Personal Perspective of a VI Trained Counsellor
My name is Jan, I am a fully qualifed counsellor and I am also VI. I have RP and was officially diagnosed at 28 years of age. I had been experiencing problems through my childhood and teens and thought it was "just me". I couldn't see in the dark, I stumbled over things that other people always managed to avoid, found it difficult at school to play certain sports and seemed to be constantly muttering "sorry" as I walked into people without understanding why. I was enlightened as to why things had been like this for me after I was referred to Moorfields Eye Hospital and was told rather abruptly that I had RP and would go blind. Not the best thing to hear but I could have been saved a great deal of stress if those who told me had been more empathic. I am now registered Severely Sight Impaired, I am not, as foretold blind and do everything I have always done except driving. My eye sight problems have progressed and along with this I have had and perhaps still may have struggles, sometimes emotional ones, to overcome round my failing eyesight. These emotional ups and downs have not only affected myself but also touched those who love me whom I feel are often left out of the opportunity to have counselling regarding sight loss as it certainly affects them too.
I trained as a counsellor partly because I was simply interested in psychology and how through talking and expressing our thoughts and feelings we can often help ourselves to see things clearer and in a different context but I also trained to be a counsellor because of my own journey with sight loss which I have drawn upon when counselling all those I have worked with.
Are You Interested ......?
We often hear of the bad experience people have when being diagnossed with a visual impairment and the impact it has on their lives and families. At Sutton Vision we are considering establishing a counselling service for VI people, a service which is distinctly lacking locally and nationally. We need to gauge the response from local VI people as to whether they feel a counselling service would be welcome and used. Please get in touch with your views, firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 020 8409 7166.
Guided Tour of Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Club and Museum
On Tuesday 14th November 10.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. why not join a guided tour of Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Club & Musuem. The tour has been arranged by South West London Vision and South East London Vision. The cost will be £5.00. For more information please contact Alex Pepper on 07970 725 620 or e-mail him email@example.com
V I Discovery Day Science Museum
On Saturday 14th October the Science Museum will be holding a series of free events for families with VI members. Object handling, tactile textiles and immersive story telling sessions. For more information contact Fede Marzari at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 020 7942 4086.
V I Women's Group "Get Moving"
As part of the VI Women's Group activities on Monday 16th October 12.30 - 15.00 there will be a Zumba class for you to join. This will be delivered by qualified instructors from Illuminate Freedom who specialise in delivering dance and exercise sessions to VI groups. This class is open to all group members no matter your physical ability. It is possible to join in from the comfort of a chair; its all about moving your body and having some fun.
There will be a charge of £3.00 for this event which will be payable on the day. Places are limited so please register your interest a.s.a.p to avoid disappointment. Registration to be made with Alex Pepper (TPT) by e-mail: email@example.com.
Participants are reminded to wear appropriate clothing and footwear for exercise.
As part of this event there will also be a guest speaker from the employment team at Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT) who will be talking about gaining employment as a VI person. There will be healthy snacks and soft drinks provided and of course plenty of opportunity to socialise with everyone.
This event and the group in general is open to a wide range of ages from the women'sVI community across the South of London and we invite residents from all South boroughs to join in.