Blind Foundation client Jackie Reynolds has always been passionate about helping others. She recalls that from a young age, people often sought her out for help.
When her youngest daughter turned 18, this mother of five, finally took the leap and enrolled for a Diploma of Counselling at Laidlaw College.
“Someone told me about this course and I knew it was time for me to take the next step. I went for an interview and got accepted and the rest is history” she says.
Since completing her Diploma in 2009, Jackie has worked as a counsellor in schools and as a volunteer for local community centres. When she lost her sight a few years ago, that didn’t stop her pursuing her dreams of one day running a counselling business.
“My sight does not affect my work at all. The most important thing to have is good listening skills. By recognising a person’s tone and words, you can tell if they are ok or not.
“Everything is in my head not my eyes. I plan strategies in my mind and I share it with my clients.”
This year Jackie has been working with the Blind Foundation employment team to start her own business. They’ve been assisting her with the legal paperwork, funding and eligibility.
She is now a supplier for Work and Income support, registered under the name ‘Jackie’s counselling service.’
“I have compassion for people who are suffering or in pain. I want to help them see the positive and give them the strategies to get there.”
Jackie hopes to branch out further and help more people by working with other local centres, the community, and churches. “If you want to reach for the stars and become somebody, just go for it with all the energy and confidence you have. Don’t stop there; look for services that can help you too. I am incredibly humble and grateful for the Blind Foundation services I continue to receive.”