London branch Eastbourne weekend 2022
London branch of NFB UK celebrates 45 years of visiting Eastbourne.
Over 70 blind and visually impaired people will attend the celebratory social weekend in Eastbourne from Friday 14th to Monday 17th October 2022 to celebrate the weekend’s 45th anniversary.
Since 1976, over 4000 Weekenders have enjoyed visiting the seaside town. Initially designed as a formal conference to educate blind and partially sighted people about sight loss from leading ophthalmologists and supporting organisations, it has developed in later years to become a more social activity providing invaluable peer support. This year the RNIB Tech Guru Dave Williams will be running a forum. The weekend will also include a disco, live band, dance classes, singing sessions, keep fit with local Christine Ward and much more.
“We have been very impressed by the support given by the Cumberland Hotel including providing menus for Weekenders to either Braille or use on their smart phones over the weekend”, explained Fiona Musgrove, who has led this year’s organising team.
In January, we created the Eastbourne Revellers Team to organise the event. We have held monthly meetings via Zoom to devise a clear plan for the 45th anniversary visit to Eastbourne.
Even during the Pandemic, the annual visit was continued through Zoom, with the support of the Virtually Eastbourne Team. Over one weekend in November 2020, when so many of us were still wary of using public transport and mixing with lots of people, over 100 blind and visually impaired people, enjoyed wine tasting, comedy club session, dancing, singing, cookery, a raffle and much more.
Jessica Beal who took over as Chair of the London branch in January 2021 explained,
“We worked with members of our branch, using their existing skills, and learning new ones, to minimise the anxiety and isolation which became magnified during the series of lockdowns from March 2020 and in to 2021. We’re proud to have supported the Virtually Eastbourne team whose series of events were so beneficial to many of our community in reducing their social isolation.”
Jessica continued, “Now in 2022, we want to celebrate the work done by so many other members including Valerie Clarke and Ted Herbert who started the weekends in the 1970’s. The Eastbourne Revellers team have worked incredibly hard to put on another fantastic range of fun activities for our members and friends during the weekend. I’m very much looking forward to all that’s on offer.”
To mark our 45th anniversary, we are compiling a celebration video showing videos and photographs from past weekends, all audio described by London NFB member Vicky Blencowe, a visually impaired photographer. See Vicky on Instagram at @VI_vickyphoto
For more information about this weekend please contact
Jessica Beal, Chair of London Branch of NFB UK.
Phone: 07971 781940
Fiona Musgrove. Eastbourne Revellers Team
Phone: 07564 910651