Posted: Thu 29th Dec 2011

Braille Opens New World For Wrexham Care Home Resident for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Dec 29th, 2011

Gerry Humphreys the activities officer at Pendine Park Wrexham, with Highfield resident Suzanne Lewis who has recently started to learn Braille.

Braille classes are opening up a whole new world for a blind resident at a Wrexham care home.

Suzanne Lewis completely lost her sight more than 10 years ago, but, for a number of reasons, had never learnt to read Braille.

However, when Gerry Humphreys, the Activities Officer at Wrexham-based care home Pendine Park, found out, she set about putting it right and now Suzanne is taking weekly Braille classes.

Gerry explained: “When Suzanne said she had never had the opportunity to learn Braille I thought right we can do something about that, so I looked around and found a local centre where I could take Suzanne to learn Braille.

“We go every Tuesday morning for lessons with Keith Brown at Vision Support. It seems very difficult but she has been wonderful and can already identify about seven letters.”

Thirty-two year old Suzanne arrived at Pendine Park’s Highfield care home about six months ago, she said:

“I lost my sight completely in 2001, it was pretty devastating, I didn’t cope too well at first, always bumping into things. I couldn’t see to cut up my own food. Now I just take every day as it comes.”

She was born in Prestatyn, but moved to Yorkshire with her mother and step-father and twin sister Joanne, when she was 14.

Suzanne, who has spina bifida and has to use a wheelchair, had to endure countless trips to hospital for various operations and says pressure on her brain caused her eyesight to start failing.

While living in Yorkshire she was meant to take Braille lessons, but says her tutor “never turned up” and so she missed the opportunity to learn.

But with sister Joanne having returned to North Wales, Suzanne decided that she wanted to return home to her family.

Her ambitions were realised about six months ago when a place became available at Highfield.

Suzanne said: “It’s great here, everyone is friendly and they all talk to you, even if I get a flat I hope I can come back here sometimes.”

Gerry added: “It will open up a lot of doors for Suzanne and help make her a lot more independent.”

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