Meet Brian from Bangor

06 Feb 2014

Brian HenningsBrian is 81 he developed Glaucoma late in life which resulted in his sight completely failing. Previously Brian, a retired civil servant from Bangor, was thoroughly enjoying life; he was very active in his community, loved playing bowls and attending his local club.

When Brian lost his sight he hated relying on other people, he retreated into himself, losing the confidence that independence and freedom of movement bring. He began to spend his days in his favourite chair, with the outside world slipping away from him.

Under the supervision of a Guide Dogs Mobility instructor, Brian’s life blossomed again. Brian was first paired with one of our My Guide volunteers, Harry back in 2011.

Brian said “Socially it got me out of the house at a time when I was withdrawing both into myself and into my home. My home was safety, security and I needed this service to really bring me out of myself and out of the home. I knew with [the My Guide Volunteer] Harry I was safe in crossing roads and going where I needed to go.”

Brian and Harry immediately bonded with a shared love of football and the same dry sense of humour. Their weekly outings quickly became something that Brian looked forward to. “I have enormous gratitude to Harry, it’s really beyond words how kind he is. He came at a stage when I was really at the cusp of turning absolutely inward and Harry helped to really to stop that.”

This partnership created a huge boost in Brian’s confidence and he has since progressed through our My Guide scheme to long cane training and is now the proud owner of a guide dog Barony.

The My Guide service pairs people who are blind and partially sighted with volunteers, assisting them with getting our and about into their community, building their confidence and encouraging them to become more independently mobile. Without the help of My Guide volunteer Harry, Brian would never have got to the level of independence that he has now.

Find out more about our My Guide service today.