By: Dave Taylor
Despite having little to no vision, this does not stop a group of adventurous visually impaired and blind people from Portsmouth taking on challenges that some normal sighted people would not even think about.
Losing My Sight Charity obtained Lottery Funding earlier this year to embark on several projects for the visually impaired and blind community in Portsmouth between May 2017 and April 2018. It was designed so they could gain confidence and independence to live as much as a normal life as possible.
The day began with archery and climbing. Some people found their chosen sport for the morning session very challenging, but also exciting. In my opinion, it was a remarkable achievement for those involved to reach the top of the climbing way, as was shooting a bull’s-eye in archery.
The archery became a competition amongst some because it was so addictive. One of the climbers was know as a ‘little monkey’ because he climbed up the wall without any fear. I suppose, in some respects, it helps being visually impaired or blind in this scenario, because you cannot really see how high you are when climbing the wall.
Sadly, sight loss is affecting more working-aged people than ever before and once you are diagnosed with sight loss, your whole world falls apart. Some people fall into a deep depression, which is not easy to overcome. Sufferers often end up having to deal with mental health issues as well as sight loss.
Losing My Sight Charity aims to reach out to those people who are lacking in confidence and those who have lost their independence. They do this by carrying out projects like this. We hope people with a visual impairment or those who are blind will join in with our projects and activities. This way, they will in time regain their confidence thus improving their independence at the same time.
A good way in doing this is to go sailing, which the group took part in later that day. Despite some boats capsizing, no one panicked, all they did was climb back into the boat and carry on.
It truly is inspirational seeing them having fun and overcoming any fears they have, which is the whole idea of our charity.
At the end of the day, we were left with one question from participants and that was- “WHEN IS THE NEXT ONE?”