Coronavirus update and what you get involved with

17 July 2020

Anita Davies talked to RNIB Connect Radio about her experience of social distancing.

Coronavirus update: We’re open by phone and online

Our Jones Court Resource Centre and offices remain closed in line with Government advice to keep our members, staff and volunteers safe from the Coronavirus. We are, though, still very much open and available to support people in Cardiff, Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and RCT by phone and online. Please read on to see what is available in your area.

We’re still contacting our members by telephone… 

We have been contacting our members by telephone since the start of lock-down and we believe we have contacted around 90% in total. Our staff and volunteers are still calling people to stay in touch and reassure our members and customers that we have not forgotten about you. In addition to this, we are now offering a regular tele-befriending call, please contact us if you might be interested.

We have now introduced daily group chat calls. Some are themed, for example, music appreciation, exercise, or quiz, others are a more general chat.  In addition to this we are working on weekly talks on topics of interest including local history and understanding social media; and monthly living with sight loss talks.

We are happy to introduce new phone groups to meet demand, so please get in touch if you are interested or have any ideas/requests.

We also send out weekly emails with updates on local information and activities that might be of interest to you. If you would like to added to the list please contact us.

Below is some feedback we have received from our members.

“I so enjoy the group calls. All I am doing at the moment is going for a short walk around the block. it is lovely to feel involved with others from the outside world.”   

 “I am so fortunate to have Sight Life. Although my cataracts are a nuisance, I am just so grateful for having had the opportunity to mix with such amazing people.” 

I just want to thank you for the enormous amount of work you have put into keeping us informed of such a wide range of issues and services.  I know this will have been invaluable to many of us VIPs. Thank you.”  

 “I am so glad you called me today. I’m really happy, you’ve offered me so many different things! I would love to join the telephone groups, it will stop me being on my own and thinking about all the awful things going on in the world with Coronavirus at the moment.” 

For Cardiff contact Jane on 07864 964 833 or e mail: [email protected]

For Swansea contact Anita on 01792 776 360 or e-mail: [email protected]

Please follow the Government guidelines…

You can find the latest health advice about Coronavirus (COVID-19) at:

What to do if you need advice…

Cardiff Area: You can contact Natalie on 02920 398 900
Swansea Area: You can contact Anita on 01792 776 360.

In addition, the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 is open 8am-8pm weekdays and Saturday opening times have been extended to 9am-5pm. You don’t have to be an existing member or service user to contact them. They welcome calls and emails from people who haven’t been in touch with them before.

We look forward to seeing you all again as soon as it’s safe.

John Sanders, Chairman, Sight Life


What’s on in Cardiff…

If you fancy keeping in touch with old friends or meeting some new people, why not try joining one of our telephone groups? Just a simple landline call and you can be connected to a group of others with sight loss in Cardiff to have a general chat, have some fun or learn something new.

The Cardiff ones are listed below, but there are also some Wales wide ones being organised by the RNIB which you may also enjoy – such as a living with sight loss group, a Welsh speakers group, an under 50’s group, one focused on golf, technology and so on.

Jason Grubb, Cardiff Council Rehabilitation Officer for people with a sight impairment, will be dropping int to some of the groups that meet for a social chat. Why not join one of the groups to see how he can help and share some common difficulties encountered by many people with a sight impairment? Please call us to book a slot for one of the groups.

Contact Jane on 07864 964833 or e mail Val on [email protected] to book or just to have a chat about them.

Of course, as always, please tell us what you would like us to do. We love to have your suggestions and feedback, so please get in touch and we will see what we can do.

Day/date Time Name of Group Details     Frequency
Monday 11:30-12:30 11:00-11:45 Job Club Organised by Elite who support with job skills & job finding for over 25’s     Weekly
1st Monday of month 12:45-1:45 Book Group Usually select a book to read and share but may focus on classics/favourite books for now     Monthly
Monday 3:30-4:30 Talks 1 June – Etymology of sayings linked to St Fagan’s. Will advertise topics 1 week in advance
Tuesdays 10:00-10.45 Computer room catch up Social chat for those usually attending the computer room in Sight Life     tbc
Tuesdays 11:00-12:00 Social chat General chat or may choose topics to chat about next time     Weekly
Tuesdays 2:00-3:00 Elderfit Standing exercises. Strength and balance.Standing exercises, strength and balance.  Please book     Weekly
Wednesdays 11:00-12:00 Social chat Catch up on everyone’s news.General chat     Weekly
Wednesdays 2:00-3:00 Elderfit Seated exercise class over the phone. Please book for numbers.     Weekly
Thursdays 10:00-11:00 Karate Arm positions and strengthening + history & philosophy of karate     Weekly
Last Thursday of month 11.00-12.00 Shand Pioneers Group normally meet in the Croft pub, but are meeting by phone for the moment.     Monthly
Thursdays 2:00-3:00 Drop in chat Pop in for a cup of tea with friends.     Weekly
Fridays 11:00-12:30 Music Appreciation Discuss music with others with a similar interest. Please book.    Fortnightly
Fridays 1:00-2:30 Quiz University Challenge style quizzing teams. Please book.    Fortnightly


