Barnet Borough Sight Impaired Club celebrates anniversary with 'valuable' exhibition

Blind club celebrates milestone anniversary with 'valuable' exhibition

Blind club celebrates milestone anniversary with 'valuable' exhibition

First published in News
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This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

Blind people shared laughter and fun with a comedy actor at a lighthearted event to mark their club’s 20th anniversary.

Barnet Borough Sight Impaired invited Dad’s Army actor Frank Williams to help mark their milestone achievements over the past two decades.

The club also held an exhibition about sight loss and how to prevent it, and people shared their experiences of going blind with fully sighted people.

Chairman Sunethra Goonewarden said: “It was a valuable way to spread the message about the effects going blind can have.

“We just wanted to show how with the right equipment, blind people can manage with their everyday life.

“Everybody said how much they enjoyed it. I think it was very successful. We all loved hearing from Frank, he had very interesting things to say.”

Mr Williams played card games with members before giving a talk on his career as an actor and his time on Dad’s Army.

The club was launched by optician Harry Daile, who is now 103, when there was little or no support for blind people in Barnet.

More than 100 blind and fully sighted people attended the event, which was held at St Mary’s Church, in Nether Street, Finchley, on Tuesday.

Stalls included information about guide dogs, support services, and display of arts and crafts created by people with a visual impairment.

Group member Dr Ollie Natelson believes if councils helped prevent over 50 per cent of sight loss, they could each save £17million a year.

The now 72-year-old became blind after retiring from his job as a professor, and admits wishes he had taken “better care” of his eyes in his younger years.

He said: “I found the event fascinating. I am determined to drum the message about sight prevention to the younger generation.

“It was hectic, but everyone enjoyed it. Meeting Frank was a brilliant way to end the day.”

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