Ann was diagnosed with the condition Retinitis Pigmentosa over thirty years ago. The condition causes a flickering in corners of eyes which in Ann’s case gradually developed into night blindness which causes her to walk into objects when it’s dark followed by increased sensitive to light. She was also recently diagnosed with glaucoma (tunnel vision).
A former school chemistry technician, as her eyesight deteriorated, Ann had to give up driving and working. These were life changing events which caused a lot of upset and anxiety and still impact upon her life today.
Ann now has only 5% central vision and her remaining sight is greatly affected by various light conditions especially sunlight. Her sight loss problems continue to get worse and make life more and more difficult.
Ann became a regular visitor to HERIB in 2015 with the launch of our SocialEYES activity programme.
She says; “If it wasn’t for HERIB I wouldn’t leave my house. I used to just sit in inside watching TV. When I go out with SocialEYES it’s like a big family outing doesn’t matter how many of us there are we all help and support each other. As well as having a good time!”
Ann also regularly volunteers on fundraising events and attends talks to groups to raise awareness of and provide a personal perspective about HERIB supports services.
She describes HERIB as:
H – “HERIB provides a haven for blind and partially sighted people of all ages. Whether they come to the day groups or to get practical support or just to socialise with others who have similar problems.”
E – “Enjoyment: people who go to HERIB are there because they want to be there for whatever reason and I am always made to feel welcome.”
R – “Recreation: leisure, relaxation, having lunch of just a natter with a cup of tea.”
I – “Involvement: there are always lots of opportunities to join in with. I enjoy the singing group and have performed at the Hull City Hall as part of an intergenerational choir and even appeared in a Flash mob at the Hull interchange.”
B – “Beneficial – Information and details are available on a wide range of products and all the latest technology. You can even loan some equipment to try at home.”
“I myself would be lost without HERIB and its services which give me the opportunity to be with others who also have sight problems,” says Ann. “HERIB is like an oasis in the desert. Please come along and see what HERIB has to offer you!”
Our Wellbeing Champions project has been made possible thanks to funding from Hull City Council.