Most people enjoy a cuppa and tea parties hold a special appeal for many, the ritual of making it, the paraphernalia that some insist upon, a damask tablecloth, cake stand, teapot and knitted ‘cosy’ ‘real’ china , a favourite mug….I remember a valued friend who wherever possible preferred using loose leaf tea and a strainer for his brews, it did seem to add some extra magic to a ceremony which universally serves as both refreshment and therapy, but imagine how it would be if we were unable, because of sight impairment to appreciate it’s visual charm, or indeed to easily make that cuppa , I was surprised to learn, that yearly in UK approximately 23,000 people lose their vision and current cuts to services and benefits,will see many of these people lose as much as 5 hours support a week, this may have the biggest impact on their ability to engage in the simple social events most sighted people take for granted, going to a cafe or a friends home for a cuppa, the implications to their emotional wellbeing are obvious.
The eyes are the only transparent part of our body, a window on our general health, having regular eye tests enables the optician to detect early signs of not only eye problems which might lead to significant sight loss but early indications of other potential health risks.
The Yorkshire Action for Blind People will be holding a Readathon on the 11th October, as part of the Read for RNIB’s national campaign, themed on the ‘mad’ tea party, from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the aim, to raise funds to provide vital services, it will take place on the concourse of Leeds Rail station between 8am and 6pm, volunteers will be reading aloud excerpts from Lewis Carrol’s ‘Alices Adventures in Wonderland’ to commuters, there will be an information stand, texts will be available in different size formats and for kindles, I plan to be there on the look out for the white rabbit!
The Leeds Vision Consortium is a collaboration between Action for Blind People, The Wilberforce Trust and Leeds City Council.
Local contacts for the campaign and wellbeing promotion workers are, respectively Rachel Moore 0113 3862888 and Sherieda Joseph, 07720 946342
In researching more about what’s commonly referred to as the mad Hatters party, I discovered that the author of Alice’s Adventures, Lewis Carrol, did not use that term with sole reference to the Hatter’s character, more with reference to the bizarre repetition of the eternal 6pm teatime proceedings, although the whole story and characters might be considered somewhat …zany? the party story poses some impossible riddles, as a child I found Alice’s Adventures too foreboding, but now as a grown up ‘kid’ I appreciate it’s nonsensical dark tale and it’s back on my to read pile.