A Gwynedd volunteer has spoken of his desire to inspire other blind and partially sighted people after he found support at a leading sight loss charity.
David Reaney, 61, from Harlech says after he struggled to come to terms with losing his sight he received vital support from the Royal National Institute of Blind People Cymru (RNIB Cymru), where he now volunteers helping others grow in confidence.
David says: “I first got in touch with RNIB Cymru when I was at a bit of a low point following my sight loss diagnosis. I was worried about not being able to do a lot of the things I enjoyed anymore and how I’d cope with all the changes, but after speaking to people at the charity I felt better almost straight away.
“It was amazing being able to reach out and talk to someone about what I was going through. They really helped me get back on my feet, and I felt like I wanted to repay the favour.”
David began to volunteer as part of the charity’s Talk and Support befriending groups, where he speaks to other people who have recently lost their sight around Gwynedd and across Wales. He also regularly talks publicly about his story, hoping to be an example to others in his position.
“I hope I’m able to encourage and inspire people to embrace life with sight loss, just as I was inspired to when I first came to RNIB Cymru," he added.
”After getting so much out of RNIB Cymru myself it was great to have the opportunity to give something back.”
Nathan Owen, RNIB Cymru’s external affairs manager, said: “David’s story is a great example of someone who, after initially coming to us for support, has built their skills and confidence and now generously gives his time and energy to support others who are going through similar experiences.
“David is one of our many volunteers in Wales who work hard every day to support other blind and partially sighted people. Volunteers’ Week is a great opportunity to celebrate their achievements and thank them for all they do.”
Volunteers’ Week runs until today, 7 June, but it's never too late to find out more about volunteering. To discover how you can help RNIB Cymru, head to rnib.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer/volunteering-opportunities/?location=4&page=3