Meet our volunteers
Chris has been volunteering with iSightCornwall for several years and during that time has become a valued member of the volunteering team.
“I spent many years working as a chef before retiring in 2015. I lasted three weeks of retirement before I got bored with daytime TV and had run out of good books. I opened the paper and saw an advert from iSightCornwall looking for volunteers. I knew how sight loss could affect people because my mum has had glaucoma for years and I’ve seen how badly it has affected her ability to do things. I also suffered vision loss myself for several months due to diabetes and during that time I couldn’t walk unaided. I was so thankful to the eye clinic at Treliske for helping me get my sight back so being able to help others living with sight loss really appealed to me.
“I became a volunteer driver, taking people to and from their hospital appointments. I also take three lovely people to and from the shooting club in St Austell every Wednesday afternoon. I’ve even qualified as a Range Officer now because I always stay to help out at the club, setting up the guns and clearing away at the end of the session.
“I’m happy, I love life, and I love helping people out. And if I can go that bit further for someone then I will always try to do it.”
In fact, Chris always goes above and beyond what we would expect from a volunteer. He sits with patients in the hospital whilst they wait for their appointments, even, as happened recently, when those appointments overrun by four hours! Our clients often tell us that Chris is kind and considerate and his willingness to take them to their clubs is an essential part of them feeling less isolated.
Chris is thought of very highly by us here at iSightCornwall. His cheerful nature and willingness to help out is very much appreciated and he puts in many hours on behalf of the charity. We feel very fortunate as an organisation to have him as one of our volunteers.
Shirley has been running the Saltash BAPS (Blind and Partially Sighted) Social Club for 18 years. Thanks to Shirley and her team of volunteer drivers, up to 40 members from Saltash and the surrounding areas can enjoy the entertainment and refreshments that she organises each fortnight.
Shirley is also an active fundraiser, raising money throughout the year so that she can treat club members to special days out and she does all of this despite being registered as Severely Sight Impaired herself.
“I took over the running of the club in 1999. One day I went in as a member and came out as the club organiser! I get such a lot out of doing it. They’re a lovely group of people.”