Image of Focus Enablement coordinator, Shameena

Enablement Coordinator, Shameena, talks about her sight loss and volunteering journey.

Shameena explains “18 months ago I woke up with no vision in my left eye, as you can imagine I was distraught, depressed and I couldn’t understand why this was happening. I was admitted to BMEC hospital and then on to Moorefield’s Eye Hospital, London to see Professor Sir Peng Khaw.  I was diagnosed with a rare syndrome called Uveal Effusion Syndrome.  

I underwent a 5 hour operation at BMEC hospital with surgeon Mr Imran Masood who did a fantastic job! Weeks went by and I had no one to talk too about my life changing trauma and how I was feeling in general.  My mum searched the internet and came across Focus Birmingham. I booked an appointment, had an eye test and was booked on the counselling service with Focus. The counselling service was the best move I could ever take. Nicki was amazing her counselling sessions left me feeling positive about my life journey ahead. As time went on, I was referred to the Voluntary services.  Lisa the voluntary coordinator paired me up with jobs which were suited to my skills and also helped with building my confidence and social skills”.

Our volunteering programme is all about helping you build your self-esteem, confidence and new skills.

Shameena goes on to say, “Working as a voluntary photographer and a Befriender in the Day Centre has been so rewarding in many ways such as; to my mental health, social interaction, confidence and best of all giving back and interacting with others with disabilities.

Helping others is huge, it’s amazing to know how much you can help others just by talking and giving some of your time. I truly believe I got the right job as an Enabling Coordinator at Focus, I have interacted with Service Users who say ‘they are so happy to speak to someone who can relate to how they are feeling and understand their frustration’. This is such a powerful impact on both Service Users and myself".

Volunteering with Focus Birmingham is much more than just giving time – it’s a way of making your own life better