Our Move Mates learn from each other
Move Mates Jenna and Allison laugh together and learn from each other whilst walking
Following a series of strokes which left her seriously visually impaired, Allison’s Local Area Coordinator recommended Move Mates. Allison was relocated to Acomb, an area unfamiliar to her, and she wanted help to familiarise herself with the local shops and layout. She was paired with her Move Mate Jenna in September 2021. The pair already get a huge amount from their walks together – venturing further than Allison had ever imagined.
Allison’s visual impairment has meant the pair are learning to navigate the local footpaths and landscape together, a new experience for them both. One of their favourite spots to walk is on Hob Moor, a short stroll away from Allison’s home. In order to get there, they must first cross a busy road and once on the moor, there are a number of gateways to pass through. Jenna recently completed training with MySight York, along with other Move Mates volunteers, where she picked up some useful techniques to navigate the gates. Rather than pushing the gate open for Allison, Jenna places her arm on the gate and Allison is able to use Jenna’s arm to guide her own to the gate and push it open herself. This allows Allison to confidently locate the gate and walk through it herself – something she really appreciates.
Walking with Allison gives Jenna a new appreciation of what it is like to be visually impaired , and to have to approach tasks that she may otherwise take for granted in a different way. It’s also an insight she can apply elsewhere in her life, as her niece was born blind.
Whilst walking together, the pair chat about all sorts. Jenna shares amusing stories from her work as a freelance drama teacher and Allison makes Jenna laugh in return.
Jenna points out interesting features while they are walking. They often pause to cloud spot, or to bird watch, or to admire a particular plant, and Allison enjoys sharing in Jenna’s knowledge of the local area. They also stop to litter pick along the way, and enjoy giving something back to the local community.
Jenna and Allison love an adventure – they recently happened across a local jazz event, where they whiled away some time enjoying the music together. The pair found it so uplifting they have plans to return together soon.
“I’m really glad I found Move Mates, it makes so much difference, mentally and physically”
Allison has benefited greatly from her walks with Jenna and it’s clear the feeling is mutual. As well as gaining insight into what it’s like to be visually impaired, Jenna finds Allison’s attitude inspirational.
This pair are clearly having a hugely positive impact on each other – as well as having fun along the way – and are keen to venture further afield soon. We can’t wait to hear how they get on!
“Walking with Jenna is building me up after my last stroke – Jenna is really good at that.”
“You’re building me up too”
Jenna, Move Mate