and the RNIB are acutely aware of. It is now more important than even that information is shared across organisations to ensure people can benefit from the wide range of services provided by local and national organisations.
To support this sector-wide response, Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT) have funded a new 12-month project to improve the quality of online information available about local sight loss charities. A Digital Engagement Officer, Alex Wallis, will start working with RNIB and Visionary from February 2021 and will be reaching out to local and regional organisations to establish the services currently offered, and how they can ensure their information is updated regularly. Alex will also be increasing awareness and engagement with sector wide digital tools such as Sight Advice FAQ and Sightline Directory.
Visionary and RNIB are tracking signposting, referrals and online pageviews for local charities. From April – December 2020 there were:
- 5401 signposts from RNIB ECLOs to local sight loss charities
- 1724 referrals from RNIB ECLOs to local sight loss charities
- 964 direct signposts / referrals from RNIB Helpline / Advice Line
- 5394 additional instances of callers to RNIB being offered information about their local sight loss charity.
RNIB and Visionary are pleased to be working together on this and will continue to be monitor the data and consider how it can be used. A full year of monitoring information will be available in April which will enable further trend analysis and year-year comparison. More information will follow about how you can work with Alex Wallis to improve information about your local services.