Judy* is one of Thomas Pocklington Trust’s Eye Clinic Support Service volunteers, based at one of Moorfields Eye Hospital’s satellite sites in East London. She is retired but stays active by volunteering for causes that she has a personal connection with. Her father had glaucoma, while her son-in-law also has a visual impairment and uses a guide dog.
As an Eye Clinic Support Service volunteer Judy provides emotional and practical support to patients who have recently been diagnosed with sight loss or are receiving treatment. The Sister at the Moorfields clinic said: “The patients really enjoy having a chat with (Judy) and she does a lot to make patients comfortable and ease their journey through the department.”
Many of the patients are older and may not have anyone to accompany them to their appointments. One time, an elderly gentleman, who had mobility problems, didn’t have money to get a taxi back home and wasn’t sure which bus to catch. Judy reported it to the clinic staff and they organised a taxi for him to get home safely.
Judy says she loves her volunteer role and finds it very rewarding. She meets a lot of different people and sometimes the same patients come back so she has got to know some of them. “People thank me when they leave and say that I’ve made the experience a lot easier for them. Sometimes I feel like I get more out of it but I always feel that I’ve made a difference to patients at the end of each session,” Judy said.
*We have changed the volunteer’s name to Judy for privacy.
To find out how you can become a Eye Clinic Support Service Volunteer and help make a difference to the lives of blind and partially sighted people, visit our Volunteer Opportunities page.