Beccles Lions Club invited Beccles Town Mayor, Richard Stubbings and the assistant manager at Observatory the Opticians, Julia Thurston to join them and take part in a very special walk to mark World Sight Day.
They were blindfolded to try and negotiate the many obstacles that blind and visually impaired people face every day.
Mr Stubbings said: “I was honoured to be asked to take part in the World Sight Day walk around town. I feel that it is important to highlight the importance of sight. Being blindfolded is completely disorientating. After a few steps I quickly lost all sense of direction and location. I would have been completely unable to find my way without help. I cannot imagine how I would manage without sight. It is terrible to think that there are parts of the world where people’s sight is lost when inexpensive medication could have saved it.”
The walk started at the Observatory the Opticians practice in Exchange Square before going through the town centre and back again.
Ms Thurston said: “The experience for me was one I will not forget and it gave me an idea of such darkness a visual impaired person would have. Even though I am familiar with the town being born and raised here I lost all concept of my surroundings and felt vulnerable in this situation. To have sight is a gift I think most of us take for granted. We should all have regular eye checks and look after our vision.”
Lion President Chris Ramsden said: “Each year we organise the walk as we feel 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 the 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. I’d like to thank the Mayor for joining us to take part in the walk. Equally the management and staff at the Observatory the Opticians for all the help and support they have provided to Beccles Lions with this and other events over the years, we really do appreciate it.”
If you wish to know more about the Beccles Lions and the work they do please contact the club secretary Janet Ramsden on 01502 514284 or visit our club’s website at www.beccleslions.org.uk. and follow us on Facebook too. Equally if you are interested in becoming a member of Beccles Lions then please telephone our Membership Chairman Keith Moore on 07717 488719.