Darren – Newquay
Darren developed Type 1 diabetes at the age of six. He lost the sight in his left eye 11 years ago but it wasn’t until his right eye deteriorated nearly four years ago that he had to give up full time work.
He now works part time at the Beresford Hotel in Newquay where he has been employed for 24 years, starting as a porter and working his way up to becoming Deputy Manager.
Darren said: “When I first lost my sight I didn’t know where to turn. I was given a card at the hospital with the contact details for iSightCornwall and thought it was worth giving them a call.
“Without the help of iSightCornwall I wouldn’t be working now. Not only have I been given magnifiers on loan through the low vision clinic, assistance to claim benefits and had accessible software set up on my computer but I also received a grant through the Inspiring Futures Fund to purchase a video magnifier.
“I use the video magnifier every day, it helps me do my job. When I lost my sight I sat down with my line manager and went through all the tasks I could still do. Obviously there were some things I couldn’t do any more but there are plenty of things I can do. It’s just about learning how to do things differently than you might have done them before.
“Being able to continue working has allowed me to stay independent and my confidence is growing all the time. I get the train to Torquay by myself every other weekend to watch the football and I could never have imagined doing that when I first lost my sight.
“I am so grateful for the help I received from iSightCornwall.”
By way of saying thank you for all the support Darren has received, he and his colleagues recently raised over £540 for the charity by holding a number of raffles at the hotel.