Mayor gets insight into sight loss problems

By Carl Jackson Friday 19 October 2012 Updated: 26/10 11:18

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Buy photos » Town mayor Anne Taft, with Jenny Page from Worcestershire Site Concern and Phil Wallis from the Droitwich Spa Lions Club in the Gift Box, St Andrew’s Square. Picture by Carl Jackson.

DROITWICH Mayor Anne Taft donned a blindfold and went for a walkabout around the town centre to experience first-hand the difficulty of living with sight loss.

Coun Taft took on the task as part of World Sight Day, which took place last Thursday (October 11), undertaking a brief shopping tour of the town, starting at Morrisons.

Coun Taft said: "It was like entering another world and, initially, I felt very insecure, frightened even.

"It was a sad realisation to feel that I could not do anything without being guided.

"I felt very disorientated, even though I must have walked the same area on numerous occasions when I could see.

"I just did not know where I was, and if I wasn't guided, I would have had no idea where I was going.

After making her way through St Andrews Square, the mayor replaced the blindfold with tunnel vision glasses to experience what it was like for those who had very limited sight.

After visiting Kate Barclay, WH Smith and M&Co, she said: "I found the glasses very restrictive, but after not being able to see anything at all with the blindfold, it seemed marvellous to experience some light, even though it was very limited.

"It was still easy to walk into objects."

Coun Taft added she was surprised it took her more than an hour to visit the handful of shops.

The Mayor was guided by Phil Wallis from Droitwich Spa Lions Club which has organised World Sight Day for the last 15 years.

Jenny Gage, from Sight Concern Worcestershire - one of Coun Taft's charities of the year - also accompanied Coun Taft.

Ms Gage said: "It is great feedback for us to experience what it is like to have sight loss.

"Simple things like shopping becomes an incredibly challenging task.

"We would urge anyone who needs any level of support to register with Sight Concern.

"We try to help people become more independent.

"There is plenty of help out there people just need to know about it."

Visit www.sightconcern.co.uk. and www.droitwichlions.com for more information

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