Help Kevin plant seeds of hope

My name is Kevin Smith. I’m a keen gardener, but everything changed when I lost my sight nearly 20 years ago.

My sight loss was caused by an inflammation to the blood vessels in my head, which damaged my optic nerve.

I was working as a bus inspector when my left eye went overnight. 10 years later, the other eye went and I lost my job. It was such a shock. I sort of gave up on everything.

Then I found out about RNIB and they helped me in so many ways. I received support from their Helpline and went on a Living with Sight Loss course, where I got all sorts of useful advice.

Give a gift today

When I told RNIB about my love for gardening, they put me touch with Thrive, a charity that helps people with disabilities through gardening. I got an NVQ in Horticulture and even won an award at the Chelsea Flower Show!

Thanks to RNIB, my life has changed again. I’ve found my confidence and realised that I do have potential.

I’ve just moved into a new place with a huge garden and I’m going to make my mark!

RNIB needs your support to keep these services going and to reach more blind and partially sighted people.  Please can you help plant seeds of hope by giving a gift today?

One in five people will live with sight loss in their lifetime

Many people don’t know where to turn when they find out they are losing their sight. Thanks to your donation, RNIB can offer emotional and practical support to help them piece their life back together. You could help someone with sight loss to find their confidence again.

How your gift could make every day better for people with sight loss

£10 could help 100 people better understand their eye condition through easy-to-read information on our website.

£20 could provide the opportunity for a group of people to share experiences and build friendships during our Living with Sight Loss course.

£50 could go towards running the RNIB Helpline for one hour, so blind and partially sighted people can contact us with any questions they might have.

Change someone's life

Kevin’s top tips for gardening with sight loss

  1. Don’t be put off. Some seeds, compost and a pot is good start.
  1. Choose colourful tools, so you can spot them even with limited sight.
  1. Always wear gloves when using sharp tools, such as secateurs.
  1. Listen when you’re filling up your watering can.You’ll get to know the noise when it’s nearly full.
  1. Grow lovely-smelling plants. Some of Kevin's favourites are fennel, heliotrope (a flower that smells like cherry pie and custard), and choisya (a bush that smells like cream and oranges).
  1. Don’t worry about making a mistake, because that’s how we all learn.
  1. Go slowly, there is no rush. It will grow.

Our tips for stowing stock seeds

  1. Do not sow all the seeds in one pot.  The plant may become crowded.
  1. Water your plant well.
  1. Place the pot in an area where your plant will get plenty of sunlight.
  1. If your plant becomes crowded, pick out the stems to thin them out. Do this around 14 days after you've planted the seeds.
  1. Transfer to a larger area. Do this once the plant grows to a reasonable size.
  1. Enjoy the beautiful flowers!

If you, like Kevin, love growing plants, flowers or vegetables, we’d love to hear from you!

You can inspire other people, whether they’re would-be or seasoned gardeners, with your own tops tips.

You can send in your tips by:

We'll share the best tips, so check back to see if yours made it!

Read your gardening tips

More information about our life-changing services that helped Kevin bloom