The Lions Club of Ipswich has organised a very special walk through the streets of Ipswich on Saturday 12th October to mark this year’s World Sight Day. The walk, which will start at 11am from the junction of St. Matthews Street and Westgate Street (by Franklins Shop) and proceed to NatWest Bank in Tavern Street, will see some of Ipswich’s well known faces blindfolded and then try to negotiate the many obstacles that blind and visually impaired people face everyday, including crossing roads, coping with other shoppers and using a cash point machine.
Mr. Hamil Clarke MBE, Mayor of Ipswich, Councillor David Ellesmere, Leader of Ipswich Borough Council, Mr. Nick Pandolfi, Town 102 Radio Disc Jockey, Ms S Penn, Principal Ormiston Endeavor Acadamy, Jan Ingles Head of Communications and External Relations for Ipswich Hospital and Mr. A Brown, Healthcare Assistant, Chesterfield Drive Surgery have all agreed to be blindfolded and to take part in the walk.
Each Participant will all be accompanied by a member of the Lions Club of Ipswich, who will be their guide. There will also be additional Lions Club Members who will assist. The club will also be carrying collection buckets, with proceeds going to sight charities.
In addition to these there will be representatives from The Ipswich Blind Society, St John Ambulance and Police Community Support Officers.
The walk will finish at Tower Ramparts shopping centre to meet up with members of The Guide Dogs for the Blind Society (as it is also Guide Dogs for the Blind week).
“The aim of the walk is to raise awareness of the difficulties that visually impaired and blind people face everyday” Says Orgainser Margaret Conway, The Lions Club of Ipswich Sight Officer, “Blindfolding people and making them walk through the town may sound like a lot of fun, however there is a very serious message that we are trying to get across, and this event is a great way of highlighting some of the problems that some people face all the time”
The World Health Organisation has estimated that the number of blind people in the world could double in the next 25 years. To combat the leading causes of blindness and assist in preserving vision and the aim of this event to heighten awareness and education about sight preservation and preventable blindness.
“It is estimated that 40 million people around the world are blind” Margaret Continues, “On Lions World Sight Day, the Lions Club of Ipswich are working in unison with Lions clubs around the world to educate millions of people on the importance of proper eye health care.
“Our club would also like to think those taking part in the Walk on Saturday 12th October, their help will really assist our Club in getting the message out to a wider audience.”