Kate was diagnosed with Stargardt’s disease when she was 28. Stargardt’s, also known as juvenile macular degeneration, causes central vision loss. Kate’s sight had been gradually deteriorating since birth but she wasn’t aware of her sight condition until then. Over the next decade Kate’s eyesight continued to weaken. After a decade she lost her driving licence and became registered blind.
Despite this Kate worked with her husband and bought up 4 children, the youngest is now 14. As her youngest child is now a teenager Kate decided it was time to find a job. She discussed this with friends and family including an aunt who lives in Nether Stowey. As luck would have it Somerset Sight’s BIG Lottery Funded Mobile Advice Service was due to visit the village soon after and Kate cycled the 6 miles from her home between Holford and Kilve (sticking to the quiet lanes) to visit it. She wanted to enquire about volunteering opportunities but found the charity was recruiting a new receptionist. She applied for the role, wowed the interview panel and started working with the charity 5 days a week in May 2017. Kate’s role is varied and she is thoroughly enjoying her new job. She answers the telephone, welcomes members, staff and the public as they come through the door, helps the running of the audio book library and serves people in the resource centre.