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Lichfield MP experiences the challenges facing blind and visually impaired people

Lichfield’s MP has been given a chance to experience the challenges facing people who are blind and visually impaired.

Michael Fabricant was invited to hear the Staffordshire Lions Clubs and Lichfield Talking News for the Blind discuss the work they are doing to help those who suffer with sight issues.

The Conservative MP then joined others at the session in being guided around the city centre blindfolded or wearing glasses to simulate the effects of glaucoma, severe cataracts and macular degeneration.

He said: “Cllr Moira Greatorex, wife of the Chairman of Staffordshire County Council and Tamworth councillor, held my hand and guided me from the George Hotel, up Beacon Street, through The Close, down Dam Street and back to the George via Market Street – all the time while I was blindfolded.

“I know this part of Lichfield really well, but walking it blindfolded heightens your other senses like hearing and touch.

“It really gave me an insight into all the trip hazards including kerbs and cars illegally parked on the pavement. I experienced Lichfield in a way I had never done before. My thanks to Moira who prevented me falling flat on my face.”

John May MBE, Chairman of Lichfield Talking News for the Blind and a Lions Club Member said more needed to be done to help those facing sight loss.

“Currently in the UK there are some 300 people every day losing their eyesight often from Type 2 Diabetes,” he said. “This is reaching epidemic proportions and a forecast just issued suggests that the number is set to treble in the foreseeable future. Most of this is preventable, but the message isn’t getting out there.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.