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NORFOLK VISUALLY-IMPAIRED YOUNG PEOPLE SPEAK TO MPS IN HOUSE OF COMMONS ABOUT LIVING WITH SIGHT LOSS

27th Apr 2022
George Edwards left and Marcus Dunn at the Houses of Parliament

Two visually-impaired young people from Norfolk have been telling MPs about the needs of young people living with sight loss at a special forum held at the Houses of Parliament.

Marcus Dunn, 14, and George Edwards, 12, were representing the county’s sight loss charity Vision Norfolk at the event on the House of Commons terrace, which saw a total of nine visually-impaired young people from across the UK speak to MPs about their education experience, aspirations, and their visually-impaired friendship groups.

The pair talked also about the support that they receive from Vision Norfolk’s Children, Young People and Families service, as well as that offered by Norfolk’s Virtual School Sensory Support.

George, who is at Wymondham College and receives support for his additional needs from Virtual School Sensory Support, said, “It was an exciting day and a great opportunity.  It was great meeting other visually impaired young people especially their Buddy Dogs.  It was good to share my experiences and challenges I have in school.”

Marcus, who attends Wymondham High School and is also supported by Virtual School Sensory Support, added, “It was really good to meet other vision impaired people my age and interesting to spend time in Parliament.  The MPs I spoke to were really nice and asked lots of questions.”

Barbara Dunn, children, young people and families co-ordinator at Vision Norfolk, who also attended the forum, said, “George and Marcus were very impressive in speaking to the MPs about their experiences, and getting across what support they would like to see for visually-impaired young people right across the UK.

“It is fairly clear that Norfolk enjoys a better and more joined-up level of support for young people living with sight loss than in other parts of the UK. 

“The Forum was part of work being led by Guide Dogs to try and ensure that visually-impaired children across England receive the same service, rather than it being the current postcode lottery.  Vision Norfolk was a key participant in the creation of the Guide Dogs Commission report produced at the end of last year, and it is clear that Norfolk is seen as something of a model for other parts of the country to emulate.”