Sight charity launches personal shopper service

A Manchester-based charity for blind and visually impaired people has been inundated with requests from clients for its latest service: specially trained personal shoppers.

Henshaws, which also has centres in Liverpool, Harrogate and Newcastle, says it introduced the service to help its clients buy clothes, household items and gifts because these are the things that they struggle with the most.

The personal shoppers’ selections are informed by questionnaire listing their clients’ preferences for such things as styles, colours and fabrics.

Linda Corness, a personal shopper at the charity, said: “Trying to shop for clothes when you have limited or no sight can be an absolute nightmare. Unless you have a partner or friend willing to go with you, you have no way of knowing the layout of the shop, prices, where sale items are, the sizing and colour of clothes and, of course, the obvious and most important issue of whether they suit you or not.”

Linda Wilcock, who is completely blind in one eye and partially sighted in the other after having an aneurism, is one of the first beneficiaries of the service. She said: “It was so wonderful to shop with someone who could help me with colours, styles and sizes – we had great fun. I can’t wait to book my next appointment.

“My husband was great in that he would try to help me shop, but he doesn’t have the patience to keep bringing me different styles and colours to the waiting room, and he found it very difficult helping me to buy underwear.”

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