Barbara Norton

Moorfields Eye Hospital
Social Worker / Counsellor

I was born in Kingston-upon-Hull before moving to Gloucestershire where I spent my teenage years. University saw a return to Yorkshire and several happy years were spent in Sheffield where I met my husband, Mike. North Derbyshire was our home until work commitments required Mike's presence in London and daily commuting from Chesterfield was not a long-term option. Hence our arrival in Bedford in the mid-80s.

My career as a social worker commenced as an employee of Derbyshire County Council based in Clay Cross made famous by the rate rebels. The birth of our son, Stephen resulted in a natural career break. For the past fifteen years, I have been working in a voluntary capacity at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London. I am a member of a multi-disciplinary team helping patients and families adjust to the diagnosis of, and subsequent life-changes due to inherited retinal dystrophies. The work is challenging, sometimes sad but also stimulating working alongside those seeking to find a cure /treatment for such eye conditions.

Classical music has been a major pastime over the years. Playing in orchestras and ensembles, singing in choirs have now been replaced by sitting in the audience. Likewise active participation in sport has given way to tuning to the commentaries on the radio.

Guide dogs have featured in my life for a number of years. First of all as a means of mobility and also as a speaker for the Association. This has given me the opportunity to meet numerous people and raise funds by giving talks to groups ranging from Play-groups to the University of the Third Age. I have also been involved in other national and local charities having a specific interest in the visually impaired.

For my sins, I served as a member and chair of the pastoral council at Holy Cross Church, Bedford. For a number of years, I have been an Associate of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit.

Rotary Club of Bedford De Parys
Breakfast Network Bedfordshire