Royal Blind Week is challenging people to find out what it’s like to be blind for a day and to support services for visually impaired Scots
What’s the campaign called?
Royal Blind Week and it runs from 24 February until 2 March.
What’s the point?
Launching for the first time in 2014, Royal Blind Week aims to raise awareness and vital funds for Scottish charity Royal Blind, which has been making a huge difference since it was founded in Edinburgh in 1793. Royal Blind provides education, care and employment for visually impaired and disabled people of all ages.
The charity operates five distinct and life-changing services:
• The Royal Blind School offers the highest quality of education and care for young people with a visual impairment.
• Braeside House is Scotland’s only care home for older people who have a visual impairment.
• Kidscene is an integrated after-school and holiday club, with a mixture of children with and without disabilities.
• Forward Vision provides care and support to young adults with a visual impairment and additional disabilities, encouraging greater independence.
• The Scottish Braille Press is the leading UK provider of high quality alternative formats, including Braille, large print and audio.
Growing up with a genetic eye disorder, I was shy and had low self-esteem. But at the age of 12 I enrolled at the Royal Blind School and have never looked back!
Why should we care?
There are over two million people in the UK that suffer from sight problems and everyday around 100 people become visually impaired. Without Royal Blind’s vital services, there is no way that the life changing opportunities Royal Blind provides for visually impaired people from across the country would be available.
Who else cares?
Libby Clegg, Paralympic silver medallist, world champion sprinter and former pupil of the Royal Blind School, is the ambassador for Royal Blind Week. She is extremely passionate about supporting Royal Blind, having experienced first-hand the extraordinary work carried out every day by their services in Edinburgh. Clegg says: “Growing up with a genetic eye disorder, I was shy, had low self-esteem and felt very isolated. But at the age of 12 I enrolled at the Royal Blind School and have never looked back! The staff at the school taught me to value myself, never be embarrassed by my disability and that anything is possible. Without Royal Blind and the vital services it provides I wouldn’t be who I am today. Please get involved in Royal Blind Week and help us continue to make a difference.”
Who are you targeting?
Everyone! From individuals to schools, companies to community groups, there are easy ways for everyone to get involved in Royal Blind Week, whether you have five minutes or five days to spare
What would a better world look like?
A place where blind and partially sighted people, including those who have other disabilities, are fully supported and have the confidence and independence to achieve their full potential and enjoy a brighter future.
What can we do?
Fundraise! Royal Blind is asking people to take on a special challenge, by going blind for a day. Get sponsored to be blindfolded while going about your usual business, and experience the difficulties of losing one of your most vital senses. You can also raise funds by ‘baking a difference’ for Royal Blind, through a bake sale or bake-off, or organising a classic dress up/dress down day at work or school – every little helps!
Royal Blind is also launching the first ever Royal Blind Week Art Exhibition and Sale, with a free preview event on Thursday, 20 February from 6.30–8.30pm, which everyone is welcome to attend.
Held in Edinburgh’s Gallery Seventeen on Dundas Street, the exhibition will showcase artwork from leading Scottish artists such as Jolomo, Peter Howson and Marion Drummond, as well as many more local and international artists.
You can also take to your favourite social media sites and mention Royal Blind week (#Royalblindwk, #Blind4Day), and help raise awareness about the fantastic work of Royal Blind! It only takes two minutes but will help make a huge difference!
Visit royalblind.org/royal-blind-week for more information, or contact 0131 229 1456 to speak to the Royal Blind team directly.