Colin Perrott (radio distributor)

People have all sorts of different reasons for wanting to give their time to a charity, and the motivation for our longest serving volunteer to join us was very personal.

Colin Perrott has been volunteering at BWBF for more than 20 years – helping install audio equipment to hundreds of visually impaired people across Coventry.

The 83-year-old started as one of our radio distributors after he retired and has been doing it ever since.

The reason Colin decided to volunteer with us was because of his own experiences of sight problems.

When he was still working, he developed cataracts and said he rapidly began to lose his sight.

“It was very worrying. You keep thinking you are going blind, which in effect I was,” he said.

“They did operations to remove them and I was very lucky. My sight was OK.”

Colin, who was born in Coventry and has always lived there, felt so lucky that he thought he would give up his time to help others who hadn’t been so fortunate.

He says he thoroughly enjoys volunteering for BWBF and fits it in around his tap and modern dancing, dog walking twice a day and regular lunch and dinner outings with family.

“They fixed me up – I can drive and read newspapers and I felt I was lucky,” he said.

“I just felt that I could perhaps do something for people who had not been so lucky as myself.”

Over the 20 years, Colin says he has seen things change – mainly with the technology and the different sets which are on offer.

As well as going out to install radios for new recipients, Colin is on hand to provide technical support when people have problems – the most common of which is when they have lost their pre-sets.

Aside from the feeling of helping out, Colin says it’s also nice to meet lots of different people.

“I’ve met so many interesting people,” he added.

“I enjoy that I’ve helped somebody and perhaps made them feel not so isolated.

“I always stop and have a chat and keep in touch. Generally speaking they are absolutely thrilled to bits when they get their sets.”