Thanks to thousands of people signing the RNIB’s petition, people in England who qualify can be referred to the priority shopping slots through RNIB’s Helpline on 0303 123 9999.
Callers will speak to a member of the Sight Loss Advice Service who will assess the individual’s need and allocate them a slot if appropriate.
The online shopping slots have been secured from a number of major supermarkets for people whose independence has been challenged by the lockdown, including those with sight loss. The scheme is particularly aimed at those who don’t have friends or family nearby who can easily shop for them.
Since lockdown began, for many blind and partially sighted people it has been nearly impossible to shop without support as they have been affected by changes to supermarket layouts, social distancing and limitations on online delivery slots. As a result, RNIB research shows just half of the blind and partially sighted people who shopped independently before lockdown have continued to do so. One in five (21 per cent) are rationing food as a consequence.