Blind woman from Milton Keynes invited to Queen’s birthday celebrations

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A blind woman from Milton Keynes travelled to London for a street party to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s patronage of over 600 organisations and mark her 90th birthday.

Padma Cheriyan, 76, was invited to attend The Patron’s Lunch by RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) in recognition of the contribution she has made to the charity’s vital work.

Registered blind after being diagnosed with cone dystrophy and macular degeneration 20 years ago, Padma first contacted RNIB to seek advice when she lost her job due to sight loss.

She was unable to find a way back to work, but since then she has volunteered for several local charities and served as a local councillor and RNIB volunteer campaigner.

She has worked tirelessly to improve accessibility on buses and streets, as well as campaigning for better support for blind and partially sighted people living in the area.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has been Patron of RNIB since her accession to the throne in 1952, and has used her role to increase public awareness of the practical and emotional support RNIB provides for blind and partially sighted people.

Padma said: “I was honoured to be invited to attend The Patron’s Lunch – a fantastic occasion to celebrate Her Majesty’s 90th birthday and thank her for her continued support.

She added: “Being blind can make everyday things, such as crossing a road, catching a bus, or enjoying a favourite book, very difficult. I’m passionate about raising awareness of the important work RNIB does and speaking out on behalf of the blind and partially sighted community to enable us to live independently.”

Padma is currently campaigning for a new high tech audio system to be fitted in thecentre:mk to make shopping easier for visual impaired people.

Michael Wilson, RNIB Regional Campaigns Manager, said: “We are incredibly grateful for the support Padma has given RNIB over the years, helping us make every day better for those affected by sight loss in Milton Keynes and across the UK.

“It was wonderful to be able to recognise her contribution by inviting her to join us for such a special occasion, and we look forward to working together for many years to come.”

RNIB is the UK’s leading sight loss charity, providing support, advice and information to blind and partially sighted people to enable them to face the future with confidence.

To find out more visit www.rnib.org.uk