At 80, Patricia isn’t letting her low vision slow her down. Since retiring, she has got back into art – and is sharing her passion with other Kiwis with no or low sight.

“I was always pretty positive regardless of my eye condition (Retinitis Pigmentosa), but the Blind Foundation has helped me stay positive.

“They’ve helped me adapt to using a computer and other technology. And the library is just fantastic. They helped me learn to use my cane, and the social outings are great too. I couldn’t have asked for more help.”

With support from the Blind Foundation, Patricia became involved with Accessible Art – an art class for people living with blindness or low vision.

“It’s all about getting people to stretch themselves a bit and do things they think they might not be able to do, but that they jolly well can do!

We play some music, get a big sheet of paper and just paint. The group come out with the most beautiful paintings. I don’t know how they manage. They are so good! And some amazing friendships have formed. It gives people confidence. They have been able to find a new passion.”

Members of the Accessible Art programme have even had their pieces exhibited in town.

We celebrate the exchange of ideas and the determination of people – although those who attend don’t have much sight, they’re determined to make the most of their life.”