At the age of 35, married with a two-year old son, David’s life was turned upside down when he was diagnosed with meningitis.  Told by doctors his sight would never return and he may never walk again, he defied expectations through sheer determination and learned to walk again and live in complete darkness. He decided to use what he learned to help others like himself.

Location: Bassingstoke, Hampshire

What David found through this illness was strength to carry on but also an inner desire to help others.  He decided that having gained so much information about computers, training and Guide Dogs that would set up a local organisation in Basingstoke which would help others like himself through this life changing process.

Despite having no funds and being unable to work, David set up a local group and was determined to pass on what he had discovered by setting up a local network where people could actually meet others like themselves.

He found temporary accommodation and through hard work and raising awareness the members started to arrive.  It soon became necessary to find larger premises as the group grew both in numbers and strength. David set up links with business, other charities and those involved with helping the blind and partially sighted. The new group Helping Hands for the Blind was formed.  They offered coffee mornings, events, outings, tackling transport problems with their own mini bus.  The group put on training session and invited experts who provided support and advice.