Stephen, aged 52 from Carmarthenshire led an active lifestyle until he experienced eyesight deterioration several years ago. Previously a tyre fitter by trade, Stephen found himself unable to work and was cared for by his wife, Tracey.
Stephen earned his first Time Credit taking part in designing a leaflet on how to combat loneliness, whilst attending a wellbeing course in Llanelli. That day was the first time that Stephen walked unaided to a local venue, using his visual impairment training to find his way.
‘My confidence was so low. I was afraid of trying new things and going to new places. But I really wanted to show people that you can do things even if you’re blind or have any other type of disability.’
Stephen became frustrated about the lack of opportunities for people with a visual impairment and started up a visual impairment bowls club in Llanelli. He was soon inundated with people wanting to join. Using Time Credits helped Stephen to grow the club, increase the number of volunteers and participants, and taking part in local and national tournaments.
‘We open up sessions to sighted people and show them how we work out the weight and direction on the ball, and show them the challenges we face. We’re always on the lookout for new members and volunteers who can help facilitate our activities.”
Time Credits have helped Stephen in his journey to raising awareness of the challenges faced by blind people and to show others that their disability need not hold them back from doing things they enjoy.
‘Time Credits have helped to grow my confidence and keep the bowls club going so that other people can access it and make new friends.’
Stephen adds that new members are always welcome to join the bowls club, whether it’s for a cup of tea or to play a game on the green.