LETTER: Vision not needed to appreciate gardens

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As we celebrate National Gardening Week this week (April 13-19), Action for Blind People’s South East team wants to share with readers why gardening is accessible to all; both sighted people and those with a visual impairment. We’re encouraging everyone to become budding gardeners, whilst doing some myth-busting about what sight loss means.

Gardening is a sensory experience, through touching the plants and smelling the aroma of flowers. Vision isn’t essential to appreciate nature.

Ninety-six per cent of people who experience sight loss keep some of their vision. The majority retain an ability 
to differentiate between colours. So, this makes gardening an attractive and accessible hobby.

Sight loss can undermine confidence and independence. Gardening offers a therapeutic way to restore self-belief and adjust to visual impairment; a new ‘leaf of life!’

Sharing the gardening with a ‘green fingered’ sighted friend creates a social opportunity, overcoming loneliness and isolation that many people experience when they become visually impaired.

Action for Blind People’s regional team provides a range of services and support, helping people affected by sight loss to enjoy their interests, hobbies, and to live life to the full. For more information email: actionlondon&se@
actionforblindpeople.org.uk

Our website shows how to 
create a sensory garden: 
www.actionforblindpeople.org.uk/gardening

Happy gardening!

Steven Franks

Area Operations Manager: South East, Action for Blind People, 105 Judd Street, London, WC1H 9NE