I started off working Saturdays and during school holidays in a local chemist on the till and filling shelves
My first real job was as a drawing office assistant with British telecom. I got this job through nepotism through my dad who worked there . I really wanted to go to Art School but he said no get a job . I had to travel all the way to Waterloo Bridge in London at age16. I remember a man saying to me once you are very young to be travelling this far
I wasn’t keen on the drawing office and was no good at maths for the technical drawing aspect .
I left and got a local job with a Government Office in Southend on Sea. General clerical it was boring and I whipped through my job and helped all the old folks with theirs . I took a maths test for promotion but failed
Then I decided to train to be a nurse and went to st heliers hospital in Surrey aged 18 as a student nurse. Enrolled nurse . I lived in the accommodation which was like a students room. I didn’t really enjoy it though I did well on the drugs round at a higher level Student nurse
I left there and came home. I went to pitmans central college in London and did a secretarial course . Learnt to touch type and shorthand . My mum did shorthand . She’d write notes and shopping lists in it .
I then got a job at Coutts Bank in the city of London . I got promoted and worked at the Strand Office for a short while .
I left there and my boyfriend Husband to be and I went on holiday to the Greek islands for a few weeks
I did some temp work in London when I got back and worked for an Acciuntant Co in London for a while . It was awful and I couldn’t wait to leave
I was living in Barnet at the time with my husband to be and I wrote to various companies in Barnet asking if they had a job From this I got a job with Liberty Life insurance as a typist . It was handy and I walked to work. In hindsight I wished I had stayed there as would have been handy when I had my baby as could have carried on working and it would have been easier for my then husband to work in London and not take total responsibility for working – this is my first mistake
I left there when was pregnant and we went to live in Hockley near my parents . I didn’t work and had three children , time passed quickly . My marriage broke up . It was a shame ….he got nasty and stressed as I didn’t have a job and was very denigrating toward me which destroyed my confidence to work! I had three children Christine Nicholas and Robert
I then got a job in a local government tax office as a clerk in Employer Compliance and got promoted to Assistant Complisnce Officer on employment Status Team helping tax inspectors
I left this job to work in local college as the government were cutting back . I worked in the Registry team, library and was a First Aid Officer
I studied art during this time and did an Access to art and design course and went to Central Saint Martins to do Ceramics after as a degree course in London
During this time my glaucoma got worse and I had already enrolled in Fine Art at Southend College the University of Essex . I did this to year two and gave up. I had a Guide Dog by then Pip.
Then I did volunteering work for Family Lives Call centre similar to Childline but for adults . I did level 2 counselling and worked one day a week for the RNIB in London Kings Cross on the help line . I became a speaker for Guide Dogs. I joined Street life social group and Art Ministry for visually impaired artists
I was offered a place at the Hereford college for the blind. I did a business support course . During this time both my parents died .
Then I got a remote job for six months with Look Uk a charity for blind children based in Hereford but I worked from home as a Project Assistant
After this I retired and took pensions from previous employment. And PIP as by now am registered blind and have another Guide Dog Polly.
I move to Shrewsbury to be near Chrissy my daughter and her husband . I did a speakers course refresher with Guide Dogs.
I move back to Southend as my daughter left her husband and I felt unwanted by them both as a result of unsettled feelings though i did have good friends there and in wales.
And now … here we are… I wished I had stayed put … no more work… registered blind
Alone in Southend … it’s horrible … am planning to move to more suitable area of smaller nature
Back to Shrewsbury or Hockley
What a journey …
Never dreamed I would end up like this
It’s really unfair
Have done too much and been pushed and pulled in all directions with no family support just nasty words from ex husband and manipulative brother and …. . I hope I find some place where people can have respect for me … it is no fun going blind on my own ….
It’s like some awful dream