Three piers for £6? Now that’s a bargain but there’s a catch – you may have to get your running or walking shoes on, your long canes, white canes, guide dogs out, your wheelchairs, prams, walkers ... whatever. All welcome.
Staff, volunteers, trustees, supporters and clients of N-Vision, the Blackpool Fylde and Wyre Society for the Blind, are under starter’s orders for their now annual 3 Piers sponsored run/walk.
They reckon their charity is without peer – and all three of our historic Blackpool piers play their part in the fun fundraiser on Sunday September 16.
Racers, runners, walkers, amblers and trundlers pick a pier – or all three – and their pace. The distance spans three, five or six miles depending on whether they head for South, Central or North Pier – and back to N-Vision’s base at Bosworth Place, Squires Gate.
It's not the biggest marathon or the most emotive cause - except for those who know what it's like to live with sight loss so severe it interferes with every element of life - but it's one of the most heartfelt and, indeed, inclusive locally ... and the charity needs us to sign on the dotted line.
The 3 Piers sponsored run/walk raises vital funds to help the independent local charity support 2500 people living on the Fylde – from coast to urban and rural communities inland - with little to no vision.
The society itself dates back to 1910 and runs a range of community services, café clubs, social and activity groups, Low Vision Centre, sight loss support, Talking Newspaper, and more – including the Princess Alexandra Home which offers residential and respite accommodation even all-inclusive flats for the more independent. The charity's eye clinic liaison officer Linda Sethi, has enviable links with specialist eye medics, and speaks up for patients at the department's directorate meetings. She's the frontline link for new referrals, patients newly diagnosed for the future, others certified as severely sight impaired (blind) or partially sighted and asking "what happens next?" She - and the charity - take over where the medics leave off. As a result of new screening the ECLO is increasingly assisting parents of children too.
So, that little 3 Piers event on Sun, Sept 16, really matters in terms of fundraising.
"We'd really like to smash the 3000 target this year."
Organiser Abby Newby, who works at the charity, explains: “After doing sponsored walks for several years N-Vision introduced the 3 Piers last year to make the event accessible, so we should have a distance that will suit (almost) everybody – while the six-mile option will appeal to runners.
“Last year we raised £2875 so we would REALLY like to smash the £3000 mark this year. It is important people start signing up – obviously we would love to know their reasons for taking part.”
The 3 Piers starts from N-Vision’s base at Bosworth Place, Squires Gate FY4 1SH, at 10am – fancy dress welcome. It’s £6 to register. You can do so by contacting Abby at (01253) 362692 or emailing her at Abigail.firstname.lastname@example.org to receive your registration pack.
The first 20 participants to sign up will receive a free N-Vision water bottle. Fylde Coast YMCA have kindly agreed to host the warm ups. Food and refreshments will be provided after the event.
The event is also raising awareness of the charity’s work ahead of National Eye Health Week which starts on September 24 and features displays by the charity and specialist medics on the mezzanine at Blackpool Victoria Hospital earlier that week and a trade exhibition at the charity of high tech visual aids, innovations, appliances and software from the UK’s leading specialist suppliers and other events to encourage all of us to have regular eye health tests. Call Linda Sethi eye clinic liaison officer or Brian Casey low vision worker on 01253 362696 for details.
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