Temporary Suspension of our Community Support Service

Because of the Coronavirus, for the time being we have suspended our normal Community Support Service to provide specific telephone-based advice and support on a whole range of issues which people with sight loss are now facing on a daily basis.

We have contacted all our regular clients to let them know that our regular Talk and Support Groups, and any home visits which had been scheduled, have been suspended until further notice. We will contact people again as soon as we are able to resume these services.

Coronavirus Emergency Response Helpline

01392 876 666

Our staff team are focusing all their efforts on making sure that people with sight loss have support in place for essential daily needs and also having someone to chat to.

If you or a family member have sight loss and need any support at the moment please contact our Helpline 01392 876 666 or email enquiries@devoninsight.org.uk and one of our team will get back to you.

Because we are all homeworking, messages will initially go to our answerphone, but they get passed on to our team immediately and we will get back to you as soon as a member of staff is available.

The impact of Coronavirus COVID-19 on the lives of people with sight loss

These are challenging and unprecedented times which are effecting all of us. However, for people with sight loss, the impact on daily life has been even greater.

Lots of us have turned to the internet and social media to carry on as best we can with daily life, but many of our clients do not have access to technology to keep in touch friends and family, or to try and book a slot for a home delivery.

Issues and concerns which local people have raised with us include:

  • How to access the latest public health information on COVID-19 in an accessible format
  • Accessing information on changes to local services such as hospitals and GP services
  • How to deal with social distancing
  • Whether people can walk their guide dogs
  • Help to collect prescriptions
  • Arrange for a local volunteer to help with food deliveries
  • Having people to talk to about their concerns when their regular social groups and contact with people in the local community have abruptly stopped
  • For people with other health issues, how will they cope with self-isolating for weeks or months

We can help

Over the last few days and weeks we have helped people by:

  • Providing information on changes to local health and social care services
  • Providing information on changes to services being provided by the hospital eye units and outreach clinics
  • Providing an opportunity for people to talk through their concerns, and to provide reassurance about the support which is available
  • Networking with other local agencies who are providing home deliveries and support for vulnerable groups
  • Helping people make best use of their ipads or computers to stay in contact with family and to access local information
  • Providing guidance to family members living out of the area about how they can help, and services are available locally
  • Providing advice and support to carers of people with sight loss who no longer have regular support at home
  • If we can’t answer a question, we’ll find someone that can!

Other sources of Coronavirus Advice

Here are some useful sources of advice on the Coronavirus and the impact on local and national eye services, which we will be updating regularly.


UK Government Advice


General Coronavirus Advice

Audio advice on handwashing


BBC Website


NHS Advice


Sight Loss FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions relating to Coronavirus



National Charities

Blind Veteran UK Coronavirus Service Update


Advice for friends, family and volunteers

Advice on helping people with sight loss with home shopping


Guide Dogs Coronavirus Advice


Macular Society


Injection treatment: Latest advice from the Royal College of Ophthalmologists


Top tips for travelling to your injections


RNIB Coronavirus Advice



Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (including the West of England Eye Unit)


Torbay Hospital


Local Council

Devon County Council


East Devon District Council


Mid Devon District Council


Torbay Council


West Devon District Council



If you are aware of other useful information which we can add to this page, please email Jennie on enquiries@devoninsight.org.uk

Richjard Bowman Helpline

Information from our Local Teams

Local communities have been amazing in responding to this current situation so quickly, with new initiatives springing up every day.

Our staff are in regular contact with a wide range of local agencies so that we can make sure people with sight loss get the support they need, so do give us a call on 01392 876666.

Here are some useful contact details for support in your area.

Exeter Community Support 

Exeter Cathedral