Life without sight for Falkirk Blind Club members

Hilda Roy (right) and Jimmy Malone just get on with life despite their sight difficulties. Picture: Lisa McPhillips (132539g)
Hilda Roy (right) and Jimmy Malone just get on with life despite their sight difficulties. Picture: Lisa McPhillips (132539g)
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Being blind may seriously affect one part of your life, but it doesn’t dull any of the other senses if members of Falkirk Blind Club are anything to go by.

Tomorrow (Friday) is ‘Read for RNIB Day’ - the Royal National Institute of Blind People’s annual fundraising appeal.

The organisation is urging people to raise money to provide vital reading services such as braille, giant print and talking books for people, young and old, who suffer from sight loss.

The RNIB has already provided the club, which meets in Westfield Community Stadium every Tuesday lunchtime, with special headphones so they can listen to commentary while soaking up the atmosphere at Falkirk’s home games.

Jimmy Malone, originally from Camelon but now living in Polmont, is a popular character at the club. He is partially sighted and has been registered blind for three years.

Despite the daily difficulties he faces, the 77-year-old doesn’t let it hold him back and he takes life on with a laugh and a smile.

He said: “When I’m out I can see the numbers on a bus but I can’t see the name of where it’s going so if I know the number I’m alright.

“It’s the same with people. I can make out the figures but can’t see the faces so, after I’ve spoken to people, I have to ask my wife Cathie who it was sometimes, but we have a laugh about it.

“Sometimes at a buffet I take a plate of pasta thinking it’s chips, but we laugh about that too

“For reading and stuff I like the talking books and they are getting much better. I’ve got giant print for my TV and Cathie reads to me as well, so I get a lot of support from my family and the club.

“That’s life, you can’t just lie back and let it get you down. You have to adapt and I’ve been able to do that.”

Hilda Roy, the club’s ‘shop 
steward’, has been blind in her left eye since she was eight and has macular degeneration in her right eye which has resulted in peripheral vision.

She said: “I can still do a lot of things, but I can’t cook at the moment. My husband John helps me with that, but I can prepare things.

“You just get on with things and being the club’s shop steward, this lot here keep me on my toes . they all like to 
moan.”