Staffordshire Lions Clubs and Lichfield Talking News for the Blind explained at the George Hotel in Lichfield on Sunday 15th October the work they are doing to help prevent blindness and how to assist those who are already blind.
And to illustrate the difficulties encountered by blind and partially blind people, they invited those attending to walk round the centre of Lichfield either blindfolded or wearing glasses simulating the effects of glaucoma, severe cataract, and macular degeneration.
“I wore a blindfold around Lichfield” explains Michael Fabricant. “Cllr Moira Greatorex, wife of the Chairman of Staffordshire County Council and Tamworth councillor, held my hand and guided me from the George Hotel, up Beacon Street, through The Close, down Dam Street and back to the George via Market Street – all the time while I was blindfolded. It really gave me an insight into all the trip hazards including kerbs and cars illegally parked on the pavement. I experienced Lichfield in a way I had never done before. My thanks to Moira who prevented me falling flat on my face!”
John May MBE, Chairman of Lichfield Talking News for the Blind and a Lions Club Member said “Currently in the UK there are some 300 people every day losing their eyesight often from Type 2 Diabetes. This reaching epidemic proportions and a forecast just issued suggests that the number is set to treble in the foreseeable future. Most of this is preventable, but the message isn’t getting out there.”
Michael adds “I know this part of Lichfield really well, but walking it blindfolded heightens your other senses like hearing and touch. ”