visually impaired resident becomes national charity calendar
A visually impaired resident from Southport has become a
national charity's calendar star. Stephen Ball, 23, appears in
Action for Blind People's (Action) calendar, as one of 27,000
people with sight loss to have benefitted from the charity over
its last 12 months' reporting period (2012/13).
The calendar is an adapted version of the charity's Annual
Review, packed full of statistics about its services and
Stephen features in the calendar alongside the theme of Action
for Blind People's Transitions Service, designed to help young
people with sight loss gain skills and confidence in early
In the calendar, Stephen's transition adventure aboard the
'James Cook' yacht is profiled. This once in a
lifetime experience involved him joining a crew of seven other
visually impaired people, taking to the seas for the London to
Dorset Small Yacht Race.
Despite the odd spot of choppy weather, the crew successfully
navigated the North Sea, gaining invaluable team building
experience; a real confidence boost for Stephen and his fellow
Quoted in the calendar, talking about preparations before the
adventure, Stephen said:- "This is a once in a lifetime
opportunity. I'm really excited about the challenge, learning
new skills and teaming up with the crew, hopefully sailing to a
Although the 'James Cook' didn't win the race, the experience
was still a major triumph for its visually impaired crew.
Stephen has virtually no sight, being only able to see the
outline of objects. Action for Blind People is also helping him
to find the right assistive technology to allow him to live more
Other statistics and success stories in Action for Blind
People's Annual Review and calendar include:-
123 blind and partially sighted job seekers found employment,
with help from the charity's coordinators. This dedicated team
also supported a further 244 in keeping their jobs.
Some 425 social activities were organised for blind and
partially sighted youngsters, aged 4 to 16, who are members of
the charity's Actionnaires clubs. These clubs are designed to
boost young people's confidence through a range of sporting and
social activities, such as blind tennis, woodland survival
skills, film making and horse riding.
Over 9,000 patients, newly diagnosed with sight loss, were given
crucial advice by Action for Blind People's Eye Clinic Liaison
Officers (ECLOs). Based in hospital eye clinics, they provide
much needed emotional and practical support and are a valuable
source of information and guidance.
The Annual Review details the introduction of Living with Sight
Loss modular courses, designed to help in developing confidence
and life skills amongst blind and partially sighted people.
To read Stephen's story and to find out more about Action for
Blind People's services in its Annual Review visit:-
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B.O.A. 70th Anniversary
video footage we have taken at the 70th BOA events this
year in Liverpool has now been fully edited is available
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on Mersey Reporter very soon. For each DVD sold,
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