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Music for Lunchtime

07 July 2008

Children from the Milton Margai School for the Blind in Sierra Leone are staging a lunchtime performance at Cardiff University tomorrow (8 August) as part of their UK wide ‘Sing Freetown Tour’.

The African school will give a special performance in the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences where they’ll be joined by UCAN productions, a Welsh based theatre group for children with visual impairments.

Together they will perform a short collection of traditional Sierra Leonean songs in the lunchtime concert, held in the Atrium of the new £21M Optometry building situated on Maindy Road.

Commenting on the event, Scientific Engagement Officer for the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Melody Liles said: "Being in our new home affords us many opportunities to welcome a wide variety of visitors to the School. We are proud to be hosting these talented children in collaboration with UCAN Productions".

The lunchtime concert is one of a number of events planned for the new Optometry building. On 7 September the School will host a month long ‘Design Beyond Sight’ exhibition, which will showcase design prototypes of everyday objects adapted for the visually impaired, as well as highlighting some of the difficulties blind and partially sighted people can experience.


Notes to Editors:

1. Cardiff School of Optometry and Vision Sciences

The School of Optometry and Vision Sciences is considered the leader in its field in the UK having attained the highest ratings for both research (Grade 5*) and teaching quality ("Excellent") in the most recent Government assessments. The School is, and also plays a vital role in the provision of continuing professional development for optometrists and general practitioners. The School’s new premises include teaching facilities for more than 300 undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as housing state-of-the-art laboratories and clinical suites for research and professional optometric training. Pioneering research is carried out at the School by staff who are world leaders in their areas of specialism. The new facility will further understanding of the cause, prevention and treatment of a wide spectrum of vision conditions including age-related macular degeneration (the major cause of blindness in the elderly), glaucoma, diabetic complications, cataracts and myopia (short-sightedness) - such advances bringing benefits world-wide. In addition to teaching and research, the School provides specialist clinical services for patients across Wales who have special educational needs, diabetes, glaucoma, epilepsy, low vision, partial sight or blindness. Services are being enhanced and expanded through the doubling in size of the School’s extensively-equipped Eye Clinic. Patients can choose to be seen by a resident optometrist or a supervised final year optometry student, receiving the same high quality eye care as professional clinics but allow the next generation of optometrists to gain valuable clinical experience. Eye tests are free in the student clinics and patients may receive discounts on eyewear. The new £21M optometry building represents a joint investment by the University and the Science Research Investment Fund. The latter is a joint initiative between the UK Funding Councils and the Office of Science and Technology to provide capital investment to strengthen the international competitiveness of the UK’s science base.

2. Cardiff University
Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, the University today combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of Britain’s leading research universities.

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Further Information:

Picture and recording opportunity available - for more information or to arrange an interview:

Victoria Dando
Public Relations Office
Tel: 02920 874731