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Blind charity celebrates 150 years with special event in South Shields

Peter Bennetts with RNIB Network Manager Sandra Gardner
Peter Bennetts with RNIB Network Manager Sandra Gardner

People who are blind or partially sighted from across the region have celebrated 150 years of a charity supporting their needs.

Peter Bennetts organised a celebratory event in aid of the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) to mark the special milestone.

The day was attended by people from across the region who came together to share their own experiences, good or bad, about how they have embraced their mobility aid.

Mr Bennetts said: “I feel absolutely thrilled that the RNIB are wanting to put blind and partially sighted people at the heart of the community and have them leading on their own events.

“This event has been organised by blind and partially sighted people, where people can share their own stories of the mobility aids they use whether it’s a symbol cane or a guide dog and to also raise awareness to the general public.

“It’s about embracing our mobility aids and to increase people’s confidence.”

Praising the success of the event Sharon Gardner, network manager with the RNIB, said: “I’m over the moon with the turnout and how the event has been planned out.

“Ever since we began giving more responsibility to those who are blind or partially sighted to do more for themselves, we have had more response and helps to start breaking down barriers, that people with sight may not realise are there.

“When someone has sight loss, they can feel very isolated, they can lose their friends and their confidence so having events like these it gives people the chance to come together and share tips on how to get out and about.

“Peter has been very successful and has a lot of skills which has gone a long way to raising the profile of the need for more people to be aware of the barriers facing those who are blind or partially sighted.”

The event, held at the Little Haven Hotel, featured a barbeque and live music.