Experiencing being blind binds together community

A host of challenges have been laid down for people in Hartlepool as a charity offers an '˜insight' into what life is like without perfect vision.

Thursday, 16th June 2016, 11:02 am
Updated Thursday, 16th June 2016, 2:38 pm
Kirsty Buttery tries to make herself a drink during one of the sessions run for Families First.

Hartlepool Blind Welfare is hosting blind experience days, offering organisations and individuals the chance to find out for themselves the difficulties people with sight issues face every day.

The session allows them to discover what it is like to have conditions including retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration and glaucoma.

Stu Elwin, 50, who helps lead the events, has retinitis pigmentosa.

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He had to give up his job in marketing a decade ago when his eyesight made it too difficult.

Stu said: “I’ve thinking about the idea for a couple if years now and people come in and simulated glasses.

“They give an experience about what it is like to have a visual impairment.

“We get them to make a sandwich, so butter the bread, and then they have either strawberry or cranberry jam and they have to find out for themselves which one to use.

“We then get them to pour a drink and count out £1.23 in money.

“That’s all fairly straight forward for me because I do it all the time, but it’s very difficult, so this shows them what it’s like.

“We also get them to walk through a doorway cross a road, with guidance.

“We’ve had great feedback from people so far.

“We invited a group from Families First to come down and try it for the last session.

“They said it was good fun, but within that fun they took away some real experiences.

“We’re asking people who come to try it to get sponsorship or for donations.”

The next blind day will be held on Thursday, June 23, from 1pm to 3pm, with more to be held in future.

Five people can take part, with more details available from the organisation on (01429) 272494, with information also posted on the group’s Facebook page.