Rebecca is age 43 and was born partially sighted with detached retina. She attended Boarding School in Preston from the age of 4 and only had contact with her family each weekend.
At the age of 11 she moved to another Boarding School in Liverpool and because this was so far way from her family she sometimes stayed there for the whole of the term. There she learnt stage 2 in braille.
Rebecca then moved on to Queen Alexander College in Birmingham to study Business Administration. Although she missed her family a lot she had got used to being away from them and learnt to look after herself. There was a Resource Centre at College where she could borrow magnifiers and get advice.
She then moved to Coventry with her partner who was registered blind so they could be near his family as she was expecting her first child. Her partner died when her daughter was aged 3. Rebecca got a lot of help from his family.
Two years later Rebecca and her daughter moved back to Barrow. By this time she was having more problems with her eyes and went to her GP. She was referred to FGH where was told she had glaucoma. The hospital gave her a magnifier and told her to seek help from Barrow Blind Society.
She didn’t know where the Blind Society was and only happened to be walking past one day and saw large yellow signs in the window of the Vision Support Centre about volunteering and groups.
Rebecca began attending Tuesday Craft Club, then the luncheon group and bingo on a Thursday.
She now gets out of the house a lot attending these groups and feels she has gained a lot of confidence.
She has made friends and receives help from the Vision Support Officers on completing forms and getting advice. Also attending the various groups she gets information through chatting with other visually impaired people.
“Since becoming involved with the Society I have received a lot of help from the Vision Support Officers with completing benefit forms and also had support at a tribunal.
I have also gained a lot in confidence, made many new friends and enjoy socialising within the groups. I found out about different magnifiers in the Vision Support Centre which have helped me a great deal with reading and doing craft work”