The start of January 2024 marked Jas (Focus volunteer) and her husband Jagjivan Mistry’s (Focus service user) 52nd wedding anniversary, showing a true partnership. Fifty years ago, the pair moved to England from Bombay, India (where the two met originally). You may recognise these two models’ familiar faces as they appear on our websites and leaflets frequently. 

In 1996, Jas’ husbands sight loss began to occur, and his optician broke the news that he was suffering with glaucoma- an eye disease leading to the damage of the optic nerve. This led to vision loss, so he now needs glasses and benefits from extra treatment. 

Jas has been volunteering at Focus Birmingham for over twenty years! Her true dedication to turn up is made clear by  her presence each week. She even takes two buses just to get here. She shows care and attentiveness to staff as well as service users. As she  volunteers at coffee mornings (which is a wonderful weekly event  Focus offers), her husband Jag enjoys conversing with the other coffee morning guests, sharing biscuits and refreshments, also partaking in raffles and light laughter. Here, he doesn’t have to feel alone, experiences can be shared, and comfort is found by just being  surrounded with others who have similar sight loss and health  conditions. He thoroughly enjoys returning here each week and has no problem getting out of bed in the morning to do so!

When the two found out about Jag’s condition, it was extremely difficult, as it would be for anyone. It was an unexpected news, and the pair didn’t know what to do. Jag used to drive before so this changed everything for both. Jas was extremely independent before, however this change meant that Jag needed to depend on her more.

Focus helps Jag everyday whether that be with walking, cooking and cleaning, as well as providing additional care when needed. Especially after Jag had a stroke last year, which was a terrifying experience and required additional support. It partially effected his speech, which must have been frustrating. Fortunately, he is surrounded by an understanding partner and a team of people at Focus, so he received universal support and direction with no judgement. With time and care from both Focus staff and his loving wife, he continues to play an important role in their lives, bringing joy!

As they don’t have phones or internet connection, Focus offers  community and connection so they can interact with others who have similar experiences to them. Although life has  thrown this beautiful couple some obstacles in their path, the  two remain undefeated and strong. Knowing they are not alone in their struggles makes life worth living. As Jas said her  attendance here “helps me and helps Focus” as without the people, Focus wouldn’t  have had such a positively large impact into making people’s lives better!