Blind faith turns to dust

BLIND man Martin Wilshire has been left heartbroken after his dream job turned into a nightmare.The courageous 24-year-old believed he had conquered his disability when the Royal National Institute for the Blind gave him his first job.

BLIND man Martin Wilshire has been left heartbroken after his dream job turned into a nightmare.

The courageous 24-year-old believed he had conquered his disability when the Royal National Institute for the Blind gave him his first job.

But the chance he had waited years for lasted just two days after he failed to agree targets with his new employers.

Mr Wilshire, of Roseberry Road, Ipswich, spoke of his admiration for blind Home Secretary David Blunkett and his burning desire to succeed – despite the odds.


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He said: "I am very committed to anything I ever do because I have had to fight for everything I have ever had.

"I am qualified, but you have got to be twice as good as anybody else to succeed.

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"People like David Blunkett are a great inspiration, but he got where he did because somebody gave him a chance.

"I just need a chance to show what I can do."

Mr Wilshire has been completely blind since the age of 11 after botched medical treatment as a baby left him with a degenerative eye problem.

But his disability did not stop him claiming 10 GCSEs from the RNIB college in Worcester and a national diploma from Suffolk College.

The RNIB ploughed thousands into state-of-the-art technology to get Mr Wilshire on board as a telephone charity canvasser working from home.

Targets designed for the sighted were reduced, but the pressure still proved too much for Mr Wilshire to cope.

He said: "I just felt I had to jump because there was no way I would ever have been able to achieve those targets.

"The RNIB are a very good organisation and I wouldn't be able to do what I do without them, but I think they might have offered a little bit more support."

A regional spokeswoman for the RNIB said she was very disappointed the job had not been a success.

She said: "We were very keen to get Martin on board, we wouldn't have spent so much money on the technology if we weren't.

"If he wanted to have another go at it we would be delighted to offer him another chance.

"He's very technologically minded and we're hoping a position within the RNIB might come up which could suit him better.

"The telephone canvassing job is vital – it raises more than £7million a year to help people like Martin.

"We set him what we thought were very reasonable targets, and which have been used for other blind workers, we're just sorry he didn't feel able to cope."

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