Sight Loss Council sighted guides needed in Sussex. Can you help?
Sussex Sight Loss Councils are recruiting sighted guides to support their blind and partially sighted volunteer members.
Sight Loss Councils (SLC), funded by national sight loss charity Thomas Pocklington Trust, are regional groups led by blind and partially sighted volunteer members. Together, they use their lived experience to tackle local and national issues, and work with organisations to improve the accessibility of their services.
The sighted guide role
The role will be to provide a variety of support to our SLC members but with a key responsibility for guiding people safely in unfamiliar environments.
Depending on the activity, you could be:
- A floating person offering support at our monthly SLC meeting or at events, etc. Duties in this role would be to help SLC members with navigating the building (finding entrance/exit, bathroom, etc), making drinks, helping with refreshments and help getting to a taxi or bus stop.
- A dedicated support for a SLC member. Duties in this role would be to help them get from their home to a set location (for a site visit or to carry out project work), supporting them on public transport, finding people, perhaps taking notes or verbalising information (explaining a map or road layout) etc, and then supporting them to get home safely afterwards.
You can read more about the role and the tasks by viewing the Sighted Guide Job Description.
Dave Smith, Engagement Manager South East says:
““One of the challenges our SLC members face is going somewhere they’ve never been before. Going somewhere new can be daunting and stressful when you have little or no vision. Having a sighted guide available to support them and remove this pressure will enable SLC members to use more energy on our projects.”
How you will make a difference
Having a sighted guide volunteer will enable SLC members to spend more time concentrating on their projects, instead of time spent trying to get around or worrying about finding people and places.
You will become a vital part of the team and help to ensure that the SLC continues to make a positive change in the local community.
Skills, experience, and qualities needed
There are no specific skills or qualities needed to be a sighted guide, but the following would be advantageous:
- reliable with excellent time management skills
- have a good level of mobility to be able to guide another person
- confident communicator
- calm and patient
- great people person
- friendly and approachable
- good listener, able to understand the needs of others
- happy to be around assistance dogs.
Level of commitment
There is no minimum commitment to be a sighted guide volunteer. However, due to the nature of the SLC member role, the support that they require will vary depending on the task or activity they’re involved in. Therefore, we require a satisfactory level of flexibility for this volunteer role.
To fulfil this role, you will need to complete a free training session in:
- sighted guiding
- vision impairment awareness
- involvement and boundaries.
Want to apply?
If you’re interested in becoming a sighted guide volunteer, then you can:
- contact the volunteering team by email at email@example.com
- complete the application form.
Publication date: 02 August 2023