Caring David lends a helping hand

November 27, 2012

David McClurg is registered blind, a guide dog owner and volunteer with the Good Morning Good Neighbour scheme at Ballybot House in Newry.

Nominated for a Shining Light Volunteer Award earlier this year by Donal Connolly, a social worker with the Sensory Disability Team at the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, David won the individual category for people aged 25 and 49 years.

Donal explains: “David commits himself to volunteering in order to make a difference to other people’s lives, despite his own visual impairment. He has a keen knowledge of issues related to visual impairment and assists RNIB’s Community Access Workers in the delivery of Awareness Raising training. David is also a dedicated volunteer with the Good Morning Good Neighbour Service and provides an essential social contact for many isolated and vulnerable older people.

He commended David for being “committed to his volunteering role.” and says he has enabled many older people to remain independent within their own community.

“He has also acted as a ‘buddy’ helping other new volunteers with the service. David is a warm and caring person and he is very committed to his volunteering work.” Donal added.

On winning his award, David said: “It was an unexpected award, I don’t volunteer for an award but it makes me realise the appreciation of the volunteering work I do. It shows that just because you have a disability it doesn’t mean you still cannot help others.”

David has also been an active contributor to awareness sessions delivered by Disability Action to Southern Trust staff on Disability, Equality and Human Rights in Newry.

“As part of the training, I outlined the daily challenges experienced by a registered blind person and guide dog owner. I’ve recently joined a service user group that meets every three months at Cherrytrees Resource Centre in Portadown. The group represents the views of people who are blind or partially sighted and who avail of services from the Sensory Disability Team.”

For further information on the Sensory Impairment Service User Group, contact Cherrytrees Resource Centre on 028 3839 4088 or textphone 028 3839 4738.