Liz keeps you in contact
If you live in Cardiff there’s a good chance you’ve already spoken to Liz Hutchings. Liz is often the voice on the Contact Line service which supports people newly registered as blind or partially sighted and keeps in touch with existing CVV members through regular phone calls.
Liz says the most rewarding thing is making that first call to people who are newly registered. “It’s important to contact people as soon as possible after they are registered blind to tell them we’re there to support them and give them help if they need it.”
Liz is careful not to overload people with information in that first chat about sight loss – something often likened to bereavement. She aims to be positive, but recognises that people are going through a roller coaster of emotions. “I always tell them it’s not the end of the road, it’s a different road and on that road you meet different people.”
Liz has plenty of experience to draw on. She has poor vision herself and worked for 20 years as a telephonist in the former Cardiff department store Evan Roberts. She started in the store as a lift attendant and jokes that her life has been full of ups and downs.
One of the current ups is helping CVV staff and volunteers in Swansea and RCT set up contact line services in their areas too. Liz is also a member of the CVV advisory group, belongs to the music and poetry clubs and the singing group. Outside CVV Liz cares for a sick relative, is an active church member and always seems to be rushing off to sing or give a talk somewhere.
By John Sanders, CVV volunteer