Ottery group for visually impaired celebrates 10th birthday

AN Ottery group set up to help visually impaired people in the town celebrated its 10th birthday last week.

AN Ottery group set up to help visually impaired people in the town celebrated its' 10th birthday last week.

Twenty-seven members of Vision OM enjoyed a special lunch at the Hare and Hounds last Thursday to mark the occasion.

Founder Anne Decent, who is registered blind, befriended several visually impaired, elderly ladies when she moved to Ottery a decade ago. Regular meetings then began in her home for the ladies to socialise and give each other mutual support.

The group's size has increased ever since with meetings now held in The Institute treating members to talks from organisations such as the Ottery Heritage Society and Age Concern Devon, as well as numerous activities and trips.

Vision OM member Kay Haywood said: "Visits to East Devon coastal towns are always enjoyed and enable members to walk beside the sea in safety, we have also been 10 Pin Bowling in Exeter, under the tuition of the blind champion in this sport from Sidmouth, and to several Open Gardens in the locality.

"We combine these trips with lunch or tea. We have recently been assigned a member of staff from Devon Link, who will put forward our suggestions on how to improve quality of life and safety in Ottery St Mary to the Steering Committee."

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Celebrations also saw the launch of a book, compiled by author Shelley Saxon, detailing members' experiences of being visually impaired and the affect it has had on their lives. It is hoped the book's publication will help and encourage those similarly affected.