A Freedom Field will be opened formally by charity Sight Matters later this month to coincide with an anniversary of ground-breaking legislation.
The Freedom Field is a fully-accessible community space and sensory garden, created to allow all service-users of Sight Matters, formerly the Manx Blind Welfare Society, access to nature in a supportive environment.
It is also available to any local people who would benefit from a safe place to enjoy the outdoors, including the elderly, and people with special educational needs.
Work on the Freedom Field took place through the pandemic and its formal opening will coincide with the 85th anniversary of the 1937 Blind Persons’ Welfare Act – legislation that came in a year after the charity was formed.
Just two years ago, the land at Bemahague was a field full of gorse but now, due to the inspiration of chairman Charles Fargher, visitors can enjoy an enclosed exercise space for assistance dogs, a peaceful wildflower garden for reflection, and a summerhouse for events and activities.
Sight Matters has provided support for the blind and visually impaired community of the Isle of Man since 1936. It provides access to the support, tools, and facilities required for those with sight issues to live as independently as they choose.
The charity’s CEO Ian Cooil will cut the ribbon at the official opening ceremony on August 19.
He said: ‘This will be a lovely opportunity for Sight Matters to reflect on all that has been achieved through a very difficult time.
‘It’s a joy to see our community enjoying this space, which has been so carefully created, and as a result, finding new freedom in the outdoors.’
Sight Matters is happy to hear from anyone interested in maintaining the area as a Freedom Field Ranger, For more information, or to donate, visit sightmatters.im