Published by Adrian Ward Friday 11 January, 2019

Blackburn's best visit Berlin

Our National Citizen Service Social Action Stars Award winners have just enjoyed a fact-finding trip to Berlin, so that they can bring back a range of fresh new ideas to help the blind and partially sighted in our local area.

The German capital has been highlighted as a beacon of excellence for the way it offers facilities and services to aid the lives of those suffering from sight-related issues, so it was the perfect place to take our award-winning NCS Youth Board members to learn from the best and enhance the ongoing support they provide to those in Blackburn and its surrounds who need assistance with their vision.

The four day mission took place over the first weekend of the new year and took in many of the city’s most popular visitor destinations.

The visitors had chance to visit the Natural History Museum, where they saw how braille was incorporated into the attraction and audio scripts were made available at each historical display, as well as taking in a visit to the venue’s audio-related museum.

Having also undertaken a blindfolded shopping task at a local supermarket to literally get a feel for how those with limited sight undertake their purchasing routine and attempt to converse with fellow shoppers to raise awareness of the issue, an extensive tour of the city was undertaken.

The Reichstag building, Museum Island, TV Tower, Berlin Dungeons and the Aqua Dom & Sea Life centre were all ticked off, as well as the city’s major shopping mall and the chance to sample the finest sausages in the world, courtesy of the omnipresent bratwurst and currywurst stalls!

Chris McGrail, head of NCS delivery at the Community Trust, was one of the trip’s leaders, and was impressed with the group under his care, explaining:

“We already knew that we had a great Youth Board here at Ewood Park, with their efforts being recognised by the national NCS movement thanks to last year’s Social Action Stars Awards, so it was no surprised that the group conducted themselves so well as representatives of the club and its official charity on this unique overseas trip.

“Witnessing the extra effort that the German capital goes to in order to provide for those with sight issues will be a great inspiration for these young people and I look forward to witnessing how they put their findings into action back here in Blackburn once they’ve had time to reflect on what they found and think about how they can replicate some of the best ideas here.”

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