Blind diners relish chance to get a taste of life

Guests at the event  insisted dining in the dark is no handicaphandicap
Guests at the event insisted dining in the dark is no handicaphandicap

There are five main senses – sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste – and the majority of us are fortunate to possess them all.

However, there are people who have to live without one or more of those senses or who have to do the best they can when one of those senses is impaired.

Forth Valley Sensory Centre (FVSC), located in Camelon, is there to provide people who have visual or hearing loss with quality services and advice.

It was the sense of taste which the centre’s newly formed fundraising committee focused on when it came up with a novel way to coin in cash for the centre and also give people some idea of what the experience of eating is like for a visually impaired person.

The Dining in the Dark event took place last month in the Park Hotel, Camelon Road, Falkirk and saw around 30 participants sit down to a lovely three course dinner – complete with self-decorated blindfolds to block their site of the tasty treats on their plates.

Martin Allen, FVSC publicity manager, said: “This is the first time the fundraising committee has held an event and for them to have success like this is great. They will be doing lots more things in the future and we may hold another dining in the dark evening.

“The money raised on the night will go towards group activities at the sensory centre. If anyone wants to join our fundraising committee they can get in touch with the centre.”

As well as raising £400 for FVSC, the evening was a great success in showing how human’s can adapt to losing one sense and how well the remaining senses rise to the challenge when one is taken away.

Thankfully Walter Ramage, a blind centre user, was on hand to give everyone a few tips before the meal started which were very useful.

Fundraising committee chairperson Pamela Simpson said: “I had a fantastic night, it gave me an insight what challenges blind people face every day. I struggled more because I’m deaf, but I was able to communicate with my son Arron using deaf-blind alphabet.”

Guest Anne McIntosh added: “It was a great night – I took my time and was aware of surroundings. However, I did cheat a bit at the end.”

Another guest said: “It certainly challenged your co-ordination and concentration – you had no idea what was, or who was, coming or if anyone on your table had gone to another area in the room.

“All too often we take so much for granted. It certainly makes you appreciate things from a different perspective.”

Visit www.forthvalleysensorycentre.org or call (01324) 590888 for more information.