Blind people being excluded from Government’s ‘vulnerable people’ list, warns Cambridgeshire charity

Cam Sight Community Support Worker in a service users home this service is now carried out over the

Cam Sight Community Support Worker in a service users home this service is now carried out over the phone. Image: Cam Sight - Credit: Cam Sight

The UK government is helping supermarkets target deliveries to vulnerable people - but blind people are excluded from its database.

Cambridgeshire-based charity Cam Sight, which has a centre in Wisbech, is raising awareness of the issue.

It says people living with blindness and other health conditions such as diabetes are trying to register themselves as ‘vulnerable’ on the GOV.UK website - but are being told they are ‘not vulnerable enough’.

The UK government is helping supermarkets target deliveries for vulnerable people - but some groups are missing out on delivery slots and have to venture to busy stores during the lockdown.

And Cam Sight says this is challenging for those who are visually impaired because they tend to struggle with social distancing during shopping trips.

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There have also been reports of carers not being allowed to exceed the imposed limits supermarkets put in place to prevent customers stockpiling food and supplies.

Mike Jenkins, Chief Executive at Cam Sight, said: “Living in isolation with no or low vision is distressing and frightening in normal times let alone during this lockdown.”

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Meanwhile, Cam Sight says it has contacted Cambridgeshire County Council ‘to raise awareness of this escalating and dangerous situation’.

He added that demand for the charity’s services has increased dramatically since the coronavirus lockdown measures were introduced, and it has been forced to change the way it works to support those isolated at home.

At the moment, staff are home working to provide essential emotional and practical support, information and advice.

This new way of working is more time intensive and costly - and Cam Sight has launched a new emergency appeal for funds.

Cam Sight is an independent charity that provides services across Cambridgeshire for children and adults living with low vision and blindness.

It currently supports 1,650 people of all ages, life stages and circumstances through its two centres in Wisbech and Cambridge.

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