Public Health Minister Maree Todd launched the new national Sight Scotland Support Line today.
It offers someone for people with sight loss and their families to turn to for information and advice, with the new helpline available every Monday to Friday from 9:00am – 5:00pm.
The new service comes as Sight Scotland and Sight Scotland Veterans publish findings from their latest research involving over 200 visually impaired people.
Over 55 per cent of participants said they hadn’t had enough information about where they could find support after their diagnosis while over 80% said it was important to provide more support to family members and carers.
Almost 90% said it was important they and their families received support to deal with the emotional impact of sight loss.
Mark O’Donnell, chief executive of Sight Scotland and Sight Scotland Veterans, said: “We are proud to officially launch the Sight Scotland Support Line nationally today.
“This new telephone service is there for anyone impacted by sight loss so that no-one in Scotland has to struggle alone.
"Our friendly, caring community team are here to provide tailored information and advice for blind and partially sighted people, as well as families and carers.”
Stewart Lamb Cromar (46), from Glenrothes, has vision loss due to a detached retina in his right eye.
He has been fundraising for Sight Scotland through a unique Lego Challenge and a raffle with his Lego club, Tartan LUG, and he has welcomed the national launch of the Sight Scotland Support Line.
Stewart said: “When I was first diagnosed with sight loss it was pretty overwhelming, both mentally and physically.
"I always knew the long-term risks and complications associated with my Type 1 diabetes, but it all happened so quickly and unexpectedly.
“Sight loss can be an invisible disability, one that’s easy for people to forget about, so it’s crucial to ask for help when you need it. There are so many friendly and professional people available at Sight Scotland to support you, so please reach out to them.”