Friends and family sighted guiding training

Our friends and family practical group training can give close companions the skills and knowledge they need to better understand and support friends or family members with a vision impairment.

This includes how to guide safely and confidently, as well as providing more information about different eye conditions.

What are some of the benefits of sighted guiding training?

  • - Gain a better understanding of different sight loss conditions
  • - Improved sighted guiding skills to support individual needs
  • - Increased confidence when guiding
  • - A chance to meet others in a similar situation

Learning how to guide someone

As part of full sighted guiding training, you’ll learn things like:

  • Giving clear instructions to describe obstacles, hazards or changes in ground surface – but not overloading the person you’re guiding with information
  • Using directions such as ‘left’ or ‘straight ahead’, not ‘over there’
  • Leaving enough room around obstacles – not forgetting those at head height as well as ground level
  • Never pushing or pulling the person you’re guiding

By learning a technique or two in sighted guiding, you’ll be well equipped to confidently and safely provide help if needed.

Video tutorials on how to guide someone with sight loss

Our sighted guiding films below have been developed to empower you to support your loved one in a practical way, whilst recognising their need for independence.

The first film helps you understand how to guide when out and about, e.g. crossing roads, in coffee shops, up and down stairs. The shorter films give you a little more information to equip you with other skills you might need like going through doors and getting in and out of cars.

Each video demonstrates the standard technique of a relaxed hold above the elbow, however, some people may wish to place their hand on your shoulder.

An accessible version of this video demonstrating how to guide someone with sight loss is available here.

Download our information leaflet on how to guide a person with a vision impairment safely

Half-day practical training sessions

We also offer practical training sessions where you, the friend or family member of someone living with sight loss, can come together with others to share experiences and learn the techniques of sighted guiding with expert support from our facilitators.

These half-day sessions are available to book through our community teams.


My Guide training with Sophie Thompson

Sight loss is an issue close to actress Sophie Thompson’s heart as both her mother and grandmother were diagnosed with hereditary glaucoma.

To understand more about our sighted guiding service and help us raise awareness of how it can change lives, Sophie spent time with My Guide trainer, Fran. Fran taught her how to guide someone confidently and in the best way for them.


If you or someone you know is interested in our friends and family training, get in touch with a member of our team. They will then discuss the training and what it involves, before giving you information on the next available dates.