Spreading the love of Living Paintings!
May 12, 2015

As people are getting to know about the Touch to See Book Club resources we are now seeing a steady influx of visually impaired groups wanting to register on our library database. It’s so exciting to see things developing. It also means that I am travelling more and more to talk to groups and potential partner organisations. Over the last month, I have met with various county sight organisations and activity groups.

Since my last blog I have visited Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland; Exeter, Cullompton and Ivybridge in Devon and Wimborne in Dorset. I was in Scotland to attend the Sight Village events which are run by Queen Alexandra College. It was a great way to network with other like-minded people and form closer links within local communities.

Sight Village

Not only did I travel up to network, I also visited the Linburn Centre in Wilkieston run by the Scottish War Blinded which is an associated charity under the umbrella of Royal Blind.

Linburn Centre

The Centre is just wonderful.  It runs a range of activities, vision rehabilitation and independent living skills training. Members often go on outings.

The minute you walk in you get this really welcoming environment and everyone is so friendly. I was lucky enough to be shown around by David Grigor, the Art Instructor, and met a member of his art group, Derek McDonald, who really loves and benefits from our Touch to See Book Club resources.

I managed to take a short video of him talking about his experience of being guided through a picture painted by Paul Nash, Totes Meer, which is a painting of twisted and torn remains of German aircraft which delivered so much destruction to so many cities during World War 2. It is such a lovely video of Derek. It’s not only inspiring, it also really shows you how our tactile raised images bring pictures to life. The video will be out soon so we will keep you updated!

The group I visited in Wimborne Dorset is affiliated to the Macular Disease Support Group run by a lovely gentlemen called Alan. I was also lucky enough to meet Clive, the new Regional Support and Development Manager in the South West (the longest job title in history!) Clive works within the support groups and volunteer services team and is the main link to all the Macular Disease support groups in the South West, so well worth meeting.

Next week I am off to north Manchester, visiting two different Societies for the Blind in Bury and Bolton. Before too long everyone will have heard of our Touch to See Book Clubs! As a colleague used to say as she left the office for meetings, “I am off to spread the love…” Quite an apt saying when it comes to what I do – the love is definitely being spread far and wide.

Bye for now.

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