Webinar recording: Life after lockdown in Merseyside

Did you miss Merseyside SLC’s VI Forum? Catch up now!

Merseyside Sight Loss Council held a VI Forum on Friday, 17 September, to tackle the challenges blind and partially sighted people face as everything opens up again. The forum is a great way to find out about the services and support available for blind and partially sighted people in Merseyside.

Our speakers

  • Michael Crilly, Director of Social Inclusion & Participation, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, The Life Rooms
  • Ian Edwards, Service Manager, Sightline befriending service
  • Kelly Barton, Founder, Six Dots Counselling


 Director of Social Inclusion & Participation, Mersey Care NHS, Micheal Crilly, said:

“You may live with a health condition, but it shouldn’t be the only thing that defines you; you are entitled to a life that is full.” 

He also spoke about the range of support available a the Life Rooms. With facilities in Walton, Southport and Bootle, The Life Rooms offer a range of life opportunities for service users, carers and the community to promote positive mental health and wellbeing. These are welcoming spaces to meet others, access opportunities and learn about support and resources available in the area.

Later, Ian Edwards, Service Manager at Sightline spoke about the particular challenges that arose out of the pandemic, he said: 

“We saw a 100% increase in people being referred to our service during the pandemic… We’ve found it difficult to recruit volunteers during the pandemic.” 

You can find out more about volunteering for Sightline and their work here. Sightline provides a free, secure and confidential telephone-based befriending service to blind and partially sighted people. Launched in August 2018 the service has now been accessed by nearly 200 people supported by over 100 volunteers, most of whom are themselves blind or partially sighted. The Sightline number is: 0800 587 2252

Kelly Barton set up six dots counselling to provide a sight loss counselling service for people in the Sefton and Merseyside area (and much further afield via online & telephone counselling). Kelly Barton talked about the free counselling on offer to blind and partially sighted people in Merseyside. 

Find out more about Six Dots here


Watch the webinar below.

Webinar Transcript Download a transcript of the webinar here

Join Merseyside Sight Loss Council

Want to campaign for more accessible services for blind and partially sighted people in Merseyside? Influence positive change by volunteering for our Sight Loss Council.

Find out more here

Publication date: 24 September 2021

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