Featured Trustee – Shirley Sheridan
It’s National Trustee Week which gives us the perfect opportunity to highlight the exceptional work our trustees undertake on behalf of Sight Concern Worcestershire by featuring Shirley Sheridan. Shirley’s connection with Sight Concern started in 2010 having moved to Worcestershire and she was then asked to become a trustee in 2014.
Life changed irrevocably for Shirley at the age of 31 when she lost her sight. She spent 14 years feeling isolated and unaware that help was available. Once contact was made with Sight Concern things began to change rapidly. Shirley undertook courses, joined support groups and received advice that helped her live confidently with her sight loss. She has since turned into an adrenaline junky having taken part in sky diving, wing walking, abseiling and the massive zip wire in Snowdonia amongst other adventures. These challenges she embraced to help raise the profile of the charity, and to prove that sight loss does not prevent anyone from engaging in any activity.
Shirley became a trustee after being asked by Sight Concern’s CEO Jenny Gage. Shirley’s first-hand experience of Sight Concern’s services made her an ideal trustee giving the Board of Trustees valuable insight into the impact of sight loss. Shirley’s involvement as a trustee is wide-ranging and includes being a Sight Concern ambassador, fundraising – having frequently stood on the high street collecting for Sight Concern, being a telephone befriender and also sitting on Sight Concern’s interview panel.
Shirley’s ambassadorial role for Sight Concern sees her visiting the whole of Worcestershire presenting to a varied range of groups about her experience of sight loss and how she has adapted. Subsequently, she has raised significant donations in the process. When Shirley goes into schools and speaks to children she takes Taylor, her guide dog, and her aids which help her manage independently in the home, and they both engage with the children. This makes an entertaining and interactive session that involves the children undertaking a number of fun activities, without the aid of their sight. This gives the children an insight into the challenges that those with sight loss have and how they overcome them.
Shirley’s unfaltering dedication and enthusiasm for helping other people come to terms with sight loss and in spreading the word about how the charity can help people with sight loss is an inspiration to us all at Sight Concern. We would like to thank Shirley and all our trustees for the outstanding work they do on behalf of Sight Concern. They bring their own perspective, skills and passion to the organisation which continues to help guide Sight Concern in supporting people with impaired sight in Worcestershire.