YOUNG people from Bury have learned what it is like to live with a visual impairment.

A group of 12 teenagers aged between 15 and 17 visited Bury Society for the Blind and Partially Sighted People in Tenterden Street to find out about the causes and effects of blindness and to engage with its members.

The visit formed part of NCS (National Citizenship Service) with The Challenge, a Government funded scheme which brings young people together from different back- grounds and teaches them what it means to be responsible and contribute to their communities.

During the visit, the teenagers joined in an exercise where they were blindfolded and led around obstacles and into a chair. They also learned about the different devices that can support people with visual impairments, such as an audio microwave, a beeping device for pouring hot drinks and a computer audio device.

One of the young people participating in NCS with The Challenge, was 16-year-old Rachel Mitchell, who said: “It was a really interesting. Before the visit I had stereotyped blind and visually impaired people, but now I realise they are just like everyone else, really talkative and friendly. I am looking forward to returning to the centre.”

During the project, the young people will complete a number of challenges which will develop their teamwork, leadership, commun- ication and social skills.

Jill Logan, chief executive officer of Bury Society for the Blind and Partially Sighted People, said: “We were delighted to welcome NCS with The Challenge to our centre. The young people were taken outside to experience sighted guiding and were shown specialist equipment.

“They also chatted to some of our members about their own experience. It was a really great day and thoroughly enjoyed by both our members and the young people.”

This summer, 180 young people from Bury will take part in NCS with The Challenge programme, which will run until the end of September.