Terri spearheads project campaigning for benefits

Registered blind...Terri Balon at home in Lowton
Registered blind...Terri Balon at home in Lowton

ONE of the faces of a campaign to preserve disability benefits is a blind mum-of-three from Leigh.

Terri Balon appeared in part of a series of short videos filmed by the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) to raise awareness of the needs of disabled people in the wake of proposed cuts to benefits.

Terri, 50, from Pennington, describes how she remains dependent on buses and taxis to remain active and carry out tasks such as going to the supermarket.

Approached to feature in the campaign through her volunteer worth with the RNIB, Terri, who has two daughters who are also visually impaired, said: “For me, there’s a real chance the new benefits could leave me housebound. It’s also very important to me to be able to look after my family, and if I’m constantly worried about money the stress will affect them too.”

The RNIB are also concerned about the Government’s proposals to alter benefits payments, saying many people do not properly understand how the system works and what disabled people are entitled to.

Lindsey Armstrong, RNIB’s North West campaigns officer, said: “Blind and partially sighted people wanted us to show the public how important DLA is in helping them live independent lives.

“People may receive the higher rate of benefit when they first lose their sight, but the draft assumes that most people will ‘adapt’ or get equipment over time, so will need less support. In reality, no matter how long a person has lived with sight loss, the difficulties and barriers remain.”

To view Terri’s video, visit www.rnib.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/yourmoney/personalindependence/Pages/PIP_films