On July 5th I took part in a blindfolded walk around Hitchin with Guide Dogs for the Blind. This gave me an opportunity to try and understand how sight loss might impact people in Hitchin and Harpenden, and to learn a little bit about how visual impairment can mean people have to live life in a very different way.
It is also important that all lawmakers and policymakers are aware of some of the environmental barriers that exist. For instance, in Hitchin, the council are looking to introduce shared spaces where motorists and pedestrians share the same ground, as people who are blind and visually impaired will not be able to catch the eye of drivers.
There are around 5000 working guide dogs in the UK at the moment, and 16,000 people volunteer around the country creating very active fundraising groups. Guide dogs provide a vital service, and I am pleased I was given the chance to learn more about their work, and hopefully can encourage my parliamentary colleagues to do the same.