As a partially sighted person herself, Wendy has been able to help people cope giving them the emotional support they need. As a result of Wendy’s exceptional hard work at the desk, she received a #ThankYou nomination from fellow colleagues.
“Wendy is such an asset to our department that I would like to nominate her for recognition of her services to our eye patients. Since joining the eye unit she has made a hugely positive contribution to patient experience within the eye unit. She goes the extra mile every day linking vulnerable elderly patients some with severe visual impairment with local services, including social services, investigating entitlements for patients registered sight impaired and providing a bridging service between patients and voluntary agencies, as well as social services. She has been incredibly proactive with procuring a range of low vision aids to demonstrate to patients, including some impressive equipment that can make a real difference to visually impaired patients lives. She does all this cheerfully, is always approachable and willing to help, and in addition she suffers with a visual impairment herself. Her “can do” attitude is admirable and inspirational, and she is a fantastic asset to our unit.“ – Anne-Marie
Wendy joined the Dorset Blind Association team in June 2015 as the sight loss adviser in the eye unit at the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch hospital. Having a supportive and caring team around her within the hospital and at DBA, Wendy has settled in well to her new role.
In a ‘previous life’ Wendy was a Primary school teacher, administrator and most recently worked for a national charity supporting those with sight loss.
Wendy was registered as partially sighted around 14 years ago with Stargardts disease, a juvenile macular dystrophy which affects the central vision. Although Wendy has found that her life has changed and had to make certain adaptations, she has found that it has equally enriched and broadened her life experiences. From meeting and supporting patients at the eye clinic to arriving at the mad decision to take part in DBA’s Skydive on the 19th March with 3 colleagues from the eye unit!!
In her ‘spare time’ Wendy is kept busy with her 2 ‘growing up fast’ children, enjoys faffing around with paint and meeting up with friends.
“It is nice working here, speaking to someone, anyone and older people who are blind or partially sighted. A lot people say, oh but you’re young, so it’s nice that I know a little bit of what they are going through. I has to stop driving for the past 14 years, it’s things like that that make a huge change. My son does street dance and I watch him at shows, but I can’t really tell which one he is.
Generally, it is rewarding if you can help people and in any case, I can’t adequately help, I phone up other people that can help. All the staff in the unit are very friendly and approachable.
It is a bit challenging working with my sight loss, I sometimes mix up the patients or their records because I just can’t find them anymore. Sometimes, coping with people who need huge emotional support can be draining. Hopefully, I have been able to help people regardless.
On getting her recognition, Wendy was pleased and surprised, it is nice to get recognised that you are doing something worthy.
On a bit of a funny side, due to my condition, sometimes in my supermarket shopping, I order for way more quantity of food than I need. Sometimes, I make tea in a milk jar and also because the signs of bathrooms are so small, I sometimes find myself in men’s toilet. I never get upset or think about these things too much.