Bexhill College students are raising money for the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB). On Wednesday 26th June, they took part in a 5 kilometre walk through Bexhill as part of the College's Social Action Day.
For more than 80 years, RNIB's Talking Books service has helped create a lifeline to the outside world for blind and partially sighted people in the UK and Bexhill College has chosen to support this cause.
83-year-old Pat explains what it is like to lose your sight: ‘It's a kind of homesickness,' she says. ‘You don't know where you are, and you don't relate to anything anymore.'
Pat's eyesight slowly began to worsen a few years ago but then suddenly deteriorated very rapidly. A visit to the optician diagnosed age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which affects a tiny part of the retina at the back of the eye. It causes a person's central vision to become distorted or blurry and, over time, a blank patch may appear.
The RNIB says that Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the UK, and the number of people living with late-stage AMD in England is expected to increase by a third by 2030.
There is no cure, but treatment is available for wet AMD, which stops the new blood vessels from growing and damaging the macula. Pat regularly attends The Dowling Ward at Bexhill Hospital for this. As she says, ‘It's amazing what you can put up with to try to save your sight.'
What's the prognosis? ‘Well, at the moment I have about 40% of vision in one eye and 75% in the other. But it will eventually end up in near total blindness – I may be able to see a little light on the edge of the field of vision, but the central field of vision will be quite black.'
The RNIB's Talking Book service has a huge variety of high-quality audiobooks which are provided completely free. So the English, Humanities and Languages section at Bexhill College have pledged to raise money for this great cause, starting with the college's biggest ever sponsored walk through the town.
On 26th June our students walked 5 kilometres from Bexhill College along the seafront to the Sovereign Light Café and back again. They hope to raise the £1500 necessary to produce a children's book and maybe even the £2500 for an adult book.
RNIB Area Fundraising Manager for the South East, Hayley Brooks said: "Thank you to all the teachers and students at Bexhill College who took part in the sponsored walk to raise money for an RNIB Talking Book. We know that this service helps open up a whole new world for blind and partially sighted people. RNIB is relying more than ever on public support to fund new Talking Books and this brilliant donation from Bexhill College will allow us to do just that.”
Help us reach our total to give a person who is blind or partially sighted the chance to enjoy the pleasure of a book. Please donate to our Just Giving page via the following link:
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