[audio:http://www.oxeyes.org.uk/website/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/03_volunteering_with_OAB.mp3|titles=[ Volunteering with OAB ]

Volunteer with OABOAB has over 100 volunteers, who are vital to our work.  They help in the office, send out our newsletter, run our groups and staff the OAB Sight Desk at the Oxford Eye Hospital.  Many are part of the Volunteer Home Visiting Scheme, giving around an hour a week to visit a visually impaired person at home.

There is no ‘typical’ OAB volunteer.  Some are in their teens (18+), others retired years ago.  Some have personal experience of visual impairment, most have none.  But between them, their contribution enables us to offer an array of services that would be impossible without their help.

The organisation is committed to good practice in all aspects of our involvement with volunteers.  Volunteers are given clear role descriptions and appropriate training.  They are covered by our insurance policy and their out-of-pocket expenses are reimbursed. Each volunteer has a named member of staff who is responsible for their work and for ensuring that their experience of volunteering is as positive as possible.  Through volunteering with OAB, you can help to make a real difference to people’s lives.  Below you will find more information on some of the specific roles carried out by our volunteers.

Home Visiting Scheme 

Many of OAB’s volunteers are Home Visitors.  This scheme partners a volunteer with a visually-impaired person who they visit at home, to spend some social time together and to help with everyday tasks that become difficult with impaired sight.  Depending on the individual’s needs, this may include dealing with correspondence and personal finance. Some volunteers go out with the person they visit, perhaps to the local park or shops. Others help with things like writing cards, wrapping presents or sorting a CD collection, while for some people, a visitor for a chat and a cup of tea is a weekly pleasure and can help to relieve social isolation.

Key facts:

  • Volunteer Home Visitors need to be literate and numerate.  Most important, you should be patient, reliable and honest.
  • Most volunteers visit once a week for about an hour.
  • All volunteers are police checked and OAB will take up two references.
  • At the moment, this scheme operates in Oxford, Abingdon and Kidlington.

Please email our Volunteering Coordinator, at volunteers@oxeyes.org.uk for an information pack.

Group Volunteer: OXVIC

OXVIC is OAB’s social group in Oxford.  About 20, mostly elderly, people get together for a chat and an afternoon tea.  There may be activities such as a crossword, and recent meetings have included a talk from the Guide Dogs Association about training a puppy, and a visit from a raconteur who played, sang and told stories.  The group is run by volunteers, who set up the room, serve refreshments, help members in and out of the building, and run the activities.

Key facts:

  • We are looking for people who are friendly, sociable and patient. You also need to be reliable and honest.
  • The group meets twice a month on Tuesday afternoons.
  • The group meets at our Bradbury Lodge premises.
  • All volunteers are police checked and OAB will take up two references.

Please email our Volunteering Coordinator at volunteers@oxeyes.org.uk for more information.

Other volunteering roles

In addition to the volunteering opportunities described on this page, volunteers work with OAB in: administrative support at OAB’s offices; helping with tasks such as sending out newsletters; supporting social groups in various towns throughout the County; managing collecting boxes around the county; staffing the OAB Sight Desk at the Oxford Eye Hospital and fundraising.  Please keep an eye on these pages if you are interested.

We also have a team of volunteers who are highly computer-literate and provide an IT support service to visually-impaired people at home.  If you are suitably qualified and would like to know more, please email  our Volunteering Coordinator at volunteeers@oxeyes.org.uk or call 01865 725595.