British Wireless for the Blind Fund extends COVID-19 support

After social distancing restrictions were announced in March, the charity fast-tracked a new COVID-secure way to deliver radios to people with sight loss

radio image
Getty/Sasiistock

Sight loss charity, British Wireless for the Blind Fund (BWBF), is extending its COVID-19 scheme to continue supporting people with sight loss who may be choosing to shield. The decision was made after the project proved a success, helping more than 600 people in the height of the pandemic.

BWBF provides adapted audio equipment such as DAB/FM radios free of charge to people with sight loss. With social distancing requirements put in place earlier this year, the charity suspended face-to-face home installation services in March and fast-tracked the launch of a COVID-secure alternative.

The BWBF Connect service offers doorstep delivery of devices, along with telephone support during the receipt, unboxing and installation of the radios.

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The British Wireless for the Blind Fund provide specially adapted audio equipment for people with sight loss.
More than 600 free radios have been issued under the BWBF Connect scheme. The charity suggested the radios can play a “significant role” in delivering news and information, as well as entertainment and companionship, “at a time when many people are separated from their friends and families.”

The charity has committed to extending the programme to provide ongoing support for people with sight loss.

Sophie Wheldon, BWBF regional development manager, explained: “Having never attempted anything of this scale before, we were naturally unsure about whether a socially-distanced installation and support service would be possible, but we have been completely overwhelmed by the success of the scheme. We are very proud to have been able to deliver more than 600 devices to people living with sight loss at a time when they really were needed most.

“We’ve carefully listened to feedback, and we know that many of the people we support are continuing to shield, which is why we’ve made the decision to extend the adapted BWBF Connect service for the foreseeable future.”