MySight York is the new name for the city’s long established charity, York Blind & Partially Sighted Society. The go-to place, right in the centre of the city, to get the support you need, with any form of sight loss, from a friendly and knowledgeable team.
January sees the charity starting a year long series of events celebrating their 40th anniversary.
The charity has a simple core value of enabling everyone to ‘live well with sight loss’. Losing your sight, can be an extremely challenging time both practically and emotionally. But the services at MySight York enable people to make confident choices about all aspects of their lives.
Welcoming, skilled staff greet you as soon as you walk through the door offering life changing practical advice, emotional support and answers. They also show you how to use equipment and technology that makes your life easier, and have a whole range of supported activities for you to get involved in.
A dedicated team of over 50 ‘home visiting’ volunteers enable people to be more independent in their own home. They help with a range of activities and offer support and provide companionship and do the little things that really matter; reading out a letter, writing out a birthday card or visiting a nearby cafe, for example.
And MySight York has a hospital based sight support service too, where people can receive practical and emotional support, directly in York, Scarborough, Bridlington and other outlying Hospital Eye Clinics.
Karen Froggatt, Chief Executive of MySight York, joined the organisation from RNIB in June last year.
She talked of the organisation, the change in name and what it meant to her:
“I have joined an incredible organisation, with fabulous staff providing a crucial service to support people affected by sight loss.
“But our look and name felt dated, and it really didn’t convey what our organisation was all about. We are such an important part of the community,and our services are available to everyone.
“Many of our members have said it was a ‘life saver’ coming here. I want to shout about that!
“We help anyone affected by sight loss, no matter what stage they are at with their sight, so MySight fitted the bill perfectly. And when one of our members said ‘You can’t say MySight without smiling!’ I knew the name was perfect.
“I can’t wait to celebrate our 40th Anniversary with everyone during this year."
Barbara a MySight York member lost her sight very suddenly when she had a bleed in her right eye, which led to a diagnosis of Myopic Macular Degeneration. As a Consultant Psychiatrist she felt her world shatter. Surely this would be the end of her career?
It was a trip to MySight York that helped her.
“Deb, the Sight Support Advisor immediately gave me hope. She assured me I would get back to work again and then went on to give the advice and support I needed..
“Funnily enough it was the little things that made a difference, getting things in large print for example and writing with a black felt tip, rather than a biro.”
Indeed Barbara did go back to work for a further two years and then took early retirement. What does she do now? She volunteers at MySight of course! She monitors the home visiting volunteers and acts as an independent appraiser of the work they do. Barbara loves volunteering.
“The difference a home volunteer makes to people’s lives is amazing.
“My life is totally different now,” she went on to say, “It will never be the same, but actually it might just be better!”
Volunteer Martin, an ex-Dentist, found himself at a cross roads when he took early retirement from his practice after a stressful time.
It was when his 100 year old neighbour starting losing her sight that he searched out MySightYork and he decided to volunteer there and then.
He is now a home visiting volunteer and feels his own life has been enriched.
He feels good to be doing something so worthwhile for someone, someone who wouldn’t be able to live so independently without him. Volunteering is mutually beneficial he believes, you feel good and you do good.
Greg, another MySight York member, lost his sight suddenly some 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.”
If you or anyone you know is affected by sight loss, don’t hesitate to call or pop into MySight York.
And if you want to volunteer, please get in touch.
Our phone number is 01904 636269 and we are based at Rougier House, 5 Rougier Street, York Y01 6HZ, conveniently where many buses drop off and pick up.