Recent articles.

All articles...

Quick Links.

GP? Optician? A&E? Visit the Eye Care Wales website for advice on where to seek help with eye problems.

WCB's twitter feed
WCB twitter feed

WCB Privacy notice

Administrators.

 

street

Advice for individuals and groups during the Covid-19 pandemic.

If you would like to include or revise information about your services, please contact us on 02920 473954 or email richard@wcb-ccd.org.uk.

We at WCB would like to reassure members that we are still working and will continue to provide advice and support via telephone or email.

Telephone: 02920 473954

Staff Email addresses:

Owen Williams (Director) - owen@wcb-ccd.org.uk
Rebecca Phillips (External Engagement Officer) -
bec@wcb-ccd.org.uk
Richard Bowers (Communications Officer) -
richard@wcb-ccd.org.uk

Contents:

CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION AND ADVICE.

For advice and updates about the Coronavirus, visit these official websites:

Government Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp.

The new free to use service aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19). It will also help stop the spread of misinformation in the UK, and ensure people stay home, protect the NHS and save lives. For further information about the free GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp. To use, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.

Older People's Commissioner for Wales.

Older People's Commissioner for Wales coronavirus information hub.

PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL WELLBEING

COMMUNITY SUPPORT GROUPS

Local social media groups.

Here's a list of Mutual Aid Groups. Find your local group.

Newport groups are listed in this news article in Wales Online:

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/self-isolation-elderly-vulnerable-coronavirus-17934293

Support from Volunteers

If individuals need additional support, from volunteering services, for themselves, they can contact the Volunteer Centres in their area directly. Contact details are at: https://thirdsectorsupport.wales/contact/

Prescription drug deliveries.

Accessibility Powys are assisting prescription drug deliveries for residents in Brecon and Crickhowell catchment areas: http://accessibilitypowys.org.uk/coronavirus/

Bridgend community response.

https://www.bavo.org.uk/covid-19

Volunteering in Carmarthenshire.

CAVS page on volunteers and volunteering.

LOCAL AND NATIONAL VISION IMPAIRMENT ORGANISATIONS.

Sense.

A great resource page including links to sign language versions of Covid-19 information. https://www.sense.org.uk/get-support/information-and-advice/accessible-information-on-coronavirus/

WCB Storm.

Contact Megan via megan@ucanproductions.org

Macular Society.

Latest advice regarding injection treatment:

https://www.macularsociety.org/injection-treatment-latest-advice-royal-college-ophthalmologists

Due to the coronavirus outbreak we have made the difficult decision to suspend our face to face services, which includes our local support groups.

The Macular Society wants to make sure that all our members, volunteers and people who use our services are protected as much as possible. We know that older people are especially vulnerable to this virus. For this reason we have suspended all our face to face activities, such as our local support groups for the time being.

However, we are still on the end of the phone and providing support to everyone who needs us. Please do continue to call us for support, advice, information, queries about membership or fundraising enquiries, we are always on hand to help.

We will be keeping in contact with all our supporters, volunteers and beneficiaries during this difficult time. By keeping in regular contact, we will ensure that everyone is getting the support they need and we are keeping them up to date with all the current news and information.

Our network of regional managers will also be offering conference calls to everyone, which will ensure that our members can continue to take part in a social activity, helping to reduce isolation.

You can access all of our services through our Advice and Information Service on 0300 3030 111. Our online and telephone services are as follows:

Support Group Telephone Conferencing
Our telephone conference support groups will continue to offer support and help in understanding macular disease and coming to terms with sight loss. These groups are open to anyone with a macular condition, their family and friends.

For further information contact:
Email: adele.francis@macularsociety.org (South Wales)
Telephone: Adele 07494468007
Email: marian.williams@macularsociety.org (North Wales)
Telephone: Marian 07495054053

Facebook and Twitter social media platform
Search Adele Francis Macular Society (South Wales) and Marian Williams Macular Society (North Wales) to catch up with all the latest information.

Advice and information
Our Advice and Information staff are friendly and knowledgeable professionals who can answer questions and provide information n and advice about any aspect of living with macular disease.

Befriending
Befrienders offer a friendly listening ear to people affected by macular disease, to help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Treatment buddies
Treatment buddies offer telephone support to people who are anxious about their injections, offer information and reassurance.

Counselling
Our team of professional, accredited counsellors are available for free confidential telephone sessions for anyone with macular disease, or their family, in the UK or internationally.

