Atiqa aged 25 from Bramcote lost her sight as a teenager due to an accident. She met her My Guide volunteer Carri in 2014. The two get on so well they’ve even been on holiday together!
“I’m quite a confident and outgoing person who wants to enjoy life like most other young people in their 20s.
“Losing my sight as a teenager was devastating, but as I began to adjust I found the limitations sight loss imposed on my quality of life really frustrating. Like most young women, I want to be independent from my parents and to go out and do my own thing, but because I can’t see I struggle to be as independent as I’d like.
“My Sight Notts suggested I might benefit from a My Guide volunteer and I decided to give it a try.
“I was quite keen to be partnered with a volunteer who was a similar age to me and had similar interests to myself, so I was delighted when they suggested Carri, who was roughly my age.
“We got on well from the beginning, Carri comes once or twice a week to read my mail and she began by guiding me to my local park so I could get out of the house. This quickly developed into going swimming and visiting the gym together and we soon discovered we got on fantastically!
“Carri makes me laugh a lot; we love to tease each other. She lifts my spirits and makes me smile!
“I would probably say that I’m the more confident of the two, I’ve taught Carri Origami and I was the one who suggested we go on holiday together, but it was important to me that we chose the destination together and we both agreed that we wanted to go to Barcelona.
“Going swimming and travelling aboard without my parents would have been unthinkable before I met Carri. She’s enabled me to be more independent from my family and enjoy things other young people take for granted.”
“I saw the My Guide volunteer role on a local charity website and thought it looked interesting and worthwhile. It was a flexible role, which I could fit around my work. The training was informative and practical, which really appealed to me. It was well thought out and made good use of my time.
“I was quite nervous when I first met Atiqa, because I really wanted to make it work, plus I knew Atiqa needed to put a lot of trust in me as her sighted guide, but I needn’t have worried, it was clear fairly early on we were going to get on well.
“People often think that the volunteer does all the giving in partnerships like ours, but that’s not true! Atiqa is very confident and eager to try new things, whereas I’m quite a cautious person. She’s encouraged me to try all sorts of things, like flying abroad and learning some Urdu! We’re well-matched and have lots of fun together.