People in the West Midlands who volunteer say it makes them feel happier and helps them contribute to their local community. These are the findings of new research about volunteering by sight loss charity RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People). The survey also found that 56 per cent of respondents in the region who do not volunteer said they want to in the future, with nearly a quarter most keen to share their technology skills.

The research was commissioned to mark the start of RNIB's initiative to recruit more volunteers for its Online Today project to help 125,000 people with sensory loss across the UK get online.

Since its launch in 2015, Online Today events throughout the UK have helped thousands of people with sight and hearing loss get online. Now RNIB is appealing to local people to commit a few hours a month to visit blind and partially sighted people in their own homes and help them develop digital skills like browsing the internet, sending emails, and using an e-reader.

Karen Froggatt, Head of Volunteering at RNIB, said:

"It's fantastic people in the West Midlands are so keen to volunteer locally. It proves that volunteering and giving back to your community really is good for the soul.

"This is why we want even more enthusiastic and committed people in the West Midlands to become Digital Skills Support volunteers. Spending a few hours a month helping a person with sight loss to develop the online skills many of us take for granted can transform that person's life, and boost their independence."

There are nearly 167, 000 people with sight loss in the West Midlands, many of whom would benefit from being supported by volunteers to learn online skills.

For more information about volunteering for Online Today please go to