'It has helped me appreciate the difficulties others may face': Mayor blindfolded for awareness event
PUBLISHED: 13:48 14 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:49 14 October 2018
An event to raise awareness of the difficulties that visually impaired and blind people face as part of their every day routines has been hailed a success.
A blindfolded walk took place through Beccles town centre last week as part of an event to mark World Sight Day.
Organised by the Lions Club of Beccles and Observatory the Opticians, the event aimed to demonstrate the obstacles that visually impaired people face every day.
Among those taking part was Beccles mayor Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw.
She said: “It was an experience for me to be blindfolded around Beccles and to experience what it might be like to have reduced sight. It has helped me appreciate the difficulties others may face.
“I think every person should have this opportunity, it would change the way we view and provide for blind and visually impaired people.”
The walk started and finished outside the opticians practice in Exchange Square, travelling through the town centre before returning by the same route.
Practice manager at Observatory the Opticians, Jacqui Sayer, said: “This event sounds like fun, but there is, of course, a very serious reason why we are doing this.
“We want to raise awareness of the difficulties that visually impaired and blind people face as part of their every day routines, such as entering shops, crossing roads, negotiating kerbs and shopping in busy high streets”.
Observatory the Opticians employee Molly Chambers, who also took part in the walk, said: “As soon as we started, I lost my bearings and felt very vulnerable. Sight is a gift that most of us take for granted. We should all have our eyes checked every two years and look after our vision”.
The walk was organised by the Beccles Lions club, part of an international charity which supports the local community as well as humanitarian causes across the world.
President Chris Lambert said: “Issuing important health messages are a key part of the Lions eye health programme and working with such committed health care professionals such as those at Observatory the Opticians really boosts awareness within the town of Beccles.
“We do feel the town is continually trying to improve things for the blind and partially sighted within our community”.