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Volunteers needed to help visually impaired and blind people enjoy holidays in the UK, Europe and worldwide

A national charity is looking for volunteers to help visually impaired and blind people enjoy holidays in the UK, Europe and worldwide.

In recognition of their contribution, Vitalise Holidays is offering all those who volunteer to be sighted guides on the breaks, a subsidised rate for the holiday.

Vitalise provides short breaks and other services for disabled and visually impaired people and carers.

It offers visually impaired and blind people a range of life-changing experiences such as trips to Jordan, Cyprus, Gambia, Tunisia and Andorra.

Closer to home, there are trips to the Lake District, the West Country, Loch Lomond, Snowdonia and Co Antrim.

The holidays are made possible with the help of sighted guides, who accompany the groups and offer practical support.

The guides help the visually impaired holidaymakers get around, describe their surroundings and provide companionship.

Many of the holidays on offer focus on particular activities, pastimes and interests, including outdoor adventures, cultural interests and sporting activities.

The charity is looking for people with particular expertise or interest in these areas, such as walkers, music lovers, skiers, ballroom dancers and cyclists, to volunteer as sighted guides.

As well as a reduced rate on their holiday, Vitalise offers first-time sighted guides the opportunity to sample some of the charity's activities, such as canoeing and tandem cycling, on special subsidised taster weekends in the Lake District.

Training sessions for first-time sighted guides are also available. The sessions cost £25 and participants receive a £25 discount voucher off their first Vitalise Holiday.

Vitalise Holidays manager Clare Stephens said: "Thanks to our wonderful sighted guides, the visually impaired people who go on our holidays gain as much, if not more, from these amazing destinations and activities as sighted people.

"The enthusiasm of the sighted guides really makes the experience come alive for them. The sighted guides have a holiday to remember too, and come away with a real sense of achievement.

"We're looking for people with a passion for life and the willingness to go that extra mile."

The holidays cater for all tastes and are categorised into adventure, activity, interest, sightseeing and leisure. They are also graded according to the level of fitness or expertise required of the customers. A Vitalise Holidays Representative accompanies each group.

For more information about becoming a sighted guide, call Vitalise Holidays on 0845 330 0149, email viholidays@vitalise.org.uk, or visitwww.vitalise.org.uk/holidays.


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