Sighted Guide Training Success in York

Volunteers from Move Mates and other partner organisations attended a Guide Dogs sighted guide training session.

Kelle, from Guide Dogs, came along to York Travellers Trust for an interactive training session on sighted guiding. The session was well attended, both by Move Mates volunteers and volunteers from other partner organisations. 

Kelle began the session by sharing information on different types of sight loss and working through the possible impacts of a change in sight both practically and emotionally. She taught us a person centred approach to offering support to someone with sight loss in everyday meetings before moving on to the specific sighted guiding. Again this was done in a person centred way, with Kelle highlighting how the best way to support someone was to ask them. Using blindfolds, we paired up to practise moving around a room through open and narrow spaces. We then progressed to guiding our partners through doors and up and down staircases. Doing this by communicating clearly with each other, along with the hints and tips that Kelle gave us meant everyone did this safely and felt confident in their sighted guide.

The session was really useful, with everyone who took part feeling more confident afterwards about offering support to people with sight loss as well as practising their guiding skills. It was also an example of great partnership working as we were delighted to be able to welcome volunteers from York Community Health Champions, Age UK York, Friends of York Walls, St Nick’s Environment Centre and York Bike Belles along to benefit from it too. 

“Kelle delivered a brilliant session, full of practical advice and tips for supporting someone with sight loss. It was well attended by partner organisations too and volunteers are already reporting back on how useful it was!

Libby, Project Manager

Guide Dogs is the world’s largest assistance dog organisation. However, they’re not just about dogs, they also have a wide range of services to support people living with a vision impairment. Training people to be supportive of those with visual impairments is just one of the ways they do this. If you would like to find out more about the sighted guide training they offer, or would like some top tips on how to support people with sight loss visit their website here.   

People in pairs, one blindfolded, in a hall
Getting started with guiding a partner
Pair, one in blindfold starting to go down stairs
Building up to navigating doorways and stairs

“It was great to put the recent training into practice. N appreciated the improved communication and we navigated the inside of the little café really well. Great walk too!”

Peter, Move Mate Volunteer

To find out more about volunteering with us, head to our volunteer page.


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