Sight Action

5 June 2017

Long serving employee and her guide dog, bid farewell to Highland charity after more than 15-years

A Highland woman who was the longest serving member of a North charity has finally decided to take a step back and retire after 17-years.

Catriona Menzies, 65, worked as an aids and equipment support worker for Sight Action in Inverness, which emanated from the Highland and Islands Society for the Blind People.

Mrs Menzies, who is registered as blind, is a well-known and loved employee at the charity’s Inverness office. Her guide dog, labradoodle, Yoko, is also a popular character, who will also be missed at the Highland charity.

Much of her work over the past 17 years has concentrated on assisting others with low vision on how to use equipment, which can enhance their ability to read and see.

Mrs Menzies of Invergarry travelled a round trip of 100 miles each weekday by bus with her guide dog to attend work.

Mrs Menzies says although she won’t miss the long commute she will miss her colleagues and the many people with low vision she assisted.

“I really enjoyed getting to meet the clients and getting to know them. I will miss all my colleagues and clients. But I definitely won’t miss the long bus journey.

“I have been registered blind for 29 years so I know what it’s like for people who have low vision - I understand it,” she said.

Mrs Menzies who is still involved with the Lochaber Vision Impairment Group, Inverness Working Age Group, and helps out at Glengarry Village Hall Café, says although she is now retired she hasn’t had much of a chance to relax just yet.

She added: “We are in the middle of lambing at our croft so I’ve been assisting with that. But I hope I will also get some time to concentrate on knitting, embroidery and cross-stitch which I really enjoy.”

Maureen MacMillan, chair of Sight Action, said: “Catriona has been a tremendous asset to our organisation. She has built up a warm relationship with everyone who uses our products and everyone who calls in for her help or advice or information, whether by phone or in person.

“Her knowledge and friendliness will be sorely missed by all of us and we will also miss her wonderful guide dog, Yoko.” 

Mrs Menzies staff and colleagues recently held a small party at the Sight Action office to mark her retirement.

Sight Action was established in 2010 to serve blind and visually impaired people in the Highlands and Western Isles by providing a number of services that will support and enhance their quality of life.

Sight Action currently has 2,500 people on its database and welcomes around 500 new clients each year. It is supported by NHS Highland, The Highland Council and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, provides additional services that help clients to be as independent as possible.