John has been blind since birth and came to the Trust as a 17-year-old boy; after his mother heard about the support the Wilberforce Trust provided for people who are blind or partially sighted.
On meeting John, it is hard to ignore his passion for life and his love for stories, music and friendship. He speaks of how he started writing poetry in 1998 and completed his first poetry book in a year; he’s even come second in a poetry competition. His creativity really shines through when you meet him: “what I do love is to be creative, to be creative is…to look at things in another way”.
John has led life to the fullest with the help of his support network, but his life has not always been that way. He will tell you, as you get to know him, that:
“my world was very dark at one time, and being blind can be an awful thing, horrible, scary… and when you can’t see things the world is like no light, completely black…” thanks to his support network at The Wilberforce Trust John will happily describe how his world has been illuminated: “they always tell me when the stars are shining, I can’t see things but it’s a wonderful thing people describing all the colours. And Joan described a beautiful evening for me, all the pinks and reds”. The impact that these dear friends have on John’s life is made clear as he reflects on what “a wonderful experience [it was] to notice that my world wasn’t dark anymore.”
And how the wonderful people he has met at The Wilberforce Trust have changed and continue to change his life for the better.
John’s involvement with The Wilberforce Trust has spanned many years. He has witnessed how the Trust has grown and changed and comments on how, although originally feeling much more institutional, the work of the Trust has increasingly impacted his life for the better. When describing people who have made a very significant impact John says he is so grateful for their “lovely understanding and clear open mind” and how they “opened the door to my life in such a lovely way”. For John, it is clear that the people at the Wilberforce Trust are what has made the real difference and helped him change his life for the better