Amira is part of our Sightlife group, a group which is currently made up of people with sight loss from BME communities in the Cardiff and Newport area. The club meets once a week via Zoom (due to current COVID restrictions) and they carryout a range of online activities. The clubs are a great mechanism for peer support, facilitating knowledge and advice sharing, as well as a great socialising opportunity.
Here is Amira’s story….
“I have been with Sight Life for well over five years and have thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve learnt so much from the group friendships, meetings, and the various interesting people that visit us to talk about their work and different local health and safety issues that we were not aware about before. Some examples include: Diabetes, Samaritans, ambulances, carers rights, hearing aids, computers, digital media, and information on the Echo Dot.
Over the past year of complete shielding it was such a blessing to have the Zoom meetings on a weekly basis, they have helped me from being completely isolated from the world. The group friendships have deepened as we were able to talk to each other and express how we were feeling, knowing that everyone would understand and support us with their various advice and telephone calls if needed. We do miss each other if we have to miss a meeting for any reason.
I had a couple of hiccups during the year whereby Esther (the Sight Life Coordinator) and others kept in touch with me until I was ok. That was so comforting and supportive of them as I was so sad and low.
We have various quizzes and sessions on things like knitting, cooking and baking, yoga, flower arranging, wellbeing and digital support. We also share poems, quotes, our favourite childhood plays, as well as sharing our childhood stories about our upbringing, our different thoughts and memories of our family lives, as we all come from various different places and cultures – We share our lives, differing views and thoughts.
We play games and have had times where we have all laughed so much that everyone had joyful tears by the end of the session. My daughter and son-in-law couldn’t help tease me for days about how child-like I became on one particular Monday.
We share our different talents and expertise of what we do during the week such as gardening, crocheting, knitting, jigsaws, painting, arts and crafts and cookery.
All in all, the Monday Sight life sessions are now part of us, where we all come together as a family regardless where we are in the world, as even Aunty Shamim who is stuck in Karachi Pakistan at the moment still remembers to join the group via Zoom. When I visit my daughter in Maidenhead I never forgot to join the Zoom sessions as these sessions are entwined into the fabric of our family and friendship lives.
We are not just a group of friends anymore but a family and friendship group that with God’s blessing, will always be there for each other especially on Monday afternoons. We are always open to new people joining us as that increases the wealth of celebrating differences in the group. We respect everyone and have a lot of friendship to offer others too.”