Permjit Bhachu came from a creative background, however when a routine eye examination at the opticians revealed she had an eye condition that would lead to a severe sight impairment, life changed. This was the first time she was unable to rely on herself financially and she had a very difficult experience with the benefits system. After losing her driving licence Perm began to fall into a depression.


When Perm noticed that her mental health was beginning to affect her family, she decided to do something about it and try to get better. She embarked on her journey with the help of RNIB and Focus. Perm started volunteering as a telephone befriender, however soon realized that it was too-much-too-soon, and began rehabilitation instead, which helped her slowly accept herself and her new life. As a service user, Focus Birmingham helped Perm use technology. When Covid hit the UK, Focus taught her how to use Zoom and Microsoft Teams by messaging and video calling her on WhatsApp. Perm also joined the online photography and yoga groups and partook in Focus telephone counselling sessions that were offered to service users during the pandemic. Moreover, she completed courses in Counselling and Information Advice and Guidance. Participating in all of this meant that Perm’s experience and confidence grew and grew.


With the knowledge she’d obtained, Perm applied for the role of Information Advice and Guidance (IAG) Advisor at Focus Birmingham. Her first application was unsuccessful; however this didn’t stop Perm trying again.  When Perm re-applied, she succeeded, starting her role in July 2022. With this job she wanted to help and make an impact, and that is exactly what she is doing today. Some of her day-to-day duties consist of helping service users fill out their PIP forms, handling referrals and delivering a Living Well with Sight Loss Course. Perm believes that it was the unswerving support from her family and Focus Birmingham that got her to where she is today. Her advice for those wanting to join/rejoin work, is to ‘Persevere! Put in those hours and be determined to get back to work!’.

If you would like to know more about the services we provide, call us on 0121 393 4849 or email [email protected]