A Blog from our Trustee: Buses, Bills and Cricket

8 March 2023

Our Chair of Trustees, John Sanders, has shared a blog post about some of the daily struggles blind and partially sighted people face.

Buses, Bills and Cricket

“The number’s on the front of the bus!” is a phrase most blind and partially sighted people have heard more than once from drivers. Those of us who can’t see very well can’t usually drive either, so we rely heavily on buses. But most of us can’t see the number or the destination on the front of the bus. 

On top of that, many of us don’t “look blind”, carry a white cane or have a guide dog. Last year we stepped in after a bus driver told a young man he had no right to have a disabled bus pass. After checking CCTV, Cardiff Bus reprimanded the driver and told Sight Life it plans to improve driver awareness training. 

Sight Life’s dedicated and knowledgeable staff stick up for blind and partially people in lots of other everyday situations too. Like helping with bills, correspondence and emails you could once handle yourself, but may have difficulty seeing if your sight is deteriorating. 

We can talk to phone and energy companies on your behalf. For instance, if they are threatening to cut you off when the real problem is that they haven’t sent you bills in a format you can access. We’ll sort out any immediate issues and make sure that companies in future send you information in a way that suits you. Or we’ll set you up with a trusted volunteer to assist with your bills and other personal correspondence. 

We help with the important things in life too — like cricket scores and fixture details. It can be a real blow to one day find that you can no longer follow your favourite sport due to failing vision. We’ll show you new ways to access the information you need. And we’ll be there in the long term in case things change. 

About Sight Life  

Sight Life (formerly Cardiff Institute for the Blind) supports people who are blind or partially sighted in south Wales. In 2020/21 we helped more than 3,000 people in Cardiff, Swansea, RCT (Rhondda Cynon Taf), Neath and Port Talbot.  

We provide statutory services to people with sight loss on behalf of the local Councils in Cardiff and Swansea.  

In cooperation with the NHS, we provide a support service (ECLO: Eye Clinic Liaison Officer) for patients newly diagnosed with sight loss in University Hospital of Wales (UHW “The Heath”) in Cardiff.  

Our aims are to ensure that people with sight loss can take part in all aspects of society, including work and leisure.  

We offer a range of training, clubs and activities including audio-described theatre trips, confidence building, cooking, drama, employment support, fitness, gardening, IT, music, photography, rambling and yoga to people with sight loss.  

Established in 1865, we are one of Wales’ oldest charities. In spring 2022 we returned to being an independent charity after being part of the UK wide RNIB Group since 2009.  

We have approximately a dozen staff and annual income in the region of £440,000 from statutory contracts, grants, trusts, The National Lottery, donations and legacies.  

Sight Life changed its name from Cardiff Institute for the Blind in 2019 to reflect the fact that we work beyond Cardiff, including Swansea and RCT (Rhondda Cynon Taf). The name change also recognises the fact that we support people with any degree of sight loss, not only those who are blind.  

Please support our work and make a donation to Sight Life by clicking donate here.  

To fundraise for us please click fundraising.  

To volunteer with us please click volunteering.  

Thank you!