Norwich students get a glimpse of old age

There may be some days where we all feel a lot older than we actually are, but have you ever wondered how you might look in the future?

Students at City College Norwich have been given the chance to do just that by stepping into a virtual ageing booth to show them what they might look like when they are 70.

It is part of the Royal National Institute of Blind People's (RNIB) Future Vision tour to promote awareness of serious eye conditions and smoking-related blindness.

John Dickinson-Lilley, parliamentary officer for RNIB, is an ex-smoker and has approximately 10pc of his sight left.

'The link between smoking and blindness is really clear; it's a strong as the link between smoking and lung cancer. It's not one of the big health messages that the government has chosen to adopt, but we think it should be. It's really important because we use our eyes to do absolutely everything.

'There are lots of people that don't go and get their eyes tested at all, but actually should do because by having their eyes tested they can detect eye conditions that can then be treated and their sight can be saved. It's that simple,' he said.

The booth, funded by an education grant, aims to show users how their lifestyle choices can affect how they will look later in life and they are given a 'before' and 'after' photograph of themselves, along with eye health information.

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Norwich South MP Simon Wright and Norwich North MP Chloe Smith were at the event and tried out the booth.

Miss Smith said: 'I think it's a very clever way of drawing the issues to people's attention. It's quite a shock to see yourself age and to realise just what your actions can do to your own future health.'

Health and Social Care BTEC student Natasha Dean also used the booth and said: 'I thought it was really good. I think it will reduce smoking and I'm going to try to moisturise more, definitely!'

The Future Vision tours have been travelling across the UK visiting vocational colleges.

For further information on the tour, contact RNIB on 020 7391 2123 or email For general information, call RNIB on 0303 123 9999. For help with quitting smoking, call the NHS Free Smoking Helpline 0800 022 4 332.

Do you have a health-related story for the Evening News? Call reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email