“I get rewards from being able to help people"

Posted: Monday 03 June 2019

Pat joined the Society soon after he was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) 14 years ago.

He’d never heard of the condition and was fearful of what his future had in store. 

He said: “I was devastated to be told I would go blind and that there was nothing they could do for me.

 “I wondered how I was going to be able to drive to work, or see the TV as I love my sports.”

When he retired a few years later, he was keen to stay busy and decided to become a volunteer for the Macular Society.

Pat trained as a Gadget Guide, demonstrating the benefits of good lighting and simple equipment which can make a big difference to the lives of people with sight loss.

He added: “I get rewards from being able to help people. They’re always grateful for any help they get. They often come back to me to tell me how what they’ve learnt has helped them regain some of their independence.”

Pat, who also volunteers as a speaker, skills for seeing trainer, a tech talker and is an active member of the Lincoln Support Group, said his career in the Royal Air Force had helped give him the confidence to fulfil his volunteer roles.

“It’s all about having the confidence to be able to speak to people. I was in the RAF for 32 years and then worked at the Air Cadets HQ, a retired officer for nine years, advising volunteers on RAF engineering matters and policy. I was always speaking to people, so it’s really helped me.”

Volunteers like Pat mean we can continue to make a difference to the lives of people with macular disease