saturdays boardroom guests

24 February 2012 10:03
wullie reilly and eyeless trust

The Eyeless Trust is a small charity started in 1993.  It helps children born with Microphthalmia (small eyes) Anophthalmia (missing eyes) and Coloboma (partly developed eyes).  These conditions are the result of damage to the developing eye in the embryo in very early pregnancy.  These are not new conditions but are very rare and children with these conditions have varying degrees of vision.  The worst form is anophthalmia which is extremely rare and results in total blindness.

For some children, plastic shells and artificial eyes enable the child's bone structure to grow into a normal facial structure and the Eyeless Trust can advise and support parents through this treatment.

Grace Stuart of the Eyeless Trust told us, "I have worked with blind and visually impaired children for more than 20 years as a teacher and a counsellor and have been with the Eyeless Trust for five years. The Eyeless Trust advisers come from a social work or specialist teaching background and hopefully help to improve the quality of life of each of our children."

One of the Society's very own volunteers, Billy Naismith, has had first hand experience of this wonderful charity and tells us how they helped him and his family, particularly his son Cameron.  "The Eyeless Trust have been really good to me and my family because my son Cameron has a nystagmus in one eye, microphthamia in the other which resulted in getting a prosthetic shell.  He was born with the microphthamia and was referred to a specialist and they put us in touch with Moorfields Eye Hospital which is based in London.  The Consultant told us the Eyeless Trust could help us with things like accommodation, transport costs that sort of thing.  That was how we came across them.

"Every time we went down to London to get Cameron's check-ups done, they were always there to make sure we were alright.  All of his check-ups are now done here but we still go down South for the prosthetics and we are still in touch with the Eyeless Trust at home.  They started the ball rolling with support for Cameron at school.  They got in touch with sensory support who then met with the class teacher to make arrangements for him in the classroom, for example, like where he should sit so he can see the board and to let them know the difficulties which he may face.

"Because they have done all that, I wanted to do something for them to raise awareness or money - even if it's a small amount - just to say thank you.  I saw the initiatives that were happening at Dens on a Saturday and thought that would be a great opportunity to help them out.  I've met Grace a few times, a really nice woman.  She helped with things like filling out forms, getting sensory support etc.  She has been fantastic.

"It’s actually a lot more common than people think and I was amazed at how uncommonly known The Eyeless Trust was.  It's good for people to know they are out there to approach, especially if someone is in the same boat as Cameron.  If it helps one person then it's worth it.  It's not always about raising thousands of pounds and sometimes it's more valuable raising awareness.  It's important that people know they are out there and that they can approach them."Billy and his wife Julie wanted The Eyeless Trust to have a chance to highlight the brilliant work they do and said, "We are very grateful that the Eyeless Trust have been given the opportunity to come along to Dens to give them a little bit of exposure.  If it’s in the programme and gets people talking about it, it gets the information out there."Billy brought Saturday's charity to our attention, proof that ideas coming from our own fans are invaluable.  Billy said, "The Society as a whole are very easy to approach.  If you give them an idea they'll do their best to work with you to develop it and it's just fantastic.  If somebody out there has got an idea even for next season, by all means they should get in touch.  When you see the charities at Dens it's very rewarding what they can potentially get out of it.  I would recommend for anyone who has any ideas to get in touch with the Society.  For me it has renewed my interest and my loyalties not just toward the club but toward what the Society is trying to achieve for the community as a whole.  I'm very proud of it indeed and want to thank them for all their endeavours with Saturday’s guests."

  Buckets Raise £384 for Wullie Reilly/MacMillan Cancer Support Friday, February 24, 2012 at 16:59

On 11th February at the Dundee v Hamilton match, the Society held a bucket collection to raise money for MacMillan Cancer Support on behalf of Dundee’s most famous fan, "Wullie" Reilly.  Wullie was diagnosed with terminal cancer and held a "going away" party for anyone who knows him in Lyrics in January.  Those attending were asked to make a donation to MacMillan Cancer Support.

The Society are delighted to be able to top this up with a further £384.26 raised via the buckets, which we plan to present to Wullie and MacMillan Cancer Support at half time on Saturday.

We'd like to thank everyone who donated for their generosity.