"RSBC changed my life completely" Charlotte, 22
Twenty two year old Charlotte from London joined RSBC early last year having been diagnosed with Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON). Recently she joined the RSBC Youth Forum, using her experience of sight loss to support others going through the same thing:
RSBC changed my life completely. Before joining I was a quiet, unemployed and under-confident girl who didn’t know what to do with her life or how to deal with sudden sight loss. For me, it was all about meeting other people at first. RSBC helped me meet young people that were going through the same thing as me, and could relate to my situation, and suddenly I didn’t feel so alone anymore.
Then it was about challenging myself to get out there and find a job. I knew I had to improve some of my skills before that would be able to happen. I had never travelled much independently but coming in for workshops and sessions now gave me a reason to, and seeing others doing it gave me the motivation to persevere until I succeeded.
I began to believe in myself
My confidence almost instantly improved and once I did it a few times and met more and more people, I began to believe in myself.
I wanted to get more involved so I joined the Social and Peer groups and Health and Well-being clubs. Taking part in the sports and activities gave me the fun and enjoyment I used to get from sports before losing my sight.
I feel like RSBC gave me a voice and helped me with the things I wanted and needed help with.
I don’t feel different anymore and can live my life to the fullest, which I didn’t think I would be able to do.
"I would not be where I am today without them, in a full-time apprenticeship with the Home Office, more confident than ever, more friends and most of all, a voice for myself and other vision impaired people"