How We Can Help

Open Sight is the largest charitable organisation in Hampshire working with people who have, or who are experiencing the effects of sight loss.

Based in Eastleigh Open Sight (previously Hampshire Association for the Care of the Blind) has provided uninterrupted support to the blind and partially sighted community of Hampshire since 1922.

Our mission is to support people with sight impairment or who are at risk of sight loss to achieve their personal goals, remain independent and live a full life. We work with you, your family, colleagues and friends in coping with both the practical and the emotional issues arising from your sight loss.

Over the decades, Open Sight has adapted to the many changes in society, including the inception of the National Health Service and Welfare systems; however our ethos of support and understanding remains unchanged.

See our Testimonials page for feedback on what we do.

Our services include:

Independent Living

Sight loss can be a very traumatic and life changing experience. However, our Independent Living Advisors have the knowledge, expertise, empathy and understanding to help you with any concerns you have. Our advisors offer unbiased information, advice and guidance over the telephone, by a home visit or an appointment at our office on areas including:

  • Daily Living Aids
  • Equipment and Technology Advice
  • Low Vision Assessment
  • Clinics and Services
  • Benefits and Concessions such as TV Licensing 

For more information follow the link above or contact our Independent Living Advisors via the main switchboard on 02380 646 371.

Benefits Advice

If you are registered as Sight Impaired or Severe Sight Impaired it may mean that you have extra costs than you otherwise would have. For example, some equipment that may help you is expensive or you may need to use taxis on a regular basis to get around safely. Our Independent Living Advisors can give benefit advice over the phone or during a home visit.

For more information follow the link above or contact our Independent Living Advisors via the main switchboard on 02380 646 371.

Schools and Colleges

Open Sight visits local schools and colleges to help students learn how to take care of their eyes and become aware of how sight loss affects people in their communities.

For more information follow the link above or contact Terry Smith, Community Development Officer, via the main switchboard on 02380 646 371.

Befriending and Mentoring

Open Sight acknowledges that many people live alone and there may be times when they feel the need for a volunteer visitor to come and chat with them.

The Open Sight Befriending service is currently available within the Eastleigh Borough and can provide up to eight visits to support someone in need, whether they have sight loss or not, through a difficult time. Open Sight carries details of similar schemes offered throughout Hampshire.


For more information follow the link above or phone the main switchboard on 02380 646 371

Family Support

Open Sight aims to support the whole family regardless of which member has sight loss. Open Sight can give advice on education, social and leisure activities and offer emotional support around family issues.

For more information follow the link above or telephone the main switchboard on 023 8064 1244 and ask for the Family Support Officer.

Sight Awareness

Open Sight actively promotes eye healthcare advice to all ages with interactive presentations at schools, social and community groups and other events throughout the county.

We deliver practical courses to charitable and commercial organisations, including nursing homes, for staff to understand the needs of the visually impaired people they support. We also offer impartial information, advice and guidance to support people to reach their full potential, achieve personal goals and independence.

For more information on Sight Awareness follow the link above or contact Terry Smith, Community Development Officer, on 023 8064 1244.

Equipment Service

Open Sight’s Equipment and Information Days are run several times a year and are a great opportunity to come along and look at different magnification and equipment and find out about other services that can support you in your local area.

Our demonstrators also visit Open Sight clubs and other local community groups for the visually impaired across Hampshire. We also hold demonstrations at our Head Office in Bishopstoke near Eastleigh. All are welcome.

Open Sight has also recently renovated its Equipment Suite, which stocks a variety of new and used equipment.  To see what we currently have in stock please click here

For more information follow the link above or contact Pam Bateman on 023 8064 6380.

Social & Leisure

Open Sight understands the importance of maintaining an active social life, hobbies and interests to avoid feeling isolated and to stay independent.

There are a number of ways to get involved socially:

To get involved with any of these social activities, or for more information, follow the link above or contact Terry Smith, Community Development Officer, on 023 8064 1244.

Hampshire County Council Sensory services re-enablement project

Since early 2012 Open Sight has been working closely on a pilot project in partnership with Hampshire County Council and Deaf Janet Soper, ROVIPlus. The project aims to provide re-enablement services to clients with sight loss, hearing loss and dual sensory loss who need re-enablement services beyond the initial 6 weeks short term intervention available from Hampshire County Council’s Sensory Services.

The project, which has now been successfully running since February 2012, now helps 40 clients who are either sight impaired or severely sight impaired. Rehabilitation Officer Janet Soper provides services which includes mobility and orientation training: how to get out and about safely using a cane or walking stick, and confidence building in preparing and cooking meals.

The service has received much praise from users.

I have benefitted so much by the help and advice given – marvelous.  Also supply of helpful equipment – the telling both has been of huge pleasure.  Thanks to everyone on the team and I know where to contact for any further help.  – Mrs C, June 2013

If you would like to know more about the project please contact Debbie Ross on 02380 646 381 or email


For links to other organisations that may be of help to visually impaired people or their families, friends or carers please visit our Useful Links page.

Whilst providing these services we are committed to these values:-

  • You don’t have to be formally registered as sight impaired or severely sight impaired for us to help you; if you have any concerns about your eye sight, we can help.
  • We will treat you as a whole person not just a client.
  • Our staff and volunteers are committed to treating you with respect and honouring your individual rights.
  • We treat all your information with the strictest confidence.
  • We take your health and safety very seriously and we are committed to providing a safe environment for you at all times and at all of our clubs and activities.
  • We think that what we do as an organisation should be determined by you so we always look for and respond to your feedback.