Anyone who would like support during this period is encouraged to call our Advice and Information Service on 0300 3030 111. All our services are free to use.

Please be assured that no matter what, our work continues.

Visual Impairment Breconshire.

Visual Impairment Breconshire has postponed all face-to-face activities. However, they will continue to operate their telephone befriending service.

The Chair, Nick Lancaster and Secretary, Rebecca Phillips will also continue to offer help and support via telephone and email. Should you wish to get in touch, please call 02920 473954 or send your message via email to: vibrecon@gmail.com

Radnorshire Association for the Blind.

All engagements and committee meetings have been postponed until the Autumn. If there are any changes, the Secretary will inform members.

Ceredigion Association for the Blind.

The Aberystwyth branch has suspended all face-to-face activities until further notice. They will continue to contact members via their telephone befriending service.

Cardigan VI Club has cancelled all activities until further notice.

Sight Life (formerly Cardiff Institute for the Blind) and Visual Impairment West Glamorgan.

Sight Life has a page giving their updates at https://sightlife.wales/news/coronavirus-update/. (See under Telephone Befriending and Support Services below)

Visual Impairment Merthyr.

All meetings and activities have been cancelled until further notice. However, they will be contacting their members regularly by telephone.

Sight Cymru.

They will continue to provide the following services over the telephone:

Contact Sight Cymru on 01495 673 650.

Blind Veterans UK

https://www.blindveterans.org.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-updates/

North Wales Society for the Blind.

The North Wales Society Rehab team are contacting all of the 3000 + people on our database by phone 

Three tiers

  1. All people receiving rehab packages have already been contacted.
  2. All those on waiting lists for services are being offered telephone based assessments. (approximate number <50)
  3. All members on the database receive a welfare call. 

Welfare calls 

Prioritisation – identifying the most vulnerable 

Calls are made in order 

  1. All clients previously referred in to rehab service as priority category 1 referrals.
  2. All those known by any member of the team to be particularly vulnerable.  (living alone, other underlying health concerns, 
  3. All those over 70 in areas where we are aware of a high number of cases of Covid 19 or in areas where we are aware of  particular strain on local services i.e food shortages , rural communities, transport problems.
  4. All those over 70 in order of age (oldest first) 

The welfare call is a partially scripted conversation to ascertain how individuals are coping and to also provide information on help and support available both locally and nationally.

Individuals who are identified as in need of further support following the initial call will receive weekly/ fortnightly  welfare calls  and will be given direct line contact details to rehab staff. 

Visit their website to view their update:
http://www.nwsb.org.uk/2020/03/19/coronavirus-covid-19/#more-693

Carmarthenshire Blind Society.

The Llanelli branch of the Carmarthenshire Blind Society have suspended all meetings indefinitely. However, they will be making regular contact with members by telephone.

LOOK.

Look has an online event for new university students.

LOOK supports VI children, young people and their families to thrive. This section outlines the support they shall continue offering during the pandemic.

LOOK is working hard to respond to the Corona Crisis. Our online mentoring support is continuing and we'll be offering online events for VI children, young adults and their families to get involved in.

We're a Cardiff born charity. Contact us if you'd like to join our LOOK Cymru group. Contact info@look-uk.org

Online Mentoring.

Our FREE online mentoring service matches VI young people aged 11 – 35 with a mentor for peer-support. Matches are made based on the mentees' needs such as a similar eye condition, similar hobbies and interests or similar studying or career aspirations. We are here for peer support at this difficult time.

Our mentors are trained VI volunteers aged 18 – 35 who can offer advice based on their own lived experience on a range of topics including:

School life, friendships and socialising, coming to terms with your VI, thinking about university and much more.

To find out more and sign up for online mentoring, please visit the mentoring pages on our website. Or email info@look-uk.org

Online Events.

Find Your Calm - Nurturing well-being sessions for VI teens, young adults and parents/guardians.

This series of 4 workshops in collaboration with Cardiff-based Dr. Sangeet Bhullar from Wise Kids will focus on how to cope with anxiety during these troubling times, and is aimed at 18-35 year-olds VIPs.

This series of workshops has been designed to help our Visually Impaired Community cope with anxiety during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Now more than ever we need to promote the wellbeing of our Visually Impaired community; from children to young adults, parents, and families.

