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24th November 2017

Blindfolded Walk for World Sight Day


The Lions Club of Ipswich has organised a very special walk through the streets of Ipswich on Saturday 15th October to mark this year’s World Sight Day.  The walk, which will start at 10.30am outside the former Great White Horse Hotel in Ipswich and proceed to Ipswich Tourist Information Centre, where again this year Observatory The Opticians have very kindly agreed to offer free Glaucoma Screening.

The idea behind the Blindfold Walk is to highlight some of the issues that visually impaired people face when do normal tasks like shopping. Some of Ipswich’s well known faces have agreed to be blindfolded and try to negotiate the many obstacles that blind and visually impaired people face everyday, including crossing roads, coping with pavement furniture and negotiating shoppers.

The Mayor of Ipswich Councillor Roger Fern, Leader of The Ipswich Borough Council Councillor David Ellesmere, The District Governor Of Lions International District 105EA Nigel Folkard, Town 102 Radio Disc Jockey Nick Pandolfi and three representatives from ActivLives 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 act as their guide. There will also be additional Lions Club Members who will assist, along with the Ipswich Lion Club’s Mascot, Laddie the Lion.

The walk will finish at Ipswich Tourist Information Centre where Observatory The Opticians will offer free Glaucoma Screening to members of the public from 11am to 1pm.

Glaucoma is Condition that can affect your eyesight, and is usually caused by the build up of pressure within the eye.  Any damage to your vision caused by glaucoma can’t be repaired so it’s important to get an early diagnosis and treatment. This simple test could prevent sight loss by detecting Glaucoma in this early stages.

The Glaucoma Screening is quick and painless and is over in seconds, and will be carried out my William Norman a senior Optometrist at Observatory The Opticians who has very kindly given up their time to offer this free test.

Anna Puiy, Practice Manager at Observatory The Opticians said, “This is the second year we have supported The Lions Club of Ipswich Blindfold Walk, and the third Glaucoma Screening event we have held with them. We are always looking to promote the importance of eye health and raise awareness of conditions such as Glaucoma, and are pleased to be involved with such an active group. We are also currently working with the Lions by collecting old glasses to be reused in third world countries. We are offering a £50 off Trade in offer in store at the moment also with any old glasses being donated to the Lions Charities.”

“The aim of the walk is to raise awareness of the difficulties that visually impaired and blind people face everyday” Says Organiser 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 thank those taking part in the Walk on Saturday 15th October, their help will really assist our Club in getting the message out to a wider audience.”

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