On Friday 3 October, Kevan Jones, Member of Parliament for North Durham, and Ron, Police and Crime Commissioner for Durham, took part in a ‘blind walk’ around Durham City Centre.
Local residents and RNIB volunteer campaigners Gerry and Anne Taylor asked the MP and PCC to wear the blindfold to raise awareness of the difficulties people with sight loss face on a day-to-day basis, when making journeys by foot or public transport.
Gerry Taylor says: “Blind and partially sighted people face many challenges on a daily basis and one of the biggest is getting out and about safely and independently. Whether it’s because there are obstacles blocking the way, poor street design, or problems with using public transport, we are often denied the right to independent and safe travel.
“I am delighted that Kevan and Ron will accompany me on a journey I make regularly and get an understanding of some of the many difficulties I face every day. I hope it will also highlight many aspects of daily life that sighted people take for granted.”
Kevan said, “I am very pleased to have the opportunity to take part in a blindfold walk. I have spoken to Gerry on a number of occasions about the difficulties faced by blind and partially-sighted in their daily lives. This will be an excellent opportunity for myself and Ron to get some first-hand experience of these problems and hopefully provoke some further discussion about this very important issue.”
They were accompanied on their walk by Lucy Dixon, RNIB Regional Campaigns Officer.