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COVID-19 Services Update

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Coronavirus Services Update for our Clients:

If you have not received this update by email and have an email address please let us know by emailing as it makes it easier for us to keep in touch with you. Please be assured that you will not be inundated with emails from us and we never share or sell anybody’s information.

On Tuesday 24th March we unfortunately had to go into full lockdown closing our Mappin Street, Sheffield and Ship Hill, Rotherham Centres, suspending the vast majority of our services and furloughing (laying off) most of our staff under the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Since then we have had our COVID-19 Response Team carrying out the following services:

  • A shopping delivery service for clients without good support from family, friends of neighbours.
  • A medication delivery service for clients struggling to get a delivery from their pharmacy.
  • Issuing equipment that does not require “hands on” training.
  • General advice over the telephone from a Community Advice Officer.
  • Support with welfare benefit applications, including appeals.
  • Delivering hearing aid batteries to our clients.
  • Volunteers, working from home by telephone, continuing with their regular telephone befriending.
  • Volunteers, working from home by telephone, contacting clients to let them know about the above services and checking the information we hold about the client.

All of the above have been done whilst observing full social distancing and infection control procedures.

Until such time as the virus is defeated, which is likely to be at the point that an effective vaccine is available, we do not anticipate that many of our services can resume. This is due to the layout of our buildings and the nature of our group activities which make it difficult to observe social distancing.

We are therefore looking at other ways of operating from 1st June 2020 as follows:

  • Our Mappin Street and Ship Hill Centres will remain closed for general visitors but a Community Advice Officer will be available between 9:30am and 3pm for “one to one” appointments to give general advice, attend to welfare benefit issues, issue/sell equipment etc. Full social distancing and infection control procedures will be in force and anybody visiting us must be prepared to wear a face covering, use sanitising gel etc. Anybody with symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to visit us. If anybody is purchasing equipment the only payment method we will accept is by debit/credit card.
  • We will be preparing some Activity Packs containing things such as Large Print Word Searches, Crosswords, Quizzes, etc. which we can post out to clients.
  • We will be setting up virtual groups using online video conferencing and initially these will be as follows:
  1. Coffee Morning, including general social chit chat
  2. Singing Group
  3. Reminiscence Group
  4. Quizzes

We will also welcome suggestions for any other groups. Once we have the format for the virtual groups established if anybody requires assistance to get set up then please just give us a call. 

In order to access any of the above services please telephone 0114 272 2757 or 01709 722 420 between 8:30am and 4:30pm, Monday to Friday.

Looking a bit further ahead as soon as government restrictions are relaxed to the point that we can have small groups in our centres then we will consider re-starting the following activities:

At Mappin Street:

  • Looking Ahead Courses
  • Tai Chi
  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Mappin Writers
  • Charles Bonnet Support Group
  • RP Support Group
  • Singing Group

At Ship Hill:

  • Tai Chi
  • Tinnitus Support Group

Outside the Centre:

  • Cycling in Hillsborough Park

All of the above will be subject to the trainer/facilitator being comfortable with operating the group. Full social distancing and infection control procedures will be in force at all times and all groups will be supervised by a member of staff. Anybody attending the group that is not able or prepared to follow these procedures will be asked to leave the building. 

We will keep you informed of developments as and when anything changes but if you have internet access you can keep up to date by looking at our website or following us on social media:






Our fundraising income has been hit incredibly hard by the coronavirus pandemic due to the events we have had to cancel or postpone as well as all the uncertainty that the general public has about their current and likely future income. However, there are still a few ways that you can support us if you are able to do so. Sue and Jane in our Fundraising & Marketing Team will be pleased to hear from you:


Sheffield Stays In and Rotherham Stays In are both running from 30th May onwards. This is where you hold an event, which will have to be a virtual event with the current social distancing restrictions, and ask people to donate to us.

Pub Quiz on Thursday 25th June 2020, 7:30 to 10pm. This will be a virtual quiz using online video conferencing with a special guest quiz master, Shaun Doane, DJ and a member of Everly Pregnant Brothers.

Direct Donation: You can support our appeal by following this link: SRSB_RSS_COVID-19 Appeal or by calling us or sending a cheque in the post.

Online Shopping: Amazon – If you shop online at Amazon you can use where you can use your existing Amazon account logon details and select Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind as your chosen charity. Then every time you buy something we will receive a percentage as a donation from Amazon at no extra cost to you.

Give As You Live – Just go to select “sign up” in the top right of the website and install the “plugin” appropriate for the web browser you use. Then every time you land on a website that donates through Give As You Live your purchases via that website will generate a donation to us. Again at no cost to you.


Photo of a group of someone abseiling down the Hallam Uni building

We'd love you to join our amazing team of abseilers in June

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Please visit our Client Events page for all the latest telephone, online and in person events

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