I became a volunteer following joining a local support group. There I met so many lovely people who like me had sight loss. After a few months I felt my confidence had grown which helped me to go out more on my own and do some of the things I thought I would never do again. This was all due to me attending the Finding Your Feet sessions. This made me feel that I wanted to be part of RNIB and help people with sight loss.
I now facilitate our confidence building sessions, help with our social groups, give talks to various organisation and support our team of volunteers.
I am a person who enjoys a challenge and there are always plenty of these with RNIB.
feel that my volunteering role has helped people with sight loss enjoy the confidence building workshops as I try to adapt them to suit their individual needs. I also hope that they feel they have found a friend as I try to make our workshops fun. Most of all I hope that they feel they have made new friends in meeting others and have learned something positive to take away with them.
I have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about different types of sight loss. I've learned how to accept, adapt and achieve. I have also been able to put some of my training skills back into practice and feel like I have a purpose in life. Overall, I feel good knowing that I have helped other people.
Being a volunteer has changed my life and I hope that other volunteers and myself have helped changed the lives of others.
I have many special moments but perhaps the one that means so much to me was when I went along to our local support group feeling like it was my first day at school.
On arrival a lady said to me “Your new, come in and have a seat”. I went and sat by a lady and we told each other our names and began chatting. The lady then put her talking watch close to her ear to listen for the time. I said: “Are you okay?” “Not really,” she said, “My hearing aid is on the table at home”.
We both started to laugh. I knew then that this was going to be a new venture for me as already I felt part of the group. We have become very good friends since then and she has helped me do things I never thought I would ever do, which certainly gave me the confidence to become a volunteer to help others. I now help run this group on a monthly basis.