A Perth artist whose grandmother was supported by VisionPK has designed Christmas cards for the charity.
Catherine Connacher, 34, aims to give back to the organisation that did so much to support her grandmother, Elizabeth Sinclair, who died last year at the age of 92.
VisionPK provides specialist services for people who are visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing.
Elizabeth used their services for around two years and spoke highly of staff who helped her maintain her skills and hobbies, and even develop new ones, despite her deteriorating sight.
Now Catherine, who creates artworks including watercolour paintings, is using her artistic talents to support the charity that means so much to her family.
‘Collaborative, respectful and focussed on maintaining skills’
VisionPK not only supported Elizabeth with everyday tasks but also provided valuable advice, knowledge and a support worker.
Catherine said: “As a family it was difficult to see granny becoming less able as she was always very independent with everything right into her late 80s.
“She never required home care but did need some support with very specific tasks that became more difficult without good eyesight.
“The family were able to support her with lots of things but didn’t have the knowledge to provide some really helpful advice and strategies such as knowing who can help within the community, using a white walking stick, and what technology could be useful.
“The family and the support worker Debbie then helped implement some of these.
“Her approach was so collaborative, respectful and focussed on maintaining skills. For example, just providing a light up magnifying glass for reading and suggesting the large print book section at the library meant that granny could keep reading.
“The approach was educational and practical, just what she needed to maintain skills and confidence around the house and while she was out and about.”
She added: “She was such an independent woman and always saw herself as a carer to others, so needing a bit of help herself was a big deal for her.”
Supporting people with sight or hearing loss
Having designed Christmas cards for charities over the past few years, Catherine says it just felt right to support VisionPK this year.
VisionPK’s Fundraising Manager Katie Wylie said: “Here at VisionPK we’re all about keeping things local to Perth and Kinross and supporting our community, so having Catherine design our cards is a real honour.
“The money from the sale of the cards will go directly back to helping people with sight or hearing loss in our local area and every penny makes a real difference.
“We’re also hoping that by sending cards to your loved ones, especially those you haven’t been able to catch up with for some time, will brighten their day all while supporting our wonderful charity.”