Cam Sight continues to work with partners to support local children and adults with low vision and blindness.

The charity provides emotional support to help people come to terms with a diagnosis of sight loss. It offers practical help including in people’s homes and communities and support in accessing benefit entitlements. It leads monthly social groups in rural areas and groups for teenagers and pre-school children and their families. Equipment and technology centres offer demonstration, advice and training on technology and equipment for independent living including magnifiers, lighting, talking clocks and telephones. Rehabilitation staff provide training in mobility, orientation and skills for daily living. Volunteers support all areas of the Charity’s work and help people by reading, befriending and driving. Vibrant sport’s groups provide bowling, swimming, and tandem cycling.

In Members’ Own Words

The satisfaction these services afford Cam Sight clients is clearly stated by Betty Hogg, who has been assisted by Cam Sight since 2008 when doctors concluded that her sight could not be improved. She said:

 ‘I cannot speak more highly of the friendly service Cam Sight provides and  recommend that anyone with impaired vision should seek their help and guidance’.

Sue Kruczynska relates her favourite memory of Cam Sight:

 ‘A few years ago an elderly lady came in who had lost her sight but wanted to continue her hobby of sewing. I introduced her to some the technology in Cam Sight that could help her keep sewing’.

One of the most special things  Cam Sight offers is to continue working with clients over many years, not just as technologies evolve, but also as the needs of individuals are affected by factors such as ageing and changes of physical surroundings.

John Willis of Meldreth, who has been registered blind for over a decade, tells us of all the people at Cam Sight who have helped him:

‘Cam Sight has been a very great help to me.  Over the ten years since I was registered Blind/Visually Impaired, nine years of involvement with Cam Sight at different levels has been invaluable.  The Cam Sight staff are all very supportive and a great crowd of people without exception’.

Rosemary Kisby has had a similar experience as a number of members of Cam Sight helped her when she was registered blind. They invited her to a support group and assisted her in filling in forms.  She says,

 ‘I have had quite a lot of connection with Cam Sight and have found them all friendly and helpful’.

This enthusiasm is echoed by the Society’s volunteers. Alice Zeitlyn has taught Braille at Cam Sight after she took a course with Nigel Taylor, who was the only social worker for visually impaired people in Cambridge during the early 1980s. Alice has taught Braille ever since about which she is passionate;

‘What I’m always impressed with is that it’s very enjoyable teaching Braille because the people who want to learn are very highly motivated, and I find it addictive; if I don’t have any Braille to do I feel deprived. So they’re very nice to teach’.

Alice finds it sad that Braille is not so widely used nowadays as it has always given the reader ‘independence’.

At the same time, Cam Sight remains active in providing social events and activities.  Christina Davis remembered:

‘The Cam Sight Ten Pin bowling group was launched in 2006 and I was very apprehensive about attending to begin with. However, as time progressed, we all became good friends. I had heard that many younger people attended and I found it a great way to meet new people. I think it’s brilliant that Cam Sight encourages people of all ages to participate in their activities as many organisations that specialise in catering for people with sight loss do not cater for all age groups. I became friends with Kevin Ramsey and over a period of time we grew closer. We got together in October 2007 and got engaged in February 2008 and are still very happy four years on. If it wasn’t for Cam Sight organising a Ten Pin bowling group, I would probably be single!’

Cam Sight also reaches into the areas around Cambridge, organising the Rural Support Monthly Groups. Gwendolin Portman, who has been supported by a group, tells us that;

‘it is good to meet people with similar conditions and to be able to support each other’.

The community which Cam Sight creates provides support in matters which face many members of society.  Several recent clients were full of praise for help they had received in facing financial pressures, figuring out how to accommodate the needs of a recently retired guide-dog during the day when friends and neighbours might not be free to help out, or even the planning of birthday celebrations.

Matt Darkin tells us:

‘When my guide dog Milly retired and I qualified with my second dog, I needed some help taking Milly to the park. All friends and family work during the day so I had the idea to contact Cam Sight to request for some help with walkies. It wasn’t long before people volunteered and now Milly has lots of new friends who take her to the park on a regular basis. This is just one example of the fantastic work Cam Sight does’.

Rita Beresford tells us:

‘I find the staff at Cam Sight very helpful. I am grateful to them for dealing efficiently with matters such as my watch repairs and running the monthly meetings. Staff have visited me a number of times and went to considerable trouble in organising my ninetieth birthday celebration.  My weekly volunteer visitor helps me with a range of tasks including reading the post, banking, gardening and other jobs around the house’.