Amy and Ben’s story

Amy and Ben Wright have benefited from the Children & Families Services that your kind donations fund since Ben was a toddler, attending courses such as I Can Do It; a course which aims to teach visually impaired children aged aged 8 – 18 social and independence skills and build their confidence. Their mum Lorraine shares their story:

“Amy and Ben were born with Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA); an inherited condition which affects sight, including nystagmus and sensitivity to light. It can also affect other parts of the body including the kidneys, and Ben had to have a kidney transplant two years ago.

We first discovered Ben had the condition when he was six months old, and it was Wendy who worked at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital who first referred us to Henshaws. I realised earlier on with Amy that she had problems with her sight, as I recognised the same signs from having Ben. Ben has no peripheral vision and struggles to see fine details, but can read large print. Amy’s sight is more limited; she can see colours and shapes, but cannot read text so reads braille instead.

Amy and Ben cuddling mum Lorraine on the sofa.

Henshaws toddler group was great for Ben, and then later Amy, as they got to play with toys in the sensory room and we could meet other families going through the same journey as us. There are so few children have visual impairments, which was why it was so valuable to get to discuss similar things with other families. You can feel a bit alone, because when other families talk about milestones, they’re different from your ones. When your child has a visual impairment, it might take them a bit longer to get to grips with the world around them.

I was worried about what school that Ben and Amy would go to, but at Henshaws another parent came in to talk about their experience of having their visually impaired child go to a mainstream school. That was really useful, and it helped give me confidence for Ben and Amy going to a mainstream school, which they love.

As Amy and Ben get older, we’ll continue looking at what Henshaws can offer them such as help looking for a job with Skillstep – although maybe not quite yet!”

What would you say to someone thinking of coming to Henshaws?

Amy: "Going to Henshaws is good, they always help you if you need anything."

Ben: "It's a good thing to do. My favourite bit has been making pizza with 'I Can Do It'. I've had lots of Henshaws pizza over the years

Amy laughing in forefront, Ben behind out of focus.
Three children pose for a photo, laughing and smiling

Find out more about our Children & Families service

Henshaws offer a range of services and events for children of all ages and their families across Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Newcastle and Yorkshire. Find out more about what we offer.

Two children feel a furry puppet held up by one of the actors.

Take a look at our upcoming events

We have Children and Families events running throughout the year, take a look at our range of upcoming events near you.