To suddenly lose your sight is so very frightening and isolating as experienced by one of the service users supported by Focus Birmingham’s befriending and welfare service. Marie is a lovely 56 year old lady who describes the service as ‘a godsend’

Marie was a very outgoing woman and used to work in a number of customer facing roles in Iceland, Morrison’s and as a hotel receptionist.

For Marie, talking to others wasn’t just part of her role, but her everyday life, and she enjoyed it to the fullest. However, since the day she lost her sight ‘It’s been extremely different’ she remarks. Marie was working on the tills one day when she suffered an aneurysm which resulted in her losing sight in her left eye.

Marie went on, ‘When I knew what had happened I didn’t feel like myself, it was a scary experience and I felt so lonely. I had to re-adjust to life again and learn how to navigate the outdoors without falling, tripping or bumping into people.’

‘I was referred to the Focus Birmingham telephone befriending service by another sight loss charity, Birmingham Vision. It has been a godsend. I was paired up with volunteer befriender, Andrew. I look forward to Tuesday mornings because I know Andrew will be calling me and we will have our weekly catch-up. It has had such a positive impact on me, I have something to look forward to, my anxiety levels have gone down, and I don’t feel so lonely anymore’.

The Focus Birmingham befriending and welfare service is a lifeline for many, just talking and listening can help reduce anxiety and boost self-esteem. The service helps to limit isolation and increase a sense of belonging.

As Marie says, ‘A weekly phone call can make all the difference. Give it a go there are people out there who care and Focus has made such a difference in my life’.

If you would like to know more about our befriending and welfare service, call us on 0121 478 5200 or email info@focusbirmingham.org.uk

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