Ahead of World Sight Day on October 11, iSightCornwall, based at Newham and the Port of Truro, has welcomed a neighbouring business to learn about some of the vital support it offers for people across the county.
A team of Newham-based chartered insurers recently swapped a day in the office for a day at the shooting range when they volunteered for sight loss charity iSightCornwall.
Staff from Cornish Mutual spent the day helping out at Blind Using Guided Sights (BUGS) Shooting Club in St Austell alongside iSightCornwall, a much loved charity which is also based at the riverside businesses district in the heart of Truro.
BUGS is one of fifteen social clubs in Cornwall, run entirely by volunteers, for people with visual impairments.
The group from the Cornish Mutual Truro Head Office were on hand to guide club members to and from the target range and load up the air rifles which work by picking up a pitch emitted from a target. The pitch gets higher as the shooter gets closer to the bullseye, allowing people with little or no sight at all to find the target.
Paul Mahon, Insurance Director at Cornish Mutual said: “We were made to feel extremely welcome and really enjoyed getting to know the club members and the other volunteers.
“We all had a go at shooting which we found far more difficult than the members made it seem. One of our team managed to miss the target completely with their first five shots which we understand has never been done before!
“The club is a fantastic way for the members to socialise and it clearly couldn’t take place without the kind support shown by the drivers and other volunteers.”
Chris Kemp, who volunteers at the shooting club every week said: “The club members absolutely loved having the team from Cornish Mutual there. They got stuck in to all the activities and would be welcome back any time.”
Cornish Mutual encourages its staff to take part in a volunteering day for charity once a year. The Technical Development Team chose iSightCornwall because sight loss is a subject close to their hearts.
Paul Haddrell, Technical Leader, said: “My mother is 94, has macular degeneration and is registered blind. Despite this she makes almost daily bus journeys to the shops by herself. Being able to maintain her independence is so important, which is why charities like iSightCornwall are so valuable.”
As part of its work to support people affected by sight loss, iSightCornwall supports a range of clubs across the county including singing, dance, guitar and lunch groups.
Terri Rosnau-Ward, Chief Executive, said: “We were thrilled to welcome our Newham neighbours at Cornish Mutual to volunteer with one of our affiliated groups. The clubs are vital for people with sight loss to keep their independence while meeting friends and learning a new skill.”
She added that iSightCornwall was currently looking for volunteer drivers to help take members to and from clubs. If you could spare a couple of hours each month, please contact 01872 261110.