Lions blinded on World Sight Day

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Lord Mayor Sharon Sullivan guided around the Hall by a Henshaws trainer

The lions on St George’s Plateau received a make-over after being blindfolded for World Sight Day.

Organised by the City of Liverpool Lions Club as they aimed to raise awareness of visual impairments, the event proved a success despite the rainy weather.

Liverpool’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Sharon Sullivan, also agreed to be blindfolded and was guided around the hall itself.

She told JMU Journalism: “I was part of an event earlier in the year where I wore specially adapted glasses and was guided up and down Duke Street, which was daunting as the glasses had no peripheral view.

“It was scary to be led around and as I felt very vulnerable and at the mercy of others. It made me grateful that I have sight. We don’t realise what they go through and it could happen to anyone.”

Lions International held similar events to raise awareness worldwide.

Lions Club member Joan Elliot told JMU Journalism: “This is Sight Week and being new I wanted to get something going and the lions seemed like the thing to do. We are not just trying to raise awareness of sight loss though. We are also trying to raise awareness of the lions club itself.”

Ms Elliot added: “Henshaws sent one of their trainers with specially adapted spectacles to replicate the effects of gradual sight loss. We hope to encourage people to have regular and appropriate sight tests after they see what the effects could be.”

Lynette Barlow, manager of the Liverpool branch of Henshaws Society for the Blind, told JMU Journalism: “We were approached by the Liverpool Lions Club and they said they wanted to blindfold people to recreate the effects of visual impairment.

“We now use specially manufactured glasses to simulate the effects of different eye conditions.”

About Scott Fitzpatrick, JMU Journalism