Trina is a very active lady who has been involved with SRSB for many years. She constantly takes on new challenges and has many interests, which also goes some way to explain her positive attitude to her sight condition.
Trina has Macular Degeneration, but she started quite early (in her 50s) with the condition. She began to lose her sight just before taking early retirement from her job as a teacher. She speaks highly of how supportive the school and the pupils were, which meant a lot to her.
Trina confesses that she struggled to come to terms with her diagnosis for about a year, feeling a loss of control and independence, saying that she didn’t want to be led around or to have a cane. But she is now keen to let others know how she views her condition, explaining “Sight loss is not the end – it is just a different path. Yes, there may be challenges ahead, but wow, that’s what life is!”.
She has had the help and support of various organisations, mentioning the ‘can do!’ attitude of Karen at the Hallamshire Low Vision Clinic, the ‘positive persuasion!’ of Jill at the Sensory Impairment Team and the practical support and advice of the Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind (SRSB). She hadn’t heard of SRSB until she was referred by her optician and doctor, but says that we made contact with her in a couple of days and visited her to discuss the ways that we could support her. She says “Once SRSB knew about me they were out,” and remembers attending the Welcome Group and having lunch on her first visit to the centre. One of the things that she was given was a list of activities and Trina has made the most of many activities since then! She was put in touch with a variety of groups and has been involved with the Archery Group, Crafty Ladies, the Culture Club, Ravenscroft, Braille Training, Ten Pin Bowling, to name a few. She also found time to help with fundraising too, selling crafts and holding stalls at various events.
Trina feels that we are very lucky to have the standard of joined-up care that Sheffield enjoys and says that it should be praised to make sure that it goes on.
Her many interests include a regular role over the last few years at the ‘Sheffield In Focus' show on Sheffield Live Radio Station. The show airs on a Tuesday afternoon between 3pm and 5pm and Trina is one of the presenters. Sheffield In Focus is of particular interest to visually impaired people of all ages and features events, product reviews, interviews, opinion, debate, music and much more! The show is a great link for SRSB and we often appear on the show and supply information. Trina is keen to involve more young peole in the show and says that it would be great to have reporters to go out and record stories of interest, as well as guest presenting.
She also has a guide dog, who has been with her for 6 years and she says that it is one of the best things that she has done, saying that it empowers you and gives you independence, which means you don’t have to wait for things as much. It has made a big difference to her confidence and feels that it changes other people’s perception of you.
Trina is one of our many Inspirational People and believes that “What you enjoyed doing when you were sighted, you can still do… you just have to be prepared to have a go at things and it just might change your life!”.