Heather Wiseman has written Annual Reports for:
Heather felt the significance of Royal Blind Society’s work was best explained by those who had benefited from it. Big-picture achievements, like the launch of a new Vision Assist service for people with low vision, were important, but hearing Lillian Bradford’s story, ghost-written by Heather in the first person, made the true significance of the service resonate.
My husband died when I was only 45 and I’m now 82, so I’ve been alone for a long time. But if it wasn’t for Royal Blind Society (RBS) I don’t think I’d still be living independently at home on my own.
RBS has helped me cope since my eyes started letting me down. I’m a fairly healthy person and I don’t have too many aches or pains, so it’s just maddening when you can’t see and that stops you doing things.
It’s not just that you can’t see to read the phone book or the newspaper, and that’s frustrating enough. It means you waste a lot of time wondering what temperature you’ve set the oven at or whether you’ve turned it off.
All of that changed when one of the ladies from RBS taught me a few tricks based on making things bigger, bolder and brighter, and relying more on my sense of touch.
It sounds very simple, but it makes a huge difference to be able to cook all of my own means and do my own washing. It’s meant that I can manage on my own again.
I also got a big confidence boost when RBS set me up with my special sunglasses and white cane. Before that I was scared to leave the house.
When I’m not out and about, getting my hair done or shopping with friends, the talking-book library helps me pass the time away at home.
Not that I’m into anything too heavy, but I like a good murder mystery and a little bit of romance – that doesn’t hurt any of us once in a while.
The theme of communicating RBS’s diverse range of services, by focussing on the difference they made to people’s lives, continued throughout the report.
Heather also took a different approach in presenting Council members in the report, asking each of them to write a small explanation of why they served on Council. It resulted in engaging reading, with scope to reassure existing and potential donors of the diverse range of personalities involved and what each had to offer.
Dr Frank Martin AM: I joined Council because I felt that as an ophthalmologist I could contribute beyond the boundaries of medical care… I would like to achieve an independent lifestyle for all people who are vision impaired, from children to the elderly.
Christopher Cullen AM: I shudder to think how life would be for our clients without our support and services. I am the fourth generation of my family to have the privilege of serving on Council and have done so for 14 years…
Ivan Cribb AM: Having been blind since early childhood, it is only natural that I should have a deep interest in the needs of blind and vision impaired people and in the services available to them. I have been a member of Council for approximately 20 years in the hope of making a contribution to the improvement and development of those services.