Blind support group needs volunteer drivers
Being blind can almost feel like you’re on home detention, according to Tokoroa’s Mike Judkins.
Joining the Tokoroa Blind Foundation support group has opened doors that he never knew existed.
‘‘I’m nearly 70 and for me it’s an outing with people with similar issues.’’
The group, which started in November 2013, meets once a month, taking trips away whenever possible.
Volunteer organiser Sue Ramage said the idea to set up a support group for South Waikato’s blind population felt natural after watching her mother do something similar in Hamilton for more than 50 years.
She teamed up with regional volunteer services co-ordinator Trish Murray in November 2013 and the group has blossomed since.
Ramage said about 10 to 15 people show up to every meeting but they hope to increase this.
According to the Blind Foundation there are more than 60 blind people living in the South Waikato.
Murray said there are about 30 of those who would want to come to the meetings but can’t because of logistical reasons such as transport.
‘‘That’s one of the biggest problems is getting drivers. Pretty much for any blind or visually impaired person the biggest issue is transport for whatever social or recreation event they want to go to and there’s a lot of grief attached to that.
‘‘Lots of people can still see pretty fine but are legally blind so can’t drive so they lose their independence.’’
Group member agreed.
‘‘The only time I get out of town is if I go to the hospital when my dad takes me,’’ Miller said.
The group is looking for volunteers. All candidates will need to complete a police check.
GOING STRONG: The Tokoroa Blind Foundation support group is looking for volunteers to help reach potential members struggling with transport.