DURHAM MP Roberta Blackman-Woods has visited a service that helps blind and partially-sighted people.

The Labour member went to County Hall in the city to learn more about Durham County Council’s rehabilitation service and its important services to people who have lost their sight.

She met visually- impaired residents to find out about the support they received to help them regain their independence, and to get out and about again after losing their sight.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is inviting MPs across the country to visit their local rehab services to get first hand experience of this vital support network.

A charity spokesman said: “Every year 23,000 people lose their sight and it can have a devastating impact on their lives.

“Not only does sight loss have a massive emotional impact, but it also means having to re-learn the everyday tasks that other people take for granted such as going to the shops, cleaning the house or cooking a meal.

“With the right emotional and practical support it is possible to make the transition and re-build your life.”

RNIB is calling on the Government to change the Care Bill, currently being debated by MPs to ensure all newly blind and partially-sighted people are offered rehabilitation to help get back on their feet after first being diagnosed and that the support lasts more than six weeks.