The Female Fraud Forum (FFF) is an association of solicitors, barristers and accountants who work in financial regulation and the criminal and civil fraud sector, with the purpose of promoting and supporting women at all levels of expertise in the field. They kindly chose the RNIB as one of their charities of the year, organising a charity dinner party in support of the In the Dark campaign to raise awareness for sight loss.
In the Dark is a campaign promoted by RNIB to raise awareness for blind and partially sighted people, with a variety of events to be held throughout the coming months allowing everyone to get involved. Rebecca Dix, social officer at the FFF, took the initiative to collaborate with the RNIB on this campaign.
In speaking about the event, she said: "It was a thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening evening. Thank you Krista (RNIB) for being there for me every step of the way to organise this charity dinner for the Female Fraud Forum. I suspect our members will be talking about this evening for a long time to come.”
The actual dining experience for attendees was held entirely in the dark, following the restaurant’s concept of a total sensory awakening. The restaurant promotes that, “Dining in pitch darkness, being hosted and served by a visually impaired waiter will change your perspective of the world by inverting your point of view…completely re-evaluate your perception of taste and smell.”
The dining portion was following by a wine and art auction for the 40 attendees. The generous donations from local London artists, Dragica Carlin, Samuel Deacon and Angeline Tournier, greatly contributed to the fundraising efforts of the night. Samuel shared that he was happy to donate his art to RNIB because, “I take my sight for granted, and as an artist and designer I couldn’t imagine how I would cope without my vision.”
The night also featured a moving speech by Shadeen Rose, who spoke about her own experience with sight loss. Shadeen shared her experience about the evening, saying:
“I was really shocked that everyone actually did 'dine in the dark' and it was very interesting to hear some of the ladies say that they had to give up using their cutlery and use their hands. For my part, it was normal for me - fumbling around the plate and finding out what was on the end of the fork when it arrived at my mouth. I was blown away by our blind waiter Fabio, he was absolutely amazing in being able to cope with the business of the evening and he had such a professional manner when placing the plates and drinks on the table, all in the dark!
"I was honoured to be invited to speak at this event, coming from a paralegal background myself I felt that my experience may have resonated with the group of ladies. The attendees from the FFF were lovely and it was great to have them take part in this event to raise funds and awareness for people with sight loss like myself.”
The FFF and the RNIB would also like to extend a thank you to Byrne and Partners LLP for sponsoring the event, Dans Le Noir restaurant for a superb job in accommodating us and all those who provided generous donations.