The East Cheshire Eye Society has recently moved to a new location on Market Place, Macclesfield, aiming to create a better working environment for users, and local MP, David Rutley, was invited to have a tour of the premises to see the latest services and experiences available for visually impaired people in our area.
The work of the East Cheshire Eye Society is more important than ever as it looks to build the confidence of its users after the pandemic. Isolation has increased over the past two years, and it is important people spend more time outside and away from their homes. To combat this, the charity has recently established “confidence walks”, supported by a volunteer sighted guide, to help people feel more comfortable visiting unfamiliar locations.
The Resource Centre within the East Cheshire Eye Society also provides a range of equipment including: talking clocks and watches; liquid level indicators; magnifiers; and technical equipment, to help make life easier. A wide range of activities are available, such as crown green bowling and pan-disability events through a sports skills project working alongside the Disability Information Bureau.
East Cheshire Eye Society shares its premises with sister charity The Macclesfield & District Talking Newspaper for people who are affected by sight loss. The newspaper has been running for over 40 years and was one of the first in the North of England. The Talking Newspaper is sent out for free each week by Royal Mail to listeners who then return the USB sticks ready for the next issue. The newspaper offers people who are affected by sight loss in the borough an audio version of the Macclesfield Express, and includes a general interest audio magazine, the TN Tapestry. During his visit, David recorded a message for regular listeners, praising the important work of the charity and the newspaper.
At the meeting, the Trustees of the East Cheshire Eye Society also raised concerns about parking on pavements, cyclists using pavements and the impact of e-scooters and electric cars, all of which have the potential to impact the day to day living of those who are visually impaired.
The Society is currently working to grow the number of volunteers and drivers to help users benefit from the services provided and the activities that have been established. The East Cheshire Eye Society is located at 11 Market Place, Macclesfield, SK10 1EB, and is open Monday to Friday, 9am till 1:30pm. More information can be found on their website, https://eastcheshireeyesociety.org.uk/.
Speaking after the meeting, David said, “The East Cheshire Eye Society continues to do vital work for the visually impaired people in our area. Their work is critical for many with real challenges in their lives, as we work to move on from the pandemic. Their new facilities provide greater accessibility with a lift, along with more space for confidential conversations. I am sure local visually impaired users will welcome these enhanced new additions.”