Eyes right!: Mr Andrew Hillier, a Manager Supporting People, Caerphilly, and closely connected to the Gwent Association for the Blind, which covers the former County of Gwent in Monmouthshire, Newport, Torfaen, Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent County Council areas, gave a very informative and interesting talk about GAB (www.gwentblind.org) to the Probus Club of Pontypool at their meeting, at Panteg House, on Wednesday, March 5.

Andrew said that around one in ten people over the age of 65 have impaired sight, and there were over 3,200 registered blind and partially sighted people in the above areas, and the aim of the Association was to encourage and support them, including carers, to maintain their independence and enjoy life to the full.

He stressed that it was a registered charity, which relied fully on fund-raising, grants and voluntary help.

GAB have twenty clubs throughout the five county area, where one can meet others with little or no sight and enjoy each other's company with Rescue Centre, where there are lots of aid and equipment for everyday living, from talking watches, large print playing cards to big button phones and much more.

Actual registration for a Certificate of Vision Impairment requires the services of an eye specialist, or the consultant ophthalmologist, but advice on this matter can be given by the hospital eye clinic or organisations such as GAB.

Low Vision, often referred to as partial sight, can be helped in many cases by a range of vision aids and appliances, such as magnifiers, glasses and lighting.

The need for these can be assessed with accredited optometrists locally, or at the Hospital Eye Clinic.

The speaker gave clear explanations for various types of eye impairment and was able to answer various questions from members in a very clear and concise manner.

Their general interest became obvious by some of them relating their own experiences, especially in respect of cataracts, which apparently had been a very successful hospital operation for all of them.

Mr Jim Dawe gave the formal vote of thanks on behalf of the Probus Club, and he said the talk had been very interesting and informative, similar to those speakers we had heard, in the past, such as the blind formal Royal Naval Petty Officer at St Dunstan's.

This was followed by an appreciative applause from fellow members.