“If the work I do can help one blind person, then it is an achievement.”
Yvonne, Sight Loss Council Member
Yvonne joined the Birmingham Sight Loss Council just after the launch in October 2016. Having previous campaigning experience, she was drawn to the Sight Loss Council as an opportunity to stand up for blind and partially sighted people.
Yvonne represented Sight Loss Councils at a number of Access Forums, including the Birmingham New Street Access Forum, where she has been looking at making the train station more accessible and giving feedback on a new mobility lounge. She also sits on the Access Forum for the Birmingham Hippodrome, where she has advised on the accessibility of theatre shows as well as the upcoming refurbishment of their welcome area and café. Yvonne has also presented to the Women’s and Equalities Select Committee on behalf of the Birmingham Sight Loss Council.
Yvonne finds volunteering very satisfying. Her dedication and determination to improve services saw her awarded West Midlands Volunteer of the Year at the Pocklington Volunteering Awards ceremony in June 2018.
When asked what she likes about volunteering, Yvonne said: “From when I first attended a Sight Loss Council meeting, I felt as though I was joining a family – the group really has become a family of friends to me. I love giving back to my community and supporting others. If the work I do can help one blind person, then it is an achievement.”
Yvonne’s confidence has clearly grown from when she first started with the Birmingham Sight Loss Council. This has led to her taking on new challenges including volunteering with a local Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO) which she thoroughly enjoys – “I get to use my own experiences to help others – and there’s never a dull moment! I’ve met some real characters in my volunteering roles!”