Blindfolded World Sight Day awareness walk
Author: Lucy Patchett
A blindfolded walk was held for World Sight Day by Beccles & District Lions Club and Observatory the Opticians through Suffolk town to highlight challenges faced by blind and vision impaired people.
The walk started at Observatory the Opticians’ practice, continued through the marketplace, and returned via the King’s Head pub.
René Moor, optometrist at Observatory the Opticians, said: ‘We do a blindfolded walk every year to raise awareness of the difficulties that visually impaired and blind people face as part of their everyday routines, such as entering shops, crossing roads, negotiating kerbs and shopping in busy high streets. There are over two million people living with significant sight loss in the UK and 340,000 people who are registered blind or partially sighted.
‘Every day, 250 people start to lose their sight in the UK and at least half of all sight loss is avoidable. Having an eye test can detect serious health conditions before they start affecting your sight.’
Beccles mayor Barry Darch commented: ‘I was far more aware of the variety of surfaces and it’s easy to think that a pathway is flat but, of course, it’s not. It certainly gave me an insight into how difficult it is for blind people and people who are partially sighted, especially in an urban situation where it’s very difficult in terms of obstacles and people.’