A blind and visually impaired shooting club has marked 25 years with a get-together of past and present members.    

Affiliated to Cornwall’s sight loss charity, iSightCornwall, the members and volunteers of Blind Using Guided Sights (BUGS) Shooting Club welcomed a range of special guests to St Austell Rifle and Pistol Club as part of their anniversary celebrations last week.  

BUGS Shooting Club has provided a social space and a place to learn a new way of shooting for people with a vision impairment since 1999.  

Shooters use air rifles equipped with specially adapted sights; these pick up a sound emitted from the backlit target, which gets higher or lower in pitch depending on how close the user is to the bullseye. This means anyone can take part, no matter how much sight they have. 

Over the years, members have travelled to Scotland, Amsterdam and further afield to compete against other shooters. 

BUGS currently boasts some of the best blind and visually impaired shooters in the country, with member Dan Lowe coming third in Division One during a recent national competition with a score of 995/1000. 

The club is able to meet and thrive thanks to a team of dedicated iSightCornwall volunteers, who do everything from driving members to the club, acting as qualified range officers for the shooters, and ordering and maintaining equipment.  

“We wouldn’t be able to run this club – or indeed any of our social and activity clubs – without those people who donate their time to us and to the clubs,” said iSightCornwall chief executive Carole Theobald. 

“We’ve seen first-hand the difference going to a club can make to someone, whether it’s giving them the opportunity to meet new people and get out of the house, or the confidence they gain from learning a new skill or hobby.  

“The fact BUGS Shooting Club has been going for 25 years bears testament to how well-loved these clubs are, and how dedicated the volunteer teams behind the scenes are. 

“A big thank you to everyone, past and present, who helped make BUGS Club into such a success.” 

To help mark the occasion, the members of BUGS Club were joined by founder members, former volunteers, iSightCornwall team members and long-term supporters including representatives from the Lewannick Amateur Dramatic Society (LADS), who have donated almost £7,000 to the club since its creation in 1999. 

iSightCornwall offer a range of social and activity clubs for people with sight loss across Cornwall as well as support throughout someone’s sight loss journey. 

• For more information, call 01872 261110 or visit St Austell Library on Thursday, March 28 from 10.30am to 2.30pm for the iSightCornwall community drop-in event.