Home » Eye health » Gifts in Wills help build skills for life

Lorna MacPherson-Reed

Head of Legacy Fundraising, RNIB

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is the UK’s leading sight loss charity. Gifts in Wills make almost a third of its work possible, including practical and emotional support for blind and partially sighted people.

When Debra Roffey, 51, attended RNIB’s Living Well with Sight Loss course, she gained the tools and support to overcome her feelings of anxiety and isolation. With the right support, she built her confidence and is now able to tackle everyday challenges and live the life she wants to lead.

Anxiety and isolation

“I first experienced difficulties in my right eye when I was four years old.

I had optical atrophy. I later developed the same condition in my other eye. I used to get really nervous about going out, especially without my husband. It left me feeling isolated and limited by my anxiety. In 2015, a support worker told me about RNIB’s Living Well with Sight Loss course.

On the course I was introduced to several low vision aids which could help me around the house, raising my confidence in doing everyday tasks.

“During the eye health and leisure sessions, I heard about new swimming sessions for visually impaired people. I used to be a lifeguard and missed swimming but feared getting back in the water.

“The support from my new friends on the course encouraged me to try swimming again and were vital in helping to improve my confidence. I began to swim regularly again, and even completed a three-mile Swimathon! It felt good to be understood.

Increasing confidence

“I was so impressed by the RNIB course that I agreed to speak at one of their events. More than 40 groups within the low vision sector were there. Before the course, I was too afraid to even speak in front of a small group of people.

The support from my new friends on the course encouraged me to try swimming again and were vital in helping to improve my confidence.

“I can’t thank RNIB enough. I can now go out by myself with confidence or spend time with friends and have a good time. I feel empowered and it’s all because of the skills I gained.”

How you can help

Many people with sight loss feel that life offers limited opportunity. A gift in your Will to RNIB could help fund courses like Living Well With Sight Loss so more people like Debra can re-build their confidence and develop the skills they need to live more independently

If you would like to request a free Will guide, or find out more about leaving a gift in your Will to RNIB, please visit www.rnib.org.uk/legacy, email [email protected] or call 0303 123 9999 and select option 4 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

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