UNTIL we experience what they face, we can never understand just how difficult life is for a blind person.
That was the message from a walk organised to raise awareness of the issues faced by those who are visually impaired.
Blind residents, guide dogs and the mayor of Gosport turned out to support the Gosport and Lee-on-the-Solent Lions initiative for World Sight Day.
The group walked along Gosport High Street – with mayor of Gosport Cllr Linda Batty being blindfolded for the duration of the walk, which included a visit to the town’s Morrison’s store.
A collection was also held, with money going to sight charities in the town.
Cllr Batty said: ‘It was a very interesting day and I’ve learned an awful lot.
‘You cannot understand what blind people have to put up with until you experience it yourself. Take shopping as an example – do you know where everything is? Have things been moved around the store? ‘I also realised that there are a lot of obstacles, just in the high street.
‘The benches, trees and boards outside shops all present a danger – and there are also a few uneven paving slabs too. When the walk finished and I took the blindfold off, I actually felt quite dizzy. But for some people, that blindfold never comes off – it was an experience that I will certainly never forget.’
Lions president David Andrews, who organised the walk, said: ‘It was a great day.
‘We had a really good turnout and a few blind people who were able to shed some light on their experiences.
‘The mayor and her consort were certainly up for it, and I think she was rather taken aback by how differently blind people experience the world around them.’