For more information and to book your free place, contact info@look-uk.org or go to the following online booking forms:

Find Your Calm Workshop Series:

There will be more online events happening so stay tuned to our socials and website.

LOOK Creative Community

We're reaching out to VI children, young people and families to be part of our LOOK Creative community. Not sure how to spend your time at home in the coming weeks? Get involved with our LOOK.

We are launching a new media YouTube channel. We want to bring people together for fun and happy times! We're here for you. Get in touch if you'd like to get involved with this project and create some content for the channel. We're in this together! info@look-uk.org

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/looknational
Follow us on Twitter: @Look_UK https://twitter.com/look_UK
Instagram: @Look_UK.
Website: www.look-uk.org

VICTA Positivity Project.

Here's an opportunity for young people to spread some positivity: https://www.victa.org.uk/positivity-project/

RNIB.

All face-to-face activities have been suspended. The following events have also been postponed or cancelled:

Living with Sight Loss courses:

The planned courses in Aberystwyth, Pontypridd and Bridgend have been postponed, and will be rebooked for later in the year. Presently the following courses are still hoping to be run, subject to constant review:

There are also Autumn 2020 courses planned for Carmarthen and Welshpool.

Here is what RNIB is doing to assist members:

Contact RNIB on: 0303 123 9999

Guide Dogs.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Guide Dogs Cymru has suspended all routine face-to-face services, including My Guide, habilitation, and training of guide dog partnerships, both hotel-based and domiciliary. Support will be offered by phone or online. They will continue to offer their children and parents services through their advice line. The Cardiff centre is currently closed, with staff working from home where possible.

You can contact the team directly by ringing 0345 143 0195 or emailing cardiff@guidedogs.org.uk and access the latest information via the website on www.guidedogs.org.uk/coronavirus/Services.

UCAN Productions.

All workshops have been suspended until further notice. Contact UCAN Productions on: 02920870554 or 07812 051815

Royal Society for Blind Children.

All face-to-face meetings have been cancelled.

Contact Royal Society for Blind Children on: 020 3198 0225

Visionary.

All face-to-face meetings have been suspended. This is how Visionary will continue to support your organisation:

Visit their website for further updates and useful information: https://visionary.org.uk/coronavirus/

Contact Visionary on: 020 8090 9264.

International Glaucoma Association.

Here's the IGA page on coronavirus.

All upcoming IGA patient conferences and IGA-organised Glaucoma Support Groups have been cancelled.

If you attend other support groups organised by hospitals and other organisations, please be aware that these are also likely to be affected. The IGA recommend you call in advance to confirm that these events are going ahead before travelling.

Their Glaucoma Helpline remains open and their advisors will continue to provide advice and support. The helpline is open Monday-Friday from 9.30am to 5pm on 01233 64 81 70. Website: https://www.glaucoma-association.com

They also run a buddy scheme https://glaucoma-association.com/about-the-iga/what-we-do/buddies.

Vision Support.

Vision Support are temporarily suspending visits of their Community Information Service with immediate effect. They will be reviewing the situation on a weekly basis and will let people know when they will be restarting the service. They will be continuing to operate other services. If you have any questions or queries, please contact them on 01244 381515. Website: http://visionsupport.org.uk.

OPTOMETRY

Low Vision Service Wales.

Welsh Government has taken the difficult decision to suspend the Low Vision Service until further notice in order to try to shield their vulnerable patient group. If patients or stakeholders have any particular queries, contact the Service Manager on 01267 248794 or by email: Donna.Martin@wales.nhs.uk

Optometric practices.

Welsh Government have advised all optometric practices that they are to cease delivery of routine sight tests and other local and national services, including domiciliary work. However, if a patient attends with what is determined to be the need for an 'essential' consultation, they will be able to see the patient. An example would be the need for a repair of spectacles.

Low Vision Services have also been stopped but again, always a good idea to visit your optician (optometrist) and just speak to them about any problems or concerns you might be having. Your optician (optometrist) will, where they can, want to help and they can see you if they deem it to be 'essential' to your ability to function etc. Welsh Government have asked health boards to support local practices to ensure that where safe, services that you might have to access can be delivered.

If you have any queries, contact Sali Davis, CEO, Optometry Wales on 01443 400796 or email Salidavis@optometrywales.com

Cwm Taf Care and Repair

Cwm Taf Care and Repair is launching two new services to help older people in the area during the corona virus crisis:

If you know of any vulnerable person in the area who would benefit from either of these services, please telephone 01443 755696.

