Jim lost his right eye in an accident at work when he was 22 years old. “I was working with a carpenter and a nail flew straight into my eye. Unfortunately they couldn’t save it so I lost my sight in that eye.” He said. Having learned to live with his sight loss, things took a turn for the worse when Jim developed a cataract in his left eye which, although now removed, has affected his remaining vision.
But this didn’t deter the 94 year old army veteran from doing the things he loves. “I don’t like to sit around moping” he said having just been walking in his local park in Peterborough.
“A friend of mine volunteers for Deafblind UK and, knowing how much I like to get out and about, she suggested I come along to the social group. It’s great fun; we’re always doing different activities and trying new things, I’ve met some great friends.” Continued Jim.
Jim loves to help other people, particularly his peers at the social groups. So he took it upon himself to arrange a trip for the group to the local sailing club – something he has always wanted to try! After acquainting himself on land with all the controls, he had the chance to sail a catamaran-type boat with the support of an instructor. The group had a fantastic time and Jim says he now has the confidence to go alone!
His adventurous spirit doesn’t stop there; Jim has recently returned from a holiday in Norfolk where he stayed in the Deafblind UK caravan. “It’s great, I love it there!” He said. “It’s fantastic to have somewhere that you know is fitted out for someone with sight loss – it’s given me the chance to have a holiday, which I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to do.” He continued. Jim is hoping to visit the new Deafblind UK caravan in North Wales soon, saying “I’m hoping to get to the top of Snowden while I’m there!”
Having reduced vision means accessing information is difficult for Jim; he doesn’t use the internet and relies heavily on what people tell him. So when he fancied trying his hand at bowls, he turned to the Information and Advice Line for help. Jim called the team and explained that he would like to try bowls but he didn’t know of any local clubs. After a bit of research, the Information and Advice Line team found a few options for Jim and he chose one in a location that he knew. The team emailed the bowls club on Jim’s behalf and arranged for him to go along to try it out. Jim now goes to the club every other Thursday and thoroughly enjoys it.
When Jim does get a minute’s downtime, he likes to read Deafblind UK’s quarterly magazine, Open Hand. “I look forward to reading Open Hand, it has some useful information and it’s interesting to see what other people are doing and how they are coping” He said.
Deafblind UK has supported Jim to continue the life he has always lived. He doesn’t intend on slowing down any time soon, but he knows where to turn when he is planning his next adventure. “The best thing about Deafblind UK is that it’s so approachable and everyone makes you feel so welcome.” Concluded Jim.