Open letter

Hello,

We are Guiding the Future, a young people’s campaign group (we've been given some help and advice by the charity Guide Dogs!). Some of us are studying at university and some of us have just embarked on our final year studying for our A-levels. Like most people our age, in our spare time we enjoy sports, films and shopping. 

And by the way, we all have sight loss.

We are writing to raise awareness about the challenges we face when shopping, and to see if there are ways we can work together to improve the situation for people with sight loss like us. As young people, independence is important to us, but a lack of awareness from your shop staff about of how to assist people with sight loss means we lose that vital freedom.

On a bad day this can leave us feeling isolated, confused and frustrated.  It can also be really embarrassing to ask for help and sometimes we avoid going shopping altogether. Situations like this can make us feel different and we don’t want to be defined by our disability.

When staff get it right, we feel happy, accomplished, more confident and less impaired. We feel part of society, and are more likely to return to the store. This is how we want to feel – and others like us - every time we shop. 

As a campaigning group, we’ve produced this guidance, which sets out some of the top tips that we’d like your staff to know. These can be included in your staff training, and displayed prominently on staff noticeboards. 

Many members of the public, including many others with sight loss, have co-signed this letter supporting our campaign for better understanding of supporting people with sight loss amongst your shop staff, and your implementation of our guidance. 

We would really like to meet with you to discuss how we can work together to make sure your staff are fully aware of how to assist people with sight loss in your stores. To arrange a meeting, please contact Hannah Trussler at hannah.trussler@guidedogs.org.uk. 

Thank you for reading this letter, we look forward to your response.

Best wishes,

Guiding the Future
Luke, Fadzie, Skie, Ellie and Leah

Sign the open letter