People living with sight loss and visual impairment from across Greenwich came together to explore how local services could improve their lives for the better.

The packed event, hosted jointly by South East London Vision (SELVis) and Greenwich Council’s Adult Social Care team, was also attended by the Mayor for the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Olu Babatola, who gave an encouraging and warm introduction to the room.

The atmosphere was positive throughout the meeting, which involved facilitated discussion sessions where small groups had focussed conversations about their experiences of local services. A key theme was the important role of technology for people living with sight loss and visual impairment, and participants suggested that local classes could help members of the community to become more tech-savvy, and take advantage of the growing number of apps and assistive technology available.

Accessibility of local services was another important theme raised over the course of the event. Many participants discussed how it was vital for the Council to make sure that exercise and leisure facilities were made easily accessible to the visually impaired community.People at the Greenwich outreach event in Woolwich

For people living with sight loss and visual impairment, loneliness and isolation can become a significant barrier to getting involved in the wider community and engaging with local services. A popular idea that emerged from the event was to create a range of activities to support members of the sight loss community to socialise in the evening, and the group also discussed using existing resources such as Greenwich Talking News and the O2 Centre.

Marsha de Cordova, the Chief Executive of SELVIS, said: “The engagement event was a great success, and I would like to thank Greenwich Council’s Adult Social Care team for their support, and the Mayor for his warm words. We are delighted with how many members of the visually impaired community came together to discuss the services that are important to them. People with sight loss know what services will make a big improvement to their everyday lives, and directly engaging with the Council helps make sure everyone is on the same page, and working towards the same goal.”

South East London Vision (SELVis) is a registered charity supporting blind and partially sighted people in Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark. SELVis exists to ensure people living with sight loss in South East London can live independent lives and have access to high quality services when and where they need them.