What a great turn out for the Sight Loss event we held at Rushbrook Centre in Totnes this Thursday all the more fabulous because of the absolutely atrocious weather conditions.

We had a great range of speakers that included Joanna Parsons who talked about her early experience of sight loss at an early age and the emotional impact of this for her. Joanna is a renowned and hugely experienced chef and her drive and passion for supporting others with sight loss to regain or find confidence in cooking shone through. Jo also cooked up a storm for the event with Christmas short breads, traditional shortbread and a breakfast dish containing porridge oats, yogurt and forest fruits- all of which were delicious.

We were also lucky to have Alex and Laura from Suddenly Sightless who travelled down all the way from Birmingham to join us. They also talked about their shared experience of sudden sight loss and the emotional impact of this. Their aim is to support other going through the same journey through talks, videos and podcasts and they now have an online following internationally as well as the UK.  They also were on hand to support and encourage people with tips, tricks and demonstrations of applying make-up.

We were also joined by Dick and David who talked about the accessible footpath from Totnes to Dartington. Dick’s description of the walk made you feel like you were there. It was to super to hear the interest generated by this talk from group members and the support offered by other organisations to review the technology used to optimise the accessibility of the walk.

We were also delighted to welcome Jo Fishwick and Linda Whittingham from RNIB as they are the fonts of all knowledge in relation to assistive technology – Jo is our go to person for any questions we have as a staff team and regularly supports Devon in Sight clients on a one to one basis with any aspect of assistive technology at our hubs. Jo assists clients to access and understand the many different technologies out there that can be life changing in their use. Jo makes it look so easy! Of course I have to mention Bruno (Jo’s guide dog) as everyone fell in love with him.

This event was built around some of the most common issues raised within our talk and support groups across Devon and the speakers generated a lot of discussion.  People approaching me at the end said they had felt it was “inspirational” “informative” and “moving”.