I have lived at RNIB Community Living Service, Redhill for several years.
I have a cortical visual impairment, microcephalus and mild learning disabilities.
I use a walking stick also as I have some mobility issues. I also need staff support at dusk hours and at night. The trained staff who work with me support me with this.
I have always liked and still enjoy living at Redhill and have achieved many things from daily life skills to things I like to do. My confidence to tackle things has improved over the years as staff have offered me encouragement and support no matter what.
I have been a fan of snooker for many years since I was young, I watch all the tournaments on the TV when they are on, this year something I thought would never happen, happened.
My Key worker and I were looking at local events to see if I would be interested in anything going on only to discover that Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry were playing a snooker tournament at a small venue near where I live, with John Virgo commentating. This was exciting as the venue was accessible to me: it would could allow me to be close enough to the game to see what's happening, unlike larger venues. The small venue was perfect as I do not cope with large crowds very well.
I was so happy! My key worker helped me to buy some tickets making sure the seats were allocated in a good position for me to be able to see.
I was so excited and could not wait for the evening to come. A week before I was due to attend the tournament, my key worker told me that because I was so excited and have been a fan of snooker nearly all my life, it had been arranged that I was to meet the players and commentator before the tournament, have champagne and a chat and my photo taken with them, as well as signed programmes. This made me so happy, I really enjoyed the evening when it came round and will never forget it.
I have very fond memories. I have had a collage and canvas print made of the pictures taken as well as a mug for my Mum as keepsakes to treasure the memory.
This event led me to want to play snooker more. With support from staff, I am looking into joining a local snooker club where I can go and play snooker as well as watch snooker being played.
The club have been supportive of my visual impairment and have agreed to light the snooker table more for me.
This experience has given me more confidence to try and access more things in the community as I feel very supported by staff to try things regardless of my disability. I am so grateful to RNIB staff for all the support and encouragement they provide and I look forward to my future with them.
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