"Sight Scotland has made a big difference to my daily life. Without learning how to use this cane, I couldn’t get about."

- Lee, who is impacted by diabetic retinopathy

Lee says that thanks to our Community Service’s support, he’s now able to get out of his house and live his life again.

Lee is 50 years old and lives in Leith, Edinburgh. Lee has diabetic retinopathy and cataracts in both eyes, which means the lenses in his eyes have cloudy patches.

Lee says: “My vision is misty. For example, I can’t see what’s in this sandwich in front of me.

"Before I received support, I’d often stay at home, because it was hard getting across the road.”

Seeking help, Lee called our Sight Scotland Support Line.

Our Rehabilitation and Mobility Officer, Caroline Hedley, met with Lee and assessed the challenges his visual impairment was having on his everyday life.

Lee says: “Caroline recommended several lights for me, which make it easier to see in my house. She also suggested coloured chopping boards, and it’s been a great help.”

Lee using his long cane to navigate steps near his home

“I’m always out now. I don’t like being stuck in the house."

- Lee, who receives support from Sight Scotland's Community team.

To help increase Lee’s mobility, Caroline taught him how to use a long cane over a six-month period.

Lee says: “We did eight training sessions at the Ocean Terminal shopping centre and then did training near where I live. Finally, I did training at the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens and I used the cane to find my way along the path.

“I now use the cane whenever I leave the house. I used to walk into the bollards on the footpath near home, because when it’s dark, you can’t see them. The cane helps me negotiate them and get home.”

“I’m always out now. I don’t like being stuck in the house. Normally, I’ll take my dog up to Ferry Road for a walk. I’ve got a train pass, which allows me to take trains anywhere in Scotland.

"So, I can go to Fife on the train and take my dog for a walk on the beach. She absolutely loves it.”

Lee said he was hugely grateful for the support. “I go swimming… I love swimming. I’ve even started going to the gym now.

“Sight Scotland has made a big difference to my daily life. Without learning how to use this cane, I couldn’t get about.

“From the bottom of my heart, I’d like to thank Sight Scotland and all the people that have helped me. I appreciate the help, I really do.”

Do you know someone experiencing changes to their sight? Our Community team may be able to help, you can contact them on 0800 024 8973

Lee walking through Leith with his long cane

Contact our Community team

The Community team provides free advice, information and support to anyone impacted by sight loss.

You can reach us on 0800 024 8973

or find out more here.

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