Whether it’s helping an elderly blind woman claim an extra £50 a week in benefits or making sure a partially sighted caller doesn’t end up homeless, the Royal National Institute of Blind People’s (RNIB) Group helpline is a vital source of advice and information to thousands of people every year.
Tomorrow (25 January, 2012) RNIB will lift the lid on calls received to the helpline by sharing a selection with its 7,000 plus twitter followers. In 100 tweets RNIB will aim to give a glimpse into the varied and sometimes unexpected calls dealt with by our helpline staff.
Enquiries include advice on the best mobile phones currently on the market to what a person’s legal rights are when visiting a local restaurant with their guide dog (for further examples, see notes to editors).
Enquiries frequently come from concerned friends or family of a loved one who has been newly diagnosed with sight loss. Often they’ll want to know more details about an eye condition and to chat about what the future holds. Whatever the enquiry, it’s all in a day’s work for RNIB’s helpline staff.
However, calls can sometimes be a bit more light hearted. A man recently called requesting only to be sent Talking Books which have a nice ending and a woman called asking where she could buy a duvet cover.
Andy Barrick, RNIB Head of Membership and Info Services, said: “The RNIB Group helpline offers advice and support to tens of thousands of people each year. Callers are not just blind or partially sighted people but can be friends, family, employers or other professionals. Often people call the helpline upset or frustrated, not knowing where to turn for support. We aim to help no matter what the query. Sometimes it’s an issue RNIB can resolve, but we also signpost people to other services or sources of advice.”
The helpline services cost RNIB Group £1.5million per year to run. Please donate today at www.rnib.org.uk/jill
Follow us at #RNIBinaday from 8.45am tomorrow (25 January, 2012) and learn about a typical day in the life of RNIB helpline.