History - Report on Left-Handers Day 2004
As part of the background to Left Handers Day, we have included this report on a previous year's events.
Left-Handers Club Event
This was our 12th annual Left-Handers Day event, and something of a treat for the organisers since we had been invited to hold it in Times Square Shopping Centre, about a mile from our offices. Past events have always been held in Central London, at venues such as Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square and most recently Leicester Square, so we were delighted to be celebrating closer to home.
Being in Sutton not only meant a more civilised start to the day (we've become used to 5.00 a.m. wake up calls every 13th August!) but also that we could transport a wider selection of products for visitors to try out on the stand.
We arrived well before Times Square was open, and got busy constructing the stand, with testing areas for people to try left-handed items (right-handers always welcome to come and make fools of themselves!) and lots of informative and entertaining posters - many proclaiming the reasons why we're superior to boring old right-handers! We had to be up and ready in good time for opening, ready to welcome the TV crew from Sky News who arrived to film the first visitors to our stand.
We were delighted to say that from the minute the centre opened, there was huge interest among the public, and most people were fascinated by the new ergonomic Yoropen and Stabilo pens and the Frogpad left-hand only keypad that were on show. Keith and the team were busy giving advice and explanations to left-handers of all ages, all keen to try out the latest products as well as essential old faithfuls like scissors and peelers.
The site was soon buzzing as families all played the "You may be more left-handed than you think" game and soon children were heading off in all directions clutching their clue sheets to take part in the "Hot Hand Hunt" for pictures of lefty celebrities hidden in the shops around the centre.
Lauren soon had to leave the team to it, as she rushed upstairs to a private phone for the first of many radio interviews on the day, spreading the word that "left-handers deserve equal rights"!
Team member Will was kept very busy all day giving help and advice at our "Handwriting Help Desk" and we are delighted to think that we have been able to improve the writing style and technique of a huge number of left-handers in just one day.
As the day progressed it was clear that most people are very supportive of our efforts to raise awareness of left-handers' needs in product and work area design, but that right-handers really do not consider how awkward daily tasks are for left-handers to perform with the wrong equipment. We are so pleased to have been able to educate and inform our visitors, plus make life easier for so many left-handers. May we say a huge "thank you" to all the Left-Handers Club team of organisers and helpers on and before the day, and to everyone who came to visit our stand. We hope all of you agree it was a really great day for left-handers!
Other Events - How did YOU celebrate?
We always try and encourage our Club Members to hold their own celebration of Left-Handers Day, however small. This helps raise awareness among their family, friends and work colleagues and it's amazing how quickly the message spreads! This year, we provided a small "events pack" of products, posters and stickers to anyone wanting to mark the day, and many of you used the pack to create a "Lefty Zone" of your own - where use of the right hand was banned and everything had to be done left-handed! Below are just a selection of the reports we received from Club Members on their events.
In Alton, Hampshire yesterday the Alton Youth Council held a children's activity day. I ran a stall demonstrating the difference between left and right handed equipment. I had a lot of enquires, more than I thought. If I was told that the child was left-handed (normally with the definite attitude of now what are you going to do with them?!) I said to the child shall we set mum/dad a challenge? I drew a circle, gave them a pair of left-handed scissors and asked them to cut it out using their right hand, on the line. The results surprised a lot of them. A lot turned to their child and said, do you find RH scissors difficult (normally they answered yes) and then asked where could they buy a pair of LH scissors! I could have sold a lot yesterday.
They were then either given a catalogue or the web-site address [ thought - do we work on commission?!]. The child was then encouraged to try the pen and ruler, while the parents normally tried the 10 challenges on one of the posters. I also made some cards celebration left-handers day and some parents bought some! I was based next to the local Children's fund and they may be inviting me to do a stall at the celebration day soon! It was a good day and I was pleased with the responses I got (apart from one mum who walked past saying to her daughters - oh, that's for people who are left-handed, lucky you aren't ha ha!!!). Thank you for providing the pack, which I will try and use as often as I can with others. Viv Martin
I am a teacher of year 3 - 4 children here in New Zealand and of course we have left handers. We will be celebrating August 13 in our room using your info, ideas and tests to raise awareness of how difficult it can be for the left handed, and also the special abilities that come with it! We will begin a few days before by collecting data from around the school and presenting this as part of a display in our room. On August 13 we will invite everyone to come to our display - our class will take activities for the How Left Are You? section. Wonderful site! I intend to do Left-Hand Day every year from now on. It is so important that we recognise this more effectively in schools. Alice Archer.
My daughter and I are both left handed. On left handers day we are going to give the items in the pack to friends and family and make them use them so they can see how difficult it is for us to use right handed implements. I can already see that they are going to end up very thirsty when they try to open the wine with the corkscrew! I must say it was a joy to use the ink pen without it scratching along the paper. Best wishes, Valerie Munford
The package arrived just in time for our left-handed celebration. My husband was thrilled . For the first time in 45 years he was able to use items effectively. He plans to educate others as to the frustration that left handers go through when they have to use right handed items. He is taking the stickers/items to share at work with other people who are left handed or know someone who is. He is also letting them know about left handed day/and your company. You made a lefty very happy. Mrs Gonzales.
As my Church, St Mary the Virgin, Churston Ferrers, (Nr Brixham) is open all day Wednesdays in August to visitors, on Wednesday 11th August I am having a Left Handed coffee morning in the Church Refectory between 10 and 12. Many posters have been put up throughout Brixham, most local Churches informed, the Herald Express (local paper) has already mentioned it, and I have written to Radio Devon asking if they would give it air space, and if one of their presenters would like to come on the actual day itself, they would be very welcome. Mrs Sue Potts
I haven't planned anything big, but just wanted to convert work colleagues. Will be taking the pack into work and setting a few challenges. Will also move the computer mouses (or is that mice?) to the left and anything else I can. The Left Handers Calendar already causes confusion so lets see what happens. Looking forward to it. Helen Matthews
Best wishes for the forthcoming I L H Day. We have announced a Cartoon competition for every one on the topic "Odd beliefs regarding Left-Handedness and problems faced by Left-Handers" The details are on our web site at www.geocities.com/lefthandersind Best Wishes Bipinchandra Chaugule, President, Association of Left-Handers, India.
I just have seen your webpage. Finally some people know what troubles a left-handed person gets in their work. I'm a left-handed chemist. Do you know how few (analytical) chemistry instruments are made for left handers? Do you know the troubles I have for the measuring of 1 nanoliter of fluid? Well on the 13th of August I will design my lab space totally for left handed persons. I live and work in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. greetings Jeroen Carol.
At Girl Guides in Mount Barker Western Australia, we celebrated Left-Handers Day yesterday. We had bowls of rice with some M&M's in and, in teams, the girls ran from one end of the hall to the bowl of rice and had to pick one M&M out with chopsticks using their left hand. The girls had great fun! Bronwyn Litchfield (mum of Club Member Heidi)
One London Tourist Attraction even got in on the act, picking up enthusiastically on the "sinister" theme of the day .... The London Dungeon branded all left-handed visitors with a sticker so the right-handers and staff could be sure they didn't get up to anything sinister on their visit!!.