Intrepid trio scale Ben Nevis blindfolded!
Three brave charity workers are preparing to scale the heights of the UK’s tallest mountain this weekend wearing blindfolds in order to raise money for the local sight loss charity where they all work and which this year is celebrating 175 years of supporting local blind and partially sighted people.
Take it in turns to support blindfolded colleagues
Kirsty Allen, Donna Keane and Angela Phillips will each take it in turns to support their blindfolded colleagues up the steep and winding paths that lead to the 17km (1352 metre) summit of the UK’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis this Sunday 23 September.
Climb to raise awareness of avoidable sight loss
The intrepid trio also hope their climb will raise awareness of the need to prevent avoidable sight loss during National Eye Health Week, which takes place 24-30 September.
Unique set of challenges
Each climber faces her own unique set of challenges to overcome during the climb; Donna has never hiked or climbed before and will be breaking in new walking boots, rucksack and trekking poles. Kirsty and Angela will be wearing blindfolds and simulation specs, plastic goggles that simulate eye conditions like glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa and stroke-related sight loss.
The mountain trek will help each of them walk in the boots of the visually impaired people they support in their jobs at My Sight Notts. Each will experience something of the frustrations and challenges but also the joy and exhilaration that the visually impaired people experience when trying to access the great outdoors.
Climbing Ben Nevis will give me a taste of what it’s like for my mum
Angela says, “I have learned the skill of guiding blind people over the last 15 years, when my mum started to lose her sight through Retinitus Pigmentosa (RP), a hereditary eye condition. Sighted guiding is second nature to me, and I love that My Sight Notts offers a Rambling Group where our volunteers guide visually impaired ramblers around the Peak District, an activity that we sighted people take for granted. Climbing Ben Nevis in this way will give me a taste of what it must be like for my mum to live life with no sight at all. I am feeling apprehensive, but I trust my colleagues to be my eyes for this experience.”
I regularly sighted guide but for this climb the tables are turned!
Kirsty Allen, says, “As Sports Officer at My Sight Notts, I regularly guide blind and partially sighted people on walks, and devise workout programmes for our clients to get fit at the gym and swimming pool. I am always the sighted guide providing support, so for Ben Nevis the tables will turn and I will get to experience what it’s like to not have full sight. This is a daunting yet exciting challenge for me.”
Never dreamed I’d climb UK’s highest mountain
Donna says, “I like to keep fit by joining exercise classes at my local gym, but hiking is new to me, I never dreamed I could summit the UK’s highest mountain. I’ve had to get used to walking with rucksack, walking boots and learn how to use trekking poles. This is a huge challenge for me.”
Support intrepid trio
If you would like to support Donna, Kirsty or Angela visit their JustGiving page http://www.justgiving.com/owner-email/pleasesponsor/Big175BenNevisWithATwist