A Peebles optometrist will face up to a unique personal challenge to raise funds for 'talking' books for blind and partially sighted people.
Linda Quinn of Higgins Opticians will be spending this Sunday doing everyday tasks at home while wearing glasses which simulate varying degrees of sight loss.
As an optometrist, Linda is keen to experience some of the challenges which people with sight loss can face.
Simple tasks like shopping, cooking, helping her children with homework, or going for a walk with her family, can be very different for people with sight loss. Linda will be documenting her challenges over the course of the day.
Linda said: "It is fantastic to be involved in Peebles Community RNIB Talking Book. Peebles is one of the strongest communities I have known and I am proud to be part of it. There are so many wonderful charities and fundraising efforts in Peebles but, being an optometrist, it is my job to look after people's ocular health and to achieve the very best vision for them.
"This project will give me a chance to experience the practical impacts of sight loss. Whilst this can never replicate the emotional side of losing one's sight, it will place me in scenarios which will allow me to understand everyday challenges that children and adults face on a day to day basis. I hope it could also allow me to help someone that either already lives with this or is perhaps facing it in their future."
Linda hopes to raise £250 from friends, colleagues, and customers in sponsorship. Higgins Opticians on the town's High Street already has a Talking Books window display, a collection box for donations, and is inviting customers to give £1 for every pair of glasses purchased.
Right now there are over 180,000 in Scotland alone living with significant sight loss, and every day 100 people across the UK start to lose their sight.
For over 80 years the Talking Books service run by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has been a lifeline to the outside world for its members. The free service sends out over one million books a year to blind and partially sighted adults and children in formats such as audio CD, USB and digital download.
Angela Preston fundraising manager for RNIB Scotland, said: “We know that our Talking Books help open up a whole new world for blind and partially sighted people. But we urgently need support to expand our library so that people living with sight loss will have access to even more titles.
“We hope that local businesses and residents will back Linda's campaign to sponsor a Talking Book and help us change the story.”
Longstanding RNIB supporter, Lord (Julian) Fellowes, said: “I'm a big believer in the power of a good story and have seen how Talking Books can transform the lives of blind and partially sighted people. I hope that men and women across the UK will be inspired to sponsor a Talking Book and help us make the magic happen.”
* You can support Linda's campaign directly by donating onto the Peebles Community Just Giving page (noting that you are sponsoring Linda for the 'Peebles Community RNIB Talking Book')
** If you and your friends, work colleagues or social groups would like to raise funds for a RNIB Talking Book, please contact Angela Preston to find out more, tel 0131 652 3169 or email [email protected]