Dinner Meeting 24 April 2023

On Monday evening we welcomed 3 speakers: one of our members, Lloyd Brammer, and his friend, Jezz Hodgkinson, and also Keith Hatter.

Lloyd and Jezz, who are both stroke survivors, gave a joint presentation called “Say Aphasia.”  Lloyd and Jezz, both of whom suffered a stroke at a fairly early age, Lloyd in his fifties and Jezz at 47 years, are members of the same stroke club. Together they have launched an Aphasia Group in Winchester to support those with speech difficulties, however caused. The group has quickly grown to some 20 members who enjoy organised events, visiting speakers, advice from speech therapists and most importantly of all, just chatting together.

Local MPs and Councillors have attended meetings and offered their support. Articles have been placed in the press and broadcast on radio, all of which have helped to bring this little-understood affliction to the attention and understanding of the public.

With determination, courage and tenacity, Lloyd and Jezz have both made great progress in overcoming their difficulty with language and speech caused by aphasia. Through the formation of the Aphasia Group they have given others the benefit of their experiences.In Lloyd’s own words:  “It needs hours of application to learn to read and talk again. There is no formal speech therapy – aphasia is not suitable. It takes a long time to recover – it takes a hell of a lot of effort.”

It was a privilege to have a second talk, entitled ‘See What You Miss” given by Keith Hatter who lost his sight in his mid-fifties.  When Keith knew that his sight was failing he spent much of his time looking at paintings. His friend, Rotarian David Farthing, guided Keith with his powerful, powerpoint presentation. Keith took us into his world of art appreciation. His slides included a modern painting by Simon Cutts, (after Claude Monet). He highlighted the shadows in the painting, reminding us that shadow is a difficult concept to understand for those who have been blind since birth.

He showed us further images including a bronze bust of Alfred Walmark, a ceramic gold hand and finally the unforgettable bronze bust of Vaughan Williams by Jacob Epstein. 

Keith mentioned the joy he experiences at the Southampton City Art Gallery when he visits their Touch Tours which allow visually impaired audiences to explore the Gallery’s collections and exhibitions.

Keith invited us into his world of seeing and feeling the joy of touching the embossed versions of paintings, together with sculptures which so many of us, given the privilege of sight, miss what we see. 

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