Joining members of the GAMBIT group for their Christmas lunch always feels like the start of the Christmas festivities for a few of the Birtley Team. Birtley helps to support the group with funds raised for the Birtley House Community Fund, which is administered by the Community Foundation for Surrrey.
Since the fund was started in 2007, this group of blind and partially sighted people from the Guildford area have become firm friends of Birtley. We always invite them to join us at events such as the Sculpture Garden and they in turn always kindly invite Simon, Caroline, Janet and one of our Residents to join them for their Christmas lunch. This year we were accompanied by Mews Resident, Mrs Pamela Powell-Jones (shown in this picture with Mrs Jane Bloss) who thoroughly enjoyed the outing.
We met several new members, ranging in age from 21 to over 80, some of whom had been born blind and others who started losing their sight later in life owing to various health problems - non of us know what the future holds for us. It was a great shame that some of the members had to miss the lunch owing to illness and we wish them a speedy recovery. The group, which is run by Barbara Keene, meet on a weekly basis and help each other learn to read and type braille, in addition to using more modern technology specifically designed for visual impairment - they are an inspiration to us all.