Feast in the Dark Helps Fund Vital Eye Research

20 October 16

written by:

Heather Fanning

(more articles)

Two Kenilworth fundraisers teamed up to host a dinner in the dark this week, and have raised over £600 towards vital eye research, as part of Fight for Sight’s Feast your Eyes initiative. 

Claire Henley and Elizabeth Keell, both supporters of Fight for Sight, the UK’s main eye research charity, hosted their foodie fundraiser at Sunam Balti House, on Abbey End, on Wednesday 19 October, which attracted 30 guests.

The event is part of Feast your Eyes, which sees people from local communities and businesses across the UK come together throughout October to host a dinner party with a difference that will challenge their senses and help fund pioneering eye research.

Both Claire and Elizabeth were inspired to support Fight for Sight and host a Feast your Eyes event, as a result of their experiences with sight loss. Claire’s daughter, seven year-old Matilda Henley, has had sight problems since she was 18 months old and was eventually diagnosed with corneal dystrophy in 2011. Claire and husband Julian have been supporters of the charity ever since.

Meanwhile, 37 year-old Elizabeth Keell, was diagnosed with keratoconus in 1995. The condition makes the cornea thinner and more cone-shaped over time and causes blurred and distorted vision. Elizabeth has raised thousands to help support Fight for Sight and may one day need a corneal transplant.    

Commenting on the success of their Feast your Eyes event Claire Henley said: “We were over the moon with the turn out for our Feast your Eyes event. Wearing the blindfolds truly brought home the message of sight loss - we had never appreciated how difficult it was to find the food on your plate, bring the fork to your mouth, as well as hold a conversation with someone and enjoy the evening.

“The blindfolded taste testing was also really good fun, made all the more enjoyable by the fantastic food at Sunam Balti House. Most importantly we have raised over £600, which will go towards supporting vital research into corneal dystrophy, which has affected Matilda’s sight since she was very young.

“Feast your Eyes is as great opportunity for people to get together, have fun and support Fight for Sight, so people up and down the country should take the opportunity to host their own events.”

As part of Feast your Eyes groups of friends and colleagues alike are set to join in and host events such as; a blindfolded breakfast, lights-out lunch, pitch black picnic, challenging cheese and wine or dinner in the dark.

Sharon Petrie, Interim Director of Fundraising at Fight for Sight, said: “We’re delighted that the Henley family and Elizabeth Keell enjoyed such a successful Feast your Eyes fundraising event. I hope people are inspired to host their own Feast your Eyes events as a result. It’s really easy to sign-up, just visit the Fight for Sight website to register and receive a fundraising pack including free blindfolds.   

“Feast your Eyes offers a chance to play a part in raising vital funds for pioneering eye research. Every day 100 people in the UK start to lose their sight and nearly two million people are living with sight loss. Fight for Sight funds pioneering research into a number of different eye conditions to help make sight loss a thing of the past.”

Businesses which have supported Claire and Elizabeth’s fundraising drive by donating prizes include; 'designjourney', ourdesignjourney.com, Venture Leamington Spa and The Warwickshire and Coombe Abbey.

Feast your Eyes fundraisers can get involved in just six easy steps:

  • Sign up - visit Fightforsight.org.uk/feast to register and receive a free Feast your Eyes pack, complete with blindfolds
  • Invite - decide on the venue, date during October and guest list
  • Cook - serve your favourite dishes or try a tricky-to-eat treat to test your guests
  • Blindfold - challenge the senses for a true dine in the dark experience
  • Eat, drink and have fun
  • Donate - support Fight for Sight and let your guests know how much you raised.