We were delighted to welcome Jackie Sopwith, former parent and Chief Executive Officer of Somerset Sight, along with her colleague Holly Sutton to Hazlegrove this morning.
Somerset Sight is a local charity which provides support to those who have lost or who are losing their sight. It was founded in 1919 in response to the needs of soldiers returning from the First World War, and so it was appropriate that they should come and speak to the Hazlegrove pupils in assembly just after Armistice Day when we remembered those who gave their lives in active service.
The pupils learnt about the different sorts of visual impairment and their effects on eyesight such as only having a very small field of vision or having blurred vision in the centre but having vision on the edges. It was surprising to hear how many people in Somerset have lost their sight and that there are many more who suffer from visual impairment but who are not recorded as such.
After assembly, Holly spent some time in the Lower School where the children had a go at writing their name in brail and tried colouring in with special glasses which gave them the effect of having a visual impairment. There were also some aids for the children to handle such as a special super-sized telephone handset, a device to help keep writing in lines, a watch that speaks the time when you press a button and a clever device to tell you when a cup is full by sounding an alarm.
Thank you to Holly and to Somerset Sight for spending time with us and for explaining about visual impairment and sight loss. We look forward to supporting this worthwhile local charity with a collection at our end of term carol service at Wells Cathedral.
Click here to see the photo album with Somerset Sight in Flickr