(Pictured Left to Right: Dom – iSight, Piers Thompson – St Austell Brewery, Will – Reed, Chris and his Adviser, Jade)

Chris was referred to the Restart Scheme with our delivery partner in Cornwall, Reed in Partnership. During his initial meeting with his Employment Adviser, it was evident that Chris was driven to improve his quality of life as he suffers from Diabetic Retinopathy in both eyes, and as a result has lost much of his independence.

Despite this, he is working hard to readjust and remain an active contributor in our local communities. He’s steadfast in his belief that all people are deserving of empowerment and opportunity and such things only serve to benefit local communities.

He is involved in multiple local charities throughout the county that target the mental wellbeing and care for individuals in need. He runs two “Man Down” groups, is a Trustee for Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change and volunteers as a Counsellor with Pegasus. Whilst the latter is in a voluntary capacity, he is also a fully qualified Counsellor and is looking to start his own business in this field.

Tried and tested- ‘nothing short of lifechanging’

Since Chris joined Reed in Partnership, his Employment Adviser has sought to help him with accessibility equipment that will support him into work and enhance his quality of life. After some consultation with iSight Cornwall, who were able to identify a range of specialist accessibility equipment available, Chris was invited to trial the equipment in a second visit to iSight Cornwall. From this meeting, it became evident that the ‘Orcam Read’ would be most useful to Chris.

These devices have the capacity to read off multiple surfaces which would help Chris in his day to day living when travelling or shopping. These simple tasks have become incredibly challenging for him in recent years, and he often struggles to carry them out quickly and with ease. Reading timetables, menus, labels etc is very difficult for Chris and often requires him to ask for help which can be demeaning and demoralising. Having a device such as this would be nothing short of lifechanging; the device would act as a key to unlocking his independence and further enable his ambition of becoming a private counsellor.

Building support from local trusts

We sought external aid in this through several charitable trusts. After some research and further consultation, we applied for funding through St Austell Brewery’s Charitable Trust where we highlighted the need for the equipment but promoted Chris as an outstanding character within the local community. Shortly after, we received news that the Donation Committee met and have agreed to purchase the device for Chris on the grounds of him being an inspirational person and to demonstrate to their own teams the difference that the Trust has on people’s lives.

Chris is delighted with the Orcam Read and remains driven to gain further independence and utilise this incredible device both in his journey to becoming a private Psychotherapist and in his day-to-day life. Chris is extremely grateful for the support from Reed in Partnership and when asking for some feedback he said:

“This will change my life, thank you so much.”

A short while after, all those involved in making it happen came together in Reed’s Truro Office to see the difference it has made to Chris, where he gave us an amazing insight into his journey and some of his experiences since receiving the Orcam.

Chris was able to visit the Kennedy Space Centre with his family where he used the device to read information and walk freely around whilst absorbing the experience. Moving forward he plans to use it to assist him in his day to day living and in his practice as a Counsellor where he already dedicates much of his time helping others.

Such an inspiring story, thank you to all those involved in making such an incredible difference to Chris’s life #NoOneLeftBehind

The Restart Scheme is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions

Area: Cornwall

Have a question? Call us 0800 334 5525 Contact us