EVENTS

The following events have been cancelled or postponed:

Sight Village Wales - Postponed
Retina UK Cardiff Information Day – Cancelled

CONTACTING SOCIAL SERVICES

If you have any questions about the support you receive from social care such as from your Rehabilitation Officer for Visually Impaired (ROVI) or would like information on such services as meals on wheels, contact your local authority directly:

Anglesey 01248 752 752
Blaenau Gwent 01495 315700
Bridgend 01656 642279
Caerphilly 0808 100 2500
Cardiff 029 2023 4234
Carmarthenshire 0300 333 2222
Ceredigion 01545 574000
Conwy 01492 576333
Denbighshire 0300 456 1000
Flintshire 03000 858858
Gwynedd 01766 771000
Merthyr Tydfil 01685 725000
Monmouthshire:

Neath Port Talbot 01639 686802
Newport 01633 656656
Pembrokeshire 01437 764551
Powys 0345 602 7050
RCT 01443 425003
Swansea 01792 315969
Torfaen 01495 762200
Vale of Glamorgan 01446 700111
Wrexham 01978 292066

TELEPHONE BEFRIENDING AND SUPPORT SERVICES

For a list of befriending schemes go to this Perspectif page. Please note: you need to ring to check if they are running normally in the present crisis.

A list of support groups is given at another Perspectif page. Bear in mind that they would not be meeting face-to-face, but they might offer telephone support.

Age Cymru check-in and chat for over 70s.

Age Cymru have launched a check in and chat service for anyone over the age of 70 and living alone as a way of helping to combat self isolation

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/cymru/information-advice/age-cymru-advice/check-in-and-chat/

AgeUK

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/services/befriending-services/sign-up-for-telephone-befriending/

Care and Repair "Keeping in Touch" Telephone Support Service.

In response to the Coronavirus outbreak Care and Repair in Bridgend are offering a telephone befriending and advice service to older people?who are self-isolating.

They want to help as many older people to get the help and support they need during this difficult time by
"keeping in touch" and offering advice over the telephone to help you keep well, feel less isolated and more connected to your community.

If you don't have any family or neighbourhood support or know another older person who could benefit from a "keeping in touch" telephone call, contact Bridgend County Care and Repair on Tel: 01656 646755.

Address: Avon Court, Cowbridge Road, Bridgend CF31 3SR?
Email: enquiries@bridgendcareandrepair.co.uk
Web: www.careandrepair.org.uk

Sight Life (formerly Cardiff Institute for the Blind)

Sight Life is continuing to support blind and partially sighted people across South Wales by:

It is working with RNIB Cymru to offer group telephone sessions and is currently in the process of establishing group video calls.

If you are interested in these or if you  require urgent advice in Cardiff, you can contact Michelle on 07711 188513 or Teresa on 07918 166524. For those living in the Swansea area, you can contact Anita on 01792 776360.

Jobsense project (COS).

Following Government Guidelines all COS staff are home working, but are continuing to work with participants either by phone or video call.  WEFO have also relaxed the eligibility criteria during this period so we can continue to take referrals and sign up new participants to the programme.

READING SERVICES / TALKING NEWSPAPERS

Talking News Federation: https://www.tnf.org.uk/

South Wales Talking Magazine Association currently shall continue their service as normal.

RNIB

RNIB have increased the number of Talking Books for USB users so you can now have three books at a time. In anticipation of potential issues producing and delivering USB sticks over the forthcoming months, RNIB would encourage as many customers as possible to receive Talking Books via their new digital service. For further information or to register, call 0303 123 9999.

Calibre Audio

Calibre Audio are allowing their members to stockpile a few audiobooks. They have increased the number of memory sticks and CDs you can borrow in one go to 10 of each. You can also listen to their books online 24/7. Website: https://www.calibre-ebook.com.

Contact Calibre Audio on: 01296 432339

TRANSPORT

Transport for Wales guidance

https://tfwrail.wales/covid-19

First Cymru

https://www.firstgroup.com/south-west-wales/news-and-service-updates/coronavirus-covid19-service-information

Arriva Buses

https://www.arrivabus.co.uk/coronavirus/

Cardiff Bus

https://www.cardiffbus.com/coronavirus

Traveline Cymru

https://www.traveline.cymru/coronavirus/

Uber

Uber has issued the following useful advice to customers, which equally applies to other providers:

The most important thing you can do right now is stay at home unless absolutely necessary - this is especially critical if you're feeling unwell. This will help slow down and limit the spread of the virus.

