A Christmas card designed by a seven year-old vision impaired Norfolk girl is proving to be a huge hit with the public, with hundreds of copies already sold.
Rhiannon Kay, from Alpington, designed the card as part of a competition run by the county’s sight loss charity Vision Norfolk, and her colourful picture of a Christmas tree is one of two cards designed by vision impaired people which are raising money for the charity this year.
Rhiannon has aniridia, which means she has no irises, as well as nystagmus, which causes involuntary wobbling. Although she has some close-up vision, her distance vision and depth perception are poor.
Despite these setbacks, Rhiannon is determined to live a full life, and enjoys many adventurous activities run as part of the Children, Young People & Families programme by Vision Norfolk.
She made use of special scented pens to help her create her Christmas picture. These pens have aromas which relate to the colour they produce: so, for example yellow pens smell of lemon, and red pens of strawberry.
“Rhiannon has been taking part in Vision Norfolk activities since she was three months old,” said her mum Teresa Bell. “She loves taking part, meeting other children like her, and making friends.
“We have learnt that you can do things, you just have to approach them differently. So, for example, creating a drawing means using things like scented pens, a writing slope so that Rhiannon can get very close to the paper, and special task lighting.
“We are very proud that her picture has been chosen as one of the Vision Norfolk charity Christmas cards this year; it’s great to be able to contribute to raising money for this fantastic organisation.”
Barbara Dunn, services manager and deputy chief executive at Vision Norfolk, said, “Children like Rhiannon show just how fulfilled lives vision impaired young people can live, even if their impairment is severe.
“We are absolutely delighted that her design has been transformed into one of our Christmas cards. Already hundreds of copies have been sold, so Rhiannon’s drawing will be bringing festive cheer throughout Norfolk this Christmas, as well as helping us raise much-needed funds to support the work that we do.”
Rhiannon’s Christmas card is available for sale at The Original Norwich Charity Christmas Card Shop in St Peter Mancroft Church in the city, which is open Monday to Saturday until 14th December, 10.45am-3pm. The cards can also be bought at Vision Norfolk’s community hubs in Norwich, King’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth.