To mark #DeafblindAwarenessWeek, we’ve been sharing the stories of some inspirational deafblind people.
One of the groups we focused on was our Friendship Group.
Many people who have combined sight and hearing loss experience isolation and disconnection from everyday life. Getting out to meet up with others is only possible with support. Keeping in touch with friends, family and others may not be possible if the person in is not able to hear well enough to use the telephone and cannot see well enough to read letters, see a person signing on Skype or FaceTime or read emails and texts. Keeping up to date with events and news becomes a challenge as the person may not be able to read newspapers, listen to the radio or watch and hear the television. This can lead to loneliness, depression and have an impact on physical well-being as a person is unable to get exercise through activities such as walking.
The Friendship Group run by Sight for Surrey provides a monthly opportunity for deafblind people to meet up. The group request things they would like to do. Everyone attending has one-to-one support so that everyone is included.
Last week they visited the Lavender Fields at Mayfields Farm Banstead – a fantastic sensory experience which included an opportunity to walk around the fields, a tractor trailer ride across the fields as well as a chance to socialise with others. One person attending, who lives around the corner from the fields, had never been before. Another person said it felt like being on holiday for the day.
Find out more about the Friendship Group here: bit.ly/FriendshipGroupSightforSurrey