“I was stuck at home for 3 years, I am so glad to join Croydon Vision’s community!” PH.

This volunteer role—oh, it’s the one I’ve been praying for. Each night, I hit the hay with the anticipation of waking up to a morning filled with excitement and purpose. The sheer thrill of going to work has become my daily pump-up routine, giving my life the structure and sense of meaning it desperately needed. And let me tell you, it’s done wonders for my mental health and overall well-being.

What I do resonates with me on a deep level. Whether I’m making calls to members, answering phones, or simply greeting people in the reception area, it all feels like second nature, like a genuine joy that comes from doing what I love. The people I work with add to this joy—they’re warm, kind, and I can genuinely say I feel loved, supported, and appreciated every day. Making the Volunteer Liaison Officer, Joyshree, and my ultimate guide, God, proud is always on my mind. Thankfully, they often reassure me, and that significantly eases my anxiety and boosts my self-esteem.

Working alongside Glen, or as I affectionately call him, Batman, has been an absolute honor. He’s not just a colleague; he’s been my guiding light through the labyrinth of sight loss. He’s helped me navigate the bureaucratic maze to claim the financial support I now need from the government. And let me tell you, the visual awareness training was a riot! Led by lovely Jennifer and Shalini who, like me, have experienced sight loss, the training wasn’t the heavy, difficult affair I imagined. Instead, it was a source of laughter, learning, and a newfound perspective.

I can’t emphasize enough how much I learned during that training. It opened my eyes to a whole new world, a world filled with nuanced experiences of others on their sight loss journeys and the different forms of support they might need. It was more than just an informative session; it was a chance to draw strength and perspective from each other’s experiences. And you know what? We laughed—a lot. It wasn’t a downhearted affair at all, which I appreciated because my sight loss journey has often been accompanied by sad undertones and well-intentioned but insensitive ignorance from others.

And can we talk about the fact that I get £10 for lunch? I still can’t believe it. It’s like a little bonus that allows me to indulge in dessert if I feel like it. What more could I ask for?

In the tapestry of my volunteer story, every thread is woven with purpose, community, and laughter. It’s a reminder that even in the face of challenges, there’s a world of hope waiting to be embraced.