Shared Spaces-What’s it all about? And what else should we be wary of?

Shared Spaces-“What’s it all about?” asks our Deputy Chairperson but Ruby also raises awareness of other issues now that Summer has arrived!

This Wednesday (15th July) Oswestry is holding a very important day. Laura Lane Clarke asks people to go to Oswestry Memorial Hall between 10.30 am to 4.30 pm. She says “Come along and learn more about shared space; see examples of towns with shared space; discuss how shared space could affect your town; try a blindfold walk around Festival Square; learn more about what a guide dog does”

Many of you follow us on twitter @shropdisnetwork so will have seen @Seaofchangefilm asking that we share this blog with you with you. Not that long ago on our face book page we shared this film with our followers

It shows huge problems #sharedspace is causing in UK.

This brings me (Ruby) on to highlight to our readers another difficulty faced by those with visual impairment & something that could cause anyone some serious damage.

This year I have been talking about our work to Sight Loss Groups around the county. All have made me welcome & I have met some lovely people who are all very interested in our work, but it has also made me think & be even more aware! I feel I have some experience of visual impairment as my one sister was born with a serious eye condition. I was just 5 when she had to leave home to go to a special school for partially sighted children in Lancashire. I have very fond memories of my Grandfather who was blinded in one eye at the age of 5, a result of a school accident. Also my Great Grandfather had an accident while working on his farm which resulted in him being blinded in one eye & I had an uncle who was born no vision. For these reasons my parents were always concerned that we looked after our “eyes” even to the point where we as children were not allowed to play ball games just in case we had an accident! Little did they know, we disappeared out of view to play just as children should! My late Mother lost vision in one eye from Glaucoma & Macular Degeneration so really I feel I have some awareness. There is always something to learn & become aware of & to make us think & that is why our work in talking to groups & organisations is so valuable.

One person asked “Is any action & by whom, taken against those who fail to keep hedges in check as this time of year, branches overhanging the pavements. I don’t see them until it’s too late, so many times I have been scratched, poked in the eye. I just wish people would think & keep hedges in trim”

So as Summer is here & hedges & trees are growing quickly, as property owners & landlords can we please consider people out walking, those who use mobility scooters, have guide dogs, or use a wheelchair- whether alone or with assistance. It may be without realising it we are causing obstructions, meaning pavements become narrowed by overhanging hedges (even pavement parking can create issues) as well as being a nuisance they can cause injury. Likewise after a down pour it is not nice to be brushing past hedges & get a further soaking!

“Often it is the little things that create the biggest challenges” so as we enjoy Summer, lets also try to be a little more aware of obstacles we may create but not realise.









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