Wellbeing challenge connects sight loss colleagues across the country

Image shows Tony Harvey sitting down, wearing a t-shirt with 1240 miles.  His arm around his Guide Dog, Tui, and holding a sign stating “Thank you for an amazing event.  Tui says can she join next year?”.  Tony’s other arm is outstretched and they are sitting in front of a large tree and clear blue sky.

Well done everybody who ran, walked or even crawled an unbelievable 56,982 miles in six weeks. This is twice around the world plus 6,000 miles!

We are pleased to say the Run, Walk, Crawl Race That’s Not a Race was a huge success, with more than 200 sight loss colleagues taking  part.

The event was organised and led by Stuart Clayton, CEO of Galloway’s, with support from several members of his team, as well as Amy Pearman from Visionary and Steve Griffin from RNIB – he was the man behind the tunes!

Understanding the need to lift spirits and show solidarity during the pandemic, Stuart invited members of other sight loss charities across the UK to take part in the challenge.

Teams of six took on a virtual tour of some of the sight loss organisations across England, Scotland and Wales, with a target of 1,240 miles. Stuart’s aim was to boost morale and connect fellow colleagues who work in the sector, and judging by the feedback – he did just that!

There was some great stories and photos shared of funny sights spotted whilst out, including a man with a box on his head, boxer Tyson Fury and a Womble in a tree.

Feedback from the teams included: “The race has brought us friendship, fun and fitness,” “I feel much fitter and mentally much more positive,” “It has encouraged me to get out and I have visited some beautiful places,” “I have enjoyed getting to know my sight loss colleagues”, and “I have loved every minute of it.”

Stuart Clayton said: “All our colleagues in the sight loss sector have worked extremely hard under incredibly difficult conditions over the past year, so we wanted to show some solidarity and focus on their wellbeing.

“We came up with this challenge to give everyone an opportunity to focus on something positive and encourage the benefits of physical exercise. It has also been a fantastic way to connect people as it has sparked great conversations between people who work at other sight loss organisations.

“This has been a real team effort and I wish to thank everyone for their enthusiasm in taking part, as well as those who have helped with the admin.

“It will be great to build on this success by maintaining the strong relationships that have arisen from this inaugural event.”

A total of 20 sight loss organisations took part: Galloway’s, Visionary, RNIB, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Beacon Centre for the Blind, Berkshire Vision, Blind Veterans UK, Cam Sight, My Sight Notts, North East Sensory Services, Sheffield Royal Society, Sight Advice South Lakes, Sight Concern Bedfordshire, Sight Concern Worcester, Support 4 Sight, The Wilberforce Trust, Visibility Scotland, Vision Support, Vista Blind, and Wakefield District Sight Aid.


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