Coronavirus update –1st May 2020

The government have warned that people are starting to go out and not adhere to staying at home and social distancing.

Going out will cause a second OUTBREAK and more cases will occur.  Please stay safe, stay at home and only leave if it is essential.

We have printed our May newsletter and it can be found on this website, within in our several pages of help and useful numbers.  Further our Talking News goes out every Saturday between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm on Vectis Radio and repeated every Tuesday between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm which has local news and updates from RNIB, guide dogs and the Isle of Wight Eye Clinic Liaison Officer, plus a new poem each week to enjoy.

PLEASE stay safe stay home. 

We are aiming to provide as much information, help and support to our members in this difficult time.  This summary update gives clear information on who to contact for help, advice (including medical advice on your specific eye conditions) and practical support.

What has changed?

Activities and Group Meetings

As you are hopefully aware all activities and face-to-face meetings have been cancelled until further notice.  Staff are working remotely from home.

Audio Library

With Millbrooke House closed, we have contacted the RNIB and they confirm our members can join their audio library with online download or currently they are still posting out CD’s and USB’s.  Please call 0303 123 9999 and this can all be set up over the telephone.

Talking News

Vectis Radio and a team of our own volunteers are still producing the Talking News every Friday.  It is being aired on Vectis Radio 104.6 FM:

Saturday 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Tuesday 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Listen anytime through our website www.iwsb.org.uk

What hasn’t changed?

Staff have now set up to work remotely from home and our phone lines remain open Monday to Friday 9:00am to 4:30pm.  Outside of these times there is always voicemail which we will monitor as best we can.

We are here and happy to chat through your concerns or offer practical help as best we can.  Please do not hesitate to call us:

Sight for Wight

01983 522205

General Help & AdviceRNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999

Eye Hospital appointment / worries regarding your eye condition. Laura Gooljar – 07885 210891

Local support and help for those facing isolationIsle of Wight Council Helpline 01983 823600

Action on Hearing Loss Isle of WightProvide statutory support for people with Sight Loss01983 529533

Mountbatten ‘Keep Connected’ Helpline. Call 24/7 if you need a listening ear – 01983 53333 of local help around the Island.

NEWSLETTER

The number of local organisations that are now offering local help is numerous. These will all be listed in our newsletter which is being printed as we speak.

In the meantime do not hesitate to call and we can give you this information over the phone. If the lines are busy with outgoing calls PLEASE leave a message; we will return your call.

BUS PASSES ON THE ISLE OF WIGHT

The Isle of Wight Council has extended its support for elderly people during the COVID-19 crisis.

Bus passes for Island bus users who are over 65 will be valid before 9.30am, to help older travellers access supermarkets which have made available early shopping time slots for elderly people.

Key Ways Sight for Wight is Offering Help and Support

1.       We are in the process of phoning every single memner to make sure you have all the support and practical help you need now. Please expect a call from us.

Sight for Wight phoneline remains open as usual on weekdays (from 9:00am – 4:30pm). Staff will be working and in addition to the usual advice and support about anything to do with living with sight loss, our team can offer further support to anyone with sight loss who becomes isolated or is concerned about accessing information, products or services.

 You can call us on 01983 522205 / email members@iwsb.org.uk

2.       As people are spending more time at home, we are offering more opportunities to connect with others online; you can join our Facebook Page, Sight for Wight where we are encouraging people to share local information, useful hints and tips.  Click HERE for Facebook page.

3.     We continue to update our website and talking news with updates in an accessible format.

4.       We are here to help to connect you to sources of local support and find solutions with anyone who calls us. Not all the information about Covid-19 is accessible so If anyone is finding it challenging to access key information, we can help.

5. We are producing our quarterly newsletter early in April and this is packed with local help and information

You can call us on 01983 522205 Or email members@iwsb.org.uk.

You can contact Laura Gooljar who is the Isle of Wight Eye Clinic Liaison Officer and a Trustee of Sight for Wight. Laura is available for people who are newly diagnosed or have a change in their sight or are concerned about missed appointments.

Laura Gooljar on 07885 210891 or email Laura.Gooljar@rnib.org.uk

FINANCIAL ADVICE

Hello I am Lisa the Finance Officer at Sight for Wight. I wanted to tell you about a few initiatives the government has put in place for individuals. 

If you are employed and you can longer do your role because the business cannot continue with the current pandemic, your employer may approach you to confirm that this is the case and therefore they will be looking to change your employment status to a “furlough worker.”  This means your employment is put on hold, the government will pay 80% of your usual wages and you will have to stop work completely.   This means you can no longer answer your work phone or work emails, you must completely stop work.  The government has issued a huge amount of guidance on this which is on www.gov.uk

If you are self-employed there is a similar scheme but the government will pay 80% of your average profits over the last three years.  You must have lost trade due to the virus outbreak and must have been trading at the time prior to its outbreaks.  Further you must have filed tax returns for the prior year. Again, the government has issued a huge amount of guidance on this which is on www.gov.uk

If you have a mortgage, a large number of mortgage providers are offering three months payment holidays.  They are making the process of applying very simple by going online and, in a lot of cases, it takes less than two minutes.  Please contact your own mortgage provider to see what they are offering.

Finally, there are grants and business rates holidays being offered to businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors and you can apply via the isle of wight Council website www.iow.gov.uk.

Stay safe stay home!

Lisa Hollyhead

GENERAL ADVICE

Finally, we would like to re-enforce the government guidelines on social distancing and self isolation.  Everyone needs to stop the spread of this virus with social distancing and if you are considered “at risk” you should follow guidelines on self-isolation.

Personal hygiene is at the root of stopping the spread of this virus, so to protect yourself and others you are advised to:

Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.

Avoid all contact with people respecting the 2 metre social distancing advice at all times.

Washing your hands means 60 seconds with soap and water.

Try singing Happy Birthday twice through!

Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Thank you, we hope you all stay say, and remember your own mental health at this time is as important as your physical health so pick up the phone and talk to someone STAY SAFE STAY HOME