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I qualified as an Optometrist in the late 90’s, where I worked, successfully, for over 12 years. My career involved working both in private practice and hospitals, as well as doing some domiciliary visits. I feel I had an enjoyable and fulfilling career, where I earned the admiration, loyalty and respect of both my peers and colleagues, alongside my patients.
In 2011, due to an extreme and tragic medical condition, I had to step down from work as an Optometrist, as well as the profession as a whole. This was a huge loss for me financially, emotionally and psychologically and, with having a young family, I began to feel the weight and worry of whether I would be able to support and even feed them. I had a mortgage to pay and debts to cover, with no means of income. I felt the outlook of my and my family’s life was bleak.
I contacted the Benevolent fund, after coming across their website, where I spoke to David, a liaison within the fund. He was excellent and very understanding, assuring me that I was not alone in my plight, of having limited income, while dealing with my crippling and devastating medical condition. With both David’s and the funds’ guidance and their overwhelming financial support I was able to not only manage my household but also support my young family.
I have now embarked upon a complete career change as a psychotherapist, by commencing a MSc in Psychotherapy. With this, I hope to be able to regain some normality within my life. However, I firmly believe that this opportunity would not have been accessible to me without the great financial support offered to me by the fund, which in turn, has helped me both emotionally and psychologically, enabling me to begin to turn my life around.
My life now has a positive and promising outlook to it, irrespective of the devastating condition I suffer with. This is due, greatly, to the financial support offered to me by the fund. The gratitude, appreciation and respect that I hold for everyone at the fund, I feel, can not be expressed with words. However, it will remain with them for as long as I live.
Response from the Trustees of the Benevolent Fund: Thank you for your kind words about the work of the Benevolent Fund. We wish you all the very best for the future and we are all excited about your change of career and the new propects it will bring.