A new initiative to help people living with sight loss in Torbay is launching at Paignton Library.

The Torbay Visually Impaired Person (VIP) Book Club is a collaboration between Torbay Council, the RNIB, Torbay sight-loss charity VisualEyes and Friends of Paignton Library.

The club, which will meet monthly at Paignton Library, will use audio books to enable all members to read one title and discuss their reactions to it. The club will also be a social and support opportunity for people living with sight loss in Torbay.

Executive Lead for Business, Councillor Richard Haddock, said: “Torbay has a statistically higher proportion of people who are living with sight loss and a particular problem associated with this is isolation. This is a direct result of the loss of confidence in getting out and about. Almost half of people who report poor vision or blindness say that they limit the amount of time they spend outside the relative safety of their home.

“The Torbay VIP Book Club aims to combat that loneliness and isolation by bringing people together and building confidence.”

The audio books will be provided on USB memory sticks supplied by RNIB from their extensive library of braille and talking books. The USBs can be used on home laptops or tablets, or, if members don’t have access to their own device, VisualEyes will provide a special memory stick player on long term loan.

Torbay VIP Book Group will meet on the second Tuesday of each month, commencing on 14 November, 10.30 am – 12.30 pm. Members are welcome to turn up on the day or contact shona.keen@torbay.gov.uk for further details.

Membership of the group will be free, and refreshments will be provided by Friends of Paignton Library.

To help anyone who wants to attend the book club, a specially discounted return taxi fare from anywhere in Torbay is on offer to members, subsidised by VisualEyes.


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