If you must travel, keep the wellbeing of your driver in mind by following the guidance below:

When taking rides:

More advice from Uber is at https://www.uber.com/gb/en/coronavirus/

DRIVE Taxis

DRIVE taxis in Cardiff are offering FREE local shopping trips for the elderly and vulnerable. All drivers are DBS checked and extreme care will be taken when interacting and delivering those much-needed essentials. Telephone 02920 140140.

Dragon Taxis.

https://www.dragontaxis.com/covid-19/

TECHNOLOGY

Dolphin

To ensure their customers have all the help and support they need now and in the coming months, Dolphin has put together a series of video trainings, phone-ins and live action webinars.

If you're not technical, you just need to be able to make a phone call. And if you're a little more computer or app savvy, they've got webinars and online meetings.

Browse the complete list or find out more at: www.YourDolphin.com/webinars. Their support and sales teams are all open and fully operational. Call 01905 754 577 or email dave.salisbury@yourdolphin.com.

Be My Eyes

The 'Be My Eyes' app is reminding vi people that their volunteers are available to help: https://www.bemyeyes.com/

Be My Eyes is a free app that connects blind and partially sighted people to sighted volunteers for visual assistance through a live video call. The app is available on iOS and Android devices.

SUPERMARKETS
Measures in place to assist elderly and disabled people.

Iceland

The first hour of each trading day will be reserved for vulnerable and elderly customers only.

Iceland store locator

ASDA

Corona statement

Asda store Locator

Sainsbury's

Sainsbury's have reserved the first hour of opening every Thursday for elderly and vulnerable customers only to ensure they do not miss out on essentials. They will also help elderly and vulnerable customers access food online. From Monday, 23rd March, their online customers who are over 70 years of age or have a disability will have priority access to online delivery slots.

Tesco

Tesco is prioritising one hour every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning between 9am-10am for vulnerable and elderly customers (except for their Express stores).

OTHER RESOURCES

Torfaen Community Support.

Here is a Word document with useful resources: Torfaen Community resources.

Support Groups.

These are as listed on Perspectif database. Please note: they may be operating differently at the moment.

Carmarthenshire Association of Voluntary Organisations.

PDF document for residents in Carmarthenshire.

Pembrokeshire Community Connector service.

More information at the PAVO site.

Blaenau Gwent Communuty Connectors.

More info at Blaenau Gwent's page.

Sight Advice information

https://www.sightadvicefaq.org.uk/independent-living/Covid-19/

Survivors' Network

Great list of resources:

https://survivorsnetwork.org.uk/online-resources-available-during-social-distancing-and-self-isolation/

Government support for charities

The Government is looking at how they can support charities during the Coronavirus outbreak. For further information, visit their website: https://www.civilsociety.co.uk/news/government-in-talks-with-voluntary-sector-to-offset-covid-19-effects.html

Staying safe from fraud - Coronavirus phishing scams

The following information has been provided by Gwent Police Cyber Crime Team:

There have been reports of fake Coronavirus emails and text messages being received. These messages claim to be from official sources for example, the HMRC or World Health Organisation. They claim to offer safety advice, tax refunds or similar, but include malicious web links or attachments. Whether a message is received by a phone call, text or email, to help avoid these scams:

People are also being urged to be vigilant about other scams offering help with Universal Credit, malicious software sent via fake emails and text messages that can encrypt and lock your device, and emails, texts or calls purporting to be from HMRC and Microsoft.

You can report fraud and cyber-crime to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. For further information, visit their website: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk

National Trading Standards has issued advice to avoid scams:

https://www.nationaltradingstandards.uk/news/beware-of-covid19-scams/

Utilities.

A page on Money Saving Expert listing the help with pre-paid cards and keys for energy.

Hate crime.

If you are a victim of a hate crime, or witness one, contact:

Phone: 0300 3031 982
e-mail: Hate.CrimeWales@victimsupport.org.uk
Web: https://www.reporthate.victimsupport.org.uk/

Contact:

This page is being maintained by Richard Bowers: richard@wcb-ccd.org.uk. Please send updates and corrections to him.