Three piers walk in support of N-Vision

Mary Cawley and her late gran Kathleen Morris
Mary Cawley and her late gran Kathleen Morris
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This is Mary Cawley’s favourite picture with her beloved grandmother Kathleen Morris.

By Jacqui Morley

It was taken at Mary’s wedding in 2010.

Mary, who lives in Preesall with husband Stephen, cherishes it all the more since her grandmother died last September.

But this September Mary is marking the first anniversary of that milestone loss with a very special six-mile walk.

She’s taking part in the Three Piers event to support N-Vision the Blackpool Fylde and Wyre Society for the Blind’s work with 2500 people living with sight loss in the three local boroughs from the coast to urban and rural communities deep inland.

Mary’s particularly keen to help others benefit from a service which proved a lifeline link for her grandma to local news and views, thanks to the charity’s Talking Newspaper, now 42 years old, and run by volunteers.

She explains: “My grandma Kathleen died on September 17, 2018.

“She was registered blind and was someone who had support from N Vision for a good few years.

“The Talking Newspaper is a service that the blind rely on and can keep them up to date with the local news.

“I would like to get enough funding to help others get it.

“Six miles walking is nothing compared to how people who cannot see feel on a daily basis so please give generously if you can.”

The link to Mary’s JustGiving page is; https://tinyurl.com/y5rputbq

Established in 1910, the charity runs community services, café clubs, digital coaching, events, social and activity groups, Low Vision Centre, sight loss support, the Talking Newspaper service and more – including the Princess Alexandra Home which offers residential and respite accommodation.

The Three Piers, now an annual event and in its third year, starts at 10am on Sunday, September 22 but latecomers are welcome too.

Those taking part pick their own pace – and pier.

It’s three, five or six miles respectively from Starr Gate to South Pier (the nearest), Central or North Pier – and back.

Run, walk, cycle, push/be pushed, perambulate, amble, trundle, stroll, walk the dog - or the children. Or promenade between those Blackpool piers without peer. The choice is yours.

There couldn’t be a better place to start than N-Vision’s own HQ, at Bosworth Place, Blackpool – it’s just off the Prom at Starr Gate/Squires Gate.

Charity chief executive Ruth Lambert will wave participants off from the charity’s social hub Sharples Hall after a high-energy Korean pop-driven warm-up by dance fitness trainer and charity campaigner Andrew Noble.

They will return to bacon butties, medals and stickers, and general acclaim, as befits a hero’s welcome, regardless of whether they picked off one pier, two or all three, or come first or last or needed a piggyback.

Organiser Abby Newby said: “It’s a lovely family event, and above all it’s fun.

“ The very first year we raised £2,875 so that just inspired us to continue.

“Last year it was £2,271.

“We were a little disappointed, but the weather let us down a bit, too.

“Last year 45 people took part– from two years old to their 80s.

“Not just running or walking but in wheelchairs and mobility scooters too - and including clients with long canes and guide dogs including some who now volunteer for the charity.

“We’re hoping the third event is bigger and better than ever – and smashes our £3,000 target!”

The event coincides with the start of National Eye Health Week with N-Vision one of a coalition of sight loss support charities across Lancashire and South Cumbria joining forces to get various messages out in a bid to curb avoidable sight loss.

To take part in the Three Piers call Abby on (01253) 363692, to learn more about the work of the community services and Low Vision team call (01253) 363696.