Fareham restaurant celebrations raise more than £3,000 in charity cash for Open Sight Hampshire

TWO gourmet dinners organised by a blind baker have helped raised thousands of pounds for a sight loss charity to educate children about eye health.

By Hollie Busby
Thursday, 12th May 2022, 4:14 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th May 2022, 4:14 pm

Held at Lauro’s Brasserie in Fareham, the events across two evenings were set up by Penny Melville-Brown, who campaigns to improve the services of people with disabilities.

Penny regularly holds cooking events for blind people across the south.

A total of £3,070 was raised from both events for Open Sight Hampshire, based in Eastleigh.

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(LtoR) Blind cook Penny hands Carol her book and chef patron Lauro presents Open Sight Chair, Sue, with the donation cheque.

Funds will be used to support the charity's eye health education scheme, which teaches children about sight loss and the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle to support eye health.

This includes protection from the sun, having regular eye tests, a healthy diet and exercising regularly as well as the detrimental effects of smoking.

It was also a celebration of Lauro and Carol Aman’s retirement and the launch of Penny’s new book, A cook’s tour: Baking Blind goes global.

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With more than 30 years of culinary experience, Lauro’s menu provided traditional food of his own Filipino heritage and added dishes from Thailand, Japan, Mexico and Italy.

Penny said: ‘Lauro and Carol wanted to mark their retirement with a big charity event for Open Sight Hampshire. I was honoured to compère both dinners and launch my global cookbook with those enthusiastic diners. There were triumphant celebrations with Lauro and Carol bowing out in magnificent style.’

Sue Walker, chair of Open Sight Hampshire, said: ‘We are so lucky to have the support of such wonderful people within our community. Lauro and Carol are genuinely such lovely people who before retiring from running their successful restaurant gave up two evenings to fundraise for Open Sight Hampshire. Our heartfelt thanks from the charity and our members go to Lauro, Carol, Penny and all those who attended the evenings. Everyone at Open Sight wishes Lauro and Carol a very happy retirement and every best wish for their forthcoming adventures.’

This year, Open Sight Hampshire celebrates its 100th birthday.

Established in 1922 as the Hampshire Association for the Care of the Blind, the charity provides a variety of services to help adults and children who have a range of sight conditions.

A variety of events will take place throughout the year to mark the historic anniversary.