Active Vision is a 6 month fully funded project created by Tees Active and Activ8 Health & Fitness to improve activity levels and social interaction for Tees Vision Connects members. Funding from Tees Valley Community Foundation and Sport England Tackling Inequalities Fund has been provided to help Tees Vision Connect get active and improve not only their physical health but their mental health too.

Tees Vision Connect are a community of visually impaired adults from across Teesside who get together to socialise, have fun and keep active. Like all of us, they have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and have seen their activity levels drop significantly since March 2020. Mick Riley, Chair of Tees Vision Connect, told us “the last year has been tough. I know I’ve put weight on and my stamina is on the floor so it’s great to be back.”

The Active Vision scheme consists of free gym sessions and indoor bowls at Tees Active’s Thornaby Pavilion, located in the heart of Thornaby town centre. When meeting for their gym induction, Tees Vision Connects members were excited not only to socialist with each other but as the prospect of getting active again. Tees Vision Connect member Gary Franklin said “Being stuck in the house for 18 months, I didn’t want to go back out. I felt like a hermit and I thought if I feel like this, being one of the more visually able members of the group, how are the others feeling. I can’t wait to back to normal.”

It’s been a difficult time since the pandemic hit, but even more so for those of us who are visually impaired and have been very restricted and isolated at home. Mick said “the bowling has been a huge success, we’ve got two new members already.” Tees Vision Connect are a great community of people who create lasting memories in fun, sociable settings and if you’re visually impaired they are available to provide advice, support and friendship.

You can find out more about Tees Vision Connect here.

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