What’s on in Swansea…

Day/date Time Name of Group
Monday 10.00 – 11.00 City Centre group
Monday 11.30 – 12.30 Make the change


11.30 – 12.30

13.30 – 14.30

Laughter Yoga

City Centre group 2

Monday 15.00 – 16.00 Pontarddulais group
Tuesday 10.00 – 11.00 Mumbles group



11.30 – 12.30

11.30 – 12.30

13.30 – 14.30

Make the change 2

Chair Yoga

Make the change workshops

Tuesday 15.00 – 16.00 Men’s group
Wednesday 10.00 – 11.00 Chair exercises
Wednesday 11.30 – 12.30 Women’s group
Wednesday 13.30 – 14.30 Gorseinon group
Wednesday 15.00 – 16.00 Exercise group 2
Thursday 10.00 – 11.00 Make the change workshops
Thursday 11.30 – 12.30 Knitting group
Thursday 13.30 – 14.30 Women’s group 2
Thursday 15.00 – 16.00 Women’s group


These conference call groups are run based on the themes and topics participants want.

Often there is a quiz, a general chat and the opportunity to ask questions and keep up to date with current situations around local services as well as national services while in lock down.

Each participant can either dial in to a call or they can be dialled in where they find dialling in difficult.

A code and number has to be provided which is why we need all new participants to contact us initially.

If you live in the Swansea Neath Port Talbot area and would like to find out more about the groups or how we can help and support anyone experiencing sight loss or having a diagnoses of an eye condition in please do not hesitate to contact Anita on 07824541982 or email [email protected].

Please scroll down for more useful information.

Useful Links

You could be eligible for transport to hospital appointments

The Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service takes patients from across Wales who are unable
for medical reasons, to make their own way to and from their hospital appointments.
If you are not eligible, they can advise you of alternative transport methods more suitable to your needs.
To find out more information and see if you are eligible, please visit or call 0300 123 2303

Virtual Sight Village

Queen Alexander College (QAC) a national college for people with disabilities will be running a virtual Sight Village to replace the cancelled face to face events.

Sight Village Virtual will be online from 22nd July to 23rd July 2020 from 10.00am – 2.00pm.

You can join via QAC’s Facebook Page:

Or search: @QueenAlexanderCollege

This is an opportunity to hear from the UK’s leading providers of products and services from the comfort of your own home. A series of online videos, podcasts and interactive workshops showcasing products and services for people who are blind and partially sighted impaired.

For further information visit or email [email protected]

Cardiff Library Service

The library service have launched an extension to their Click and Collect service which may be useful for those of you who like talking books from the library. As part of the new Cardiff Library Service click and collect library service, home delivery is available for housebound customers, those shielding or self-isolating who can’t get to a hub for collection.

Call the library line on 029 2087 1071, option 2 for information. You can look at the library catalogue on

Volunteer Cardiff signposts Cardiff residents to all the opportunities, organisations and support available to enable volunteering in the city. If you need help with shopping, transport, medication, befriending and much more you can search for help by area,  visit the website /

Frequently asked questions for people with sight loss, their family and friends relating to Covid-19

RNIB Online Shop remains open.

You can continue to order your products online through or by phone through the Helpline on 0303 123 9999.

The warehouse and special order suppliers are still operating and dispatching orders at this time. However, please be aware that your order may take a few extra days to reach you.

RNIB Talk and Support are accepting referrals to their national befriending phone service. Groups run weekly, same day, same time – and sessions last 55 minutes for a period of 6-12 weeks. Customers can apply via the RNIB Helpline 0303 123 9999 or email [email protected]

RNIB Newsagent is offering a free, three-month subscription to a newspaper or broadcast/TV guide for customers. Beneficiaries can sign up via the RNIB Helpline.

Wales Council for the Blind have some useful information here

Swansea Council coronavirus information

Glaucoma UK – information for people with glaucoma