Vision UK supports the Blind Veterans UK and RNIB responses to the appointment of Tracey Crouch as Minister for Loneliness

17 January 2018
Source: Vision UK

Blind Veterans UK welcomes the announcement today (17/1) of a new Minister for Loneliness, in response to the publication of recommendations from the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness.

‘We know that loneliness and isolation are issues that affect many vision-impaired veterans in the UK, due to the combined impact of sight loss and increasing age. Some research we did with our veterans found that 61 per cent of them had felt increasingly isolated following a diagnosis of sight loss, before receiving the charity’s support.

We want all blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women to enjoy a life beyond sight loss. We run an extensive programme of local reunions and social events to bring veterans together so they can provide each other with companionship and peer support. Our research showed that after receiving our support 86 per cent of our veterans said that we had helped them to feel less isolated and 75 per cent said that we had helped them to make new acquaintances and friends.

We look forward to working with the new Minister and the other charities associated with the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness who share our commitment to tackling this issue.

If you would like further information please contact Lara King at Blind Veterans UK, by emailing lara.king@blindveterans.org.uk ‘

RNIB also welcomed the appointment of Tracey Crouch as Minister for Loneliness. and commented that almost half of blind and partially sighted people say they feel ‘moderately’ or ‘completely’ cut off from people and things around them.

The Thomes Pocklington Trust released a report in 2014 on Loneliness, Social Isolation and Sight Loss

The report stated that loneliness and social isolation are not inevitable consequences of sight loss and can be overcome.  The report, ‘Loneliness, Social Isolation and Sight Loss’ found that an individual’s loneliness is more often connected to how they perceive their own visual impairment and their expectations around support and relationships.

Key Facts:

  • Studies into the link between sight loss and feelings of isolation and loneliness were largely inconclusive.
  • Loneliness and social isolation occur as part of a complex interactive process involving other factors including gender, socio-economic status and individual psychology.
  • Loneliness is linked to the individual’s own perception of their loss of sight rather than the clinical assessment of their vision.
  • People’s expectations about relationships and the support they receive are more important than the amount of support they receive.
  • Difficulties in communication and social interaction can contribute to feelings of isolation.

Full report here

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