Thank you for keeping in touch with LOOK and for your support. We are very excited to share news with you about LOOKFest – our first summer festival. We had an incredible time, and have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback.
One mum wrote: “Thank you so much, our girls loved every second and had so many accessible new experiences. I’ve never seen our eldest so free and just enjoying being a child.”
That’s exactly what we were aiming for – to give families and young people a sense of freedom and fun. It’s two years ago since the idea for a VI friendly summer festival was born. It came out of the challenges faced by many visually impaired people who go to festivals. Often activities are not accessible and festival sites are difficult to navigate, so we decided to create LOOKFest – an accessible family friendly festival, where people can come together, take part in accessible activities and visually impaired children can roam free.
Video Message below from Charlotte Carson
We also recruited visually impaired volunteers to help us. For example, our volunteers helped us design the guide ropes around the site, that helped visually impaired people navigate independently. Our blind and partially sighted volunteers also acted as role models to the children and families, showing that visually impaired people can thrive and overcome challenges and barriers in their lives.
One mum said: “Meeting VI role models was the highlight of the festival. It had such an empowering effect on my VI daughter. She doesn’t often meet other VI people, and they were so positive and assertive – fantastic!”
After months of planning, and in particular thanks to the hard work of our Events Manager Elin and our Operations Manager Megan, The LOOK team and our band of amazing volunteers pulled off an incredible event.
Families and children created dens, textured rainbows and musical instruments in the woodland. Children took part in music workshops and were shown the power of echolocation for independent navigation by Daniel Kish and his team. We also held a magical fancy dress disco, an open mic and were treated to live music by a live band, the Inner Vision Orchestra and danced the night away with a ceilidh. Children and families having fun, sharing experiences and offering each other support during the weekend was wonderful. You can’t put a price on it.
One parent summed up the spirit of the festival by saying: “My son now has friends who are VI like him and we have an overall sense of increased confidence and appetite for further adventure. Having Daniel Kish and his team there was great, his positive outlook was very motivational in allowing us to see and explore the scope for VI independence.”
Thank you to all our staff, volunteers, activity leaders and caterers for making LOOKFest such a great success. And a heartfelt thank you from all at Look – and the families and young people who came to the festival – to our funders the incredible Queen’s Trust for making LOOKFest possible.
Thanks to your generous support, we were able to offer families an accessible, affordable and unforgettable experience. I’d also like to thank our incredible London marathon runners who raise vital funds – we are indebted to you all!
The interest for LOOKFest 2020 is very much alive. So if you want to join us next year, please register your interest by emailing Elin on firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of LOOK