Lesley: From Client to Befriender

Lesley first heard of MyVision Oxfordshire when she was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa in 1993. She has been one of our regular clients from that point onward.

Lesley described MyVision as an organisation that “provides so much support.” She said that she has particularly benefitted from our technology training. An instance that stood out to her was learning how to use an iPad; “it immediately made me want to get one for myself.”

In 2019, Lesley received one of our monthly e-newsletters in which she saw a request for Volunteer Befrienders. Lesley decided to answer the call to support our charity and our clients by offering her knowledge. Lesley greatly enjoyed her first experience as a Befriender, and for the past four years, she has had regular telephone conversations with visually impaired people around the county who live on their own and would like to have someone to talk to.

“It’s very satisfying. I have met some very interesting people, and hopefully I have been helpful for them.”

Lesley has a very long history of helping others; her career was as a physiotherapist. She has always been a warm and welcoming presence in our organisation, and she has now provided many people with much needed support through her work as a Befriender.

Lesley has also been able to support people on an additional level because she understands what they are going through. While every visual impairment is different, Lesley can understand the people she talks to on a level no sighted person ever could. “I have a good knowledge of what it’s like and I am able to give information that others might not,” she said.

Lesley called MyVision an organisation that “gives out a great deal of help,” and we are largely able to do that thanks to Lesley and other incredible volunteers like her.

Want to get involved?

You can get involved with MyVision Oxfordshire, if you have some time to spare then volunteering as a befriender might be of interest.

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MyVision Oxfordshire is registered as a charity in England and Wales No.1140556 and as a company limited by guarantee in England and Wales No. 07465300.