Young people

A visionary project driven by Rotary

A visionary project driven by Rotary

Visually-impaired students from a Liverpool school have been marking the centenary of the Armistice in an unusual way.

A ceramic war panel, designed by visually-impaired youngsters in Liverpool as part of a Rotary project, will hang pride of place in the city’s St George’s Hall in the New Year.

It is the result of a partnership between the St Vincent’s School, which works with children with sensory impairment, Rotary St Vincent and the charity Sightbox.

Earlier this year to mark the centenary of the Armistice, St Vincent’s students presented a ceramic war panel to MPs at the Palace of Westminster.

This was part of a project to create a lasting legacy for those who lost their sight during the First World War.

Individual ceramic brooches were also presented to the MPs.

Now, a similar ceramic war panel is going to hang in Liverpool’s St George’s Hall in January, with a Rotary logo to highlight the support received by the members.

This citizenship learning tool invites schools to collaborate with Rotary.”

“We really wish to show a joined-up Rotary and will invite all our District 1180 clubs to mark this significant occasion with us,” said Sightbox founder and Rotary member John Patterson.

“During this event in St George’s Hall we will be launching a free Great War learning resource to all schools in the Mersey region, in collaboration with Merseyside Police.

“This citizenship learning tool invites schools to collaborate with Rotary, raise small funds for individual sightbags, but it also simultaneously offers opportunity to draw attention to Rotary projects worldwide.”

Supported by both Rotary and Inner Wheel, the school is also actively involved with the charity Sightbox to create sightboxes and sightbags.

These educational bags, packed with sports equipment, are sent to those with a visual impairment in countries around the world, including Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, India, Tanzania, Peru, Indonesia and the Virgin Islands.

Each contains a variety of sports equipment including a goalball, a boccia grid and balls, running tethers, blindfolds and various other balls, plus a ball pump.

A supportive curriculum has been designed by St Vincent’s to help teachers deliver the programme.

A new addition to the sightbox will be an ‘I rugby ball’.

This was launched at St Vincent’s as part of the United Nations’ Disability Day on December 3rd, which featured a demonstration game played with students, Blind Veterans UK and Merseyside police officers.

They are hoping that ‘I rugby’ will feature as part of the Disability Games due to be held in Liverpool in 2021.

Sightpacks are intended for individual pupils and include a sound ball, a talking stopwatch, a running line and a talking pedometer.

The idea is to foster independence and provide a stepping stone into Science Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).

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