Penny’s StorySeptember 7, 2015 9:46 am
Hello my name is Penny. I have a rare immune disease called Sarcoidosis, which lead to my eye condition, called Uveitis. I was registered as Blind, and have some sight – I see some shapes but not so much colours or details.
Sight loss poses different challenges to different people. Faced with the possibility of not being able to find employment as a Visually Impaired Person, in my case I felt compelled to do something about it. I looked at doing things that I would never have dreamed of trying before sight loss. I undertook some studying and training for care work, studying with St Loyes College and gaining my City and Guilds in Health and Social Care and joined a group of other people with sensory loss to study for, and in fact obtain, the PTTLS.
With these under my wing I was thrilled to be offered to work part-time for what was then The Cornwall Blind Association, organising an information desk for them at the Royal Cornwall Hospital. Later I applied for a caring job working with young people with learning difficulties, and was pleased to be offered the job in competition with sighted applicants.
Things have moved on a bit since then, and now I more or less full time iSightCornwall at the Ophthalmology Clinic at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, and as Hospital Desks Co-ordinator am responsible for other similar desks at other hospitals in Cornwall.
I enjoy my role making sure that patients are aware of the services available to them from iSightCornwall.
I believe I have a lot in common with the patients. I have attended many hospital appointments and clinics and have had similar treatments to some of them.
In my spare time I enjoy volunteering. I help with store collections, taking teenagers with sensory loss on activities and I do telephone support for other visually impaired people on a regular basis.
I have quite a few hobbies and interests and my husband says I am never at home.
I sing with a Community Choir in the St Austell area, called NoteAbility, which has sixty members. I have found the best way to learn the songs is to use a voice recorder.
My greatest love and challenge is singing barbershop and I have recently returned to sing with Champagne Ladies Barbershop Chorus, which meets up at St Mary’s Methodist Church at Par on a Tuesday evening.
I also attend the visually impaired Dance Club at Par. I am a keen dancer and Kath and Mike our teachers taught me the waltz and the foxtrot as I was a complete beginner.
My motto to life is to take every opportunity that comes your way. Take a leap in the dark you might surprise yourself.