Hetal and Will have both been blind since childhood. But they found that it was when they had children that the new challenges of parenthood meant they needed a little extra help.

In our latest podcast, Hetal and Will explain how Carol, a volunteer from Home-Start Greenwich has transformed life for them and their children.

“We are used to being independent,” says Will. “And we still are with the kids, but there are just some things, to make sure the kids have the best situation growing up, that a Home-Start volunteer can make a huge difference to.”

Their volunteer, Carole has helped Will and Hetal to be more confident being active with the children, helping them to ride bikes, or visit places they hadn’t been to before.

“We’ve been blind nearly all of our lives,” says Will. “We’re used to it. We’re good at being blind”. Hetal adds, “We had to learn to be parents, we didn’t have to learn to be blind.”

Now, as their eldest son gets older, Carol is able to help home with his reading and writing.

“As he’s started school Carol’s read with him, and done writing with him,” says Hetal. “Because, with the best will in the world, I can’t correct his handwriting. I don’t have any sight, and neither does Will. This is stuff we can’t help with, and we desperately, desperately want to.”

Hetal adds, “We want to support our children’s education. I would feel terrible if we didn’t have Carol, I would feel Jordon was missing out on his handwriting and reading because we can’t see. Because he doesn’t deserve that.”

Every family supported by Home-Start is unique, and volunteers adapt their support to meet the needs of the family.

“With the best will in the world, people can’t understand what it is like to be blind,” says Hetal. “But to be able to go and shop for my son's party bags, and write invitations and thank you cards, that’s freedom for me. That’s being something a lot of sighted people take for granted.”

“I would say only about 15% of Jordon’s class can ride a bike. You know, that makes me feel good about what we’re doing and the support we’re getting, so our children don’t miss out. Because it’s not about us, it’s about our children.”

Listen to Hetal and Will tell their story here

Find an archive of all our podcasts here.