An eye for gardening

Local garden opens for blind and partially sighted patients


A new garden will not only “optimeyes” an unloved strip of Selby, but will offer an opportunity for blind and partially sighted residents to keep up with their love of gardening.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) paired with the group Selby District Vision in creating the garden, nicknamed “Optimeyes,” which was opened last weekend (11 September).

The new allotment space, which also received money from the Big Lottery Fund, will provide a social space for green-finger residents with sight loss.

Selby resident, Brian – who asked for his surname not to be used – explained that: “Being involved in the Optimeyes Garden has done me such a lot of good. It gets me out of the house, which makes me feel happier and boosts my confidence.

“It’s important to have my own interests and independence, without always needing to rely on my wife. Until the garden, I didn’t have other people I could talk to about dealing with sight loss,” he emphasised.

RNIB Optimeyes project manager, Claire Cawkwell, highlighted that: “It’s fantastic to see blind and partially sighted people from the community come together to celebrate their hobbies and support one another.”