Vision of the Past

Open Sight has launched its Vision of the Past project, which will now tour social clubs, museums and libraries across the county.

Funded by The Heritage Lottery fund, the project (incorporating a book, audio book, film, website and an exhibition) tells the story of sight loss in Hampshire of the past 90 years, through the words of Open Sight members.  It reveals how changing attitudes and legislative amendments have transformed the way that blind and partially-sighted people live and work, as well as asking the question whether, in 90 years, VIPs have truly achieved equality despite social and political reform.

All these story-tellers describe the devastation of loss, courageous new beginnings and the aspirations, challenges and achievements of leading normal lives in exceptional circumstances.

To visit the Vision of the Past website, click here.

See how the project is progressing:

Workshop Brings Back Memories

In August last year Oral Historian, Pat Carter, came to Open Sight to run a workshop as part of a training exercise for staff and volunteers. We used photos of our own childhoods as part of the learning process – a lot of memories were rekindled.



Writing the book

David StephensonSome inspiring Hampshire people agreed to be interviewed by our journalist Liz Kavanagh and some amazing stories unfold. 

Stories in the book include those of Tom: who overcame his own sight loss at all odds and went on to support hundreds of others as a charity worker across Hampshire.

Angie from Basingstoke reveals how her work at Open Sight’s social club has given her a new direction in life, while Kayt, Maureen and Jo from Aldershot share their experiences of living life to the full as VIPs.

Sporting champions Peter, water-skier from Totton; Richard, personal trainer from Fareham; and Andrew, sailor from Gosport, tell their stories of tremendous achievement.

Also included with the book are the stories of Supriya, from Aldershot; Jenny, from Fareham; Marjorie, from Portchester; David, from Gosport; and Audrey from Andover, who have been singers, teachers, performers, carers and piano-players, despite having limited sight.

The book arrives

An exciting day as the delivery of the book, CDs and memory sticks arrive on our door step. The film is in post-production and will be show in full on the day of the launch. Prices are as follows:

Vision of the Past Books

  • Paperback book £10*
  • Hardback book £15*
  • Audio book on CD £6
  • Audio book on memory stick £6
  • Film £6
  • *add the CD or memory stick for an extra £2


If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the book, audio book or film, please contact Liz Kavanagh at Open Sight, on 02380 646 379.

Vision of the Past launchLaunch day celebrations

Thank you to everyone who helped to make the Vision of the Past launch event such a success. Over 200 guests joined us at The Lights in Andover to celebrate along with our 10 storytellers and and their families and friends.

We also previewed the film which includes 5 of the storytellers recounting their experiences of how life has changed for the visually impaired over the many years Open Sight has been supporting VIPs. 

For more pictures of the launch click here.

Vision of the Past ExhibitionLooking to the future

Many of the individual stories have been picked up by the press and media ensuring that this book is already increasing awareness of the issues around this disability, the importance of looking after your eyes and the huge contribution made by the visually impaired to our community today.

The book, audio book and exhibition will now tour our clubs, care settings and schools across the county.

 For more information or press enquiries please contact Open Sight on 02380 641 244.