Elsie aged 69 from Keyworth is registered sight impaired (Partially sighted) due to glaucoma.
“I’d been living with glaucoma for some time and was coping with it, but around three years ago I experienced a sudden and catastrophic deterioration in my sight, which coincided with a change of circumstances in my personal life, which meant I had to adjust to living alone.
“I first noticed there was something seriously wrong when I tried to back the car out of my drive and the lamppost at the bottom kept changing sides so that one day it hit my car, causing a not-insignificant amount of damage!
“I’d always been quite sporty and my social circles revolved around badminton and golf. I quickly realised that these things needed good eyesight. Because my social life revolved around sports clubs, I lost a lot of friends. They were supportive at first, but there are only so many times people are prepared to find your golf balls for you before it becomes a drag!
“My life and my social activities begin to shrink rapidly, it seemed as if everything had changed quite suddenly and life was closing in, it was frightening. I felt bored, useless and really down – it was all too much to cope with at once.
“The hospital registered me partially sighted and I was referred to social services, who referred me on to My Sight Notts for social interaction. I began attending the Thursday Social Group every Thursday, it got me out of the house and meeting new people, which was what I needed.
“I met other visually impaired people coping with far worse sight loss than me and this inspired me to pick myself up and get on with living my life, albeit it a different life from what I’d lived before and what I expected to be living.
“The Thursday Social Group opened my mind up to new possibilities and I began to explore different ways of spending my free time. I could have sat at home looking at the four walls, sinking deeper into depression, but I chose not to. The Social Group and Arts classes have opened up my world again to all sorts of new possibilities.”