BBC Countyfile's Adam Henson joins blind veterans in Roman Wall Challenge

19 March 2014 17:05

Adam Henson, presenter of BBC's Countryfile, will join a group of blind veterans and vision impaired children from vision impairment charity Useful Vision in a 5 mile trek along Hadrian's wall.

BBC Countryfile star Adam Henson will join a group of blind veterans, vision impaired children and Army, Air and Sea cadets to tackle a five mile trek across Hadrian's Wall in a bid to raise awareness about Blind Veterans UK and vision impairment charity Useful vision.

Adam is patron of Useful Vision which supports blind and vision impaired children and their families across the region. For the first time Useful Vision and Blind Veterans UK are teaming up to enable the children and our veterans to take part in the challenge.

Supported by the teams from Hebburn Sea Cadets, Jarrow Air Training Corps, Walker Technology College Army Cadet Force, and volunteers from Useful Vision, a group of approximately 100 will tackle a 5 mile stretch of the wall to reach the trig point at Winshields on Sunday 11 May.

Adam said: "When my late nephew Ben lost his sight through his treatment for brain cancer, it brought home to me the challenges facing families with a vision impaired child. Finding activities the whole family could participate in and accessing information was an uphill struggle. Ben would have loved to take part in this sort of challenge. I am delighted to be part of it and am looking forward to joining in the walk with the Useful Vision families, members of Blind Veterans UK and the Cadet services".

Rebecca Wilson, Adam's sister and founder of Useful Vision, said: "In the scheme of things a 5 mile walk along the wall may not sound like much, but it's exposed, steep and undulating. For a child with little or no vision it will be difficult - a real challenge. We really appreciate our families making this commitment to support us. Finding out your child has a severe sight impairment can be devastating. In addition to the activities we provide, we are able to offer our families emotional and practical support and they really appreciate the opportunity to socialise together and support each other."

Blind Veteran UK's Cadet and Youth Challenge Project Officer, Colin Williamson, said: "Blind Veterans UK is delighted to partner up with Useful Vision for this fantastic event which will raise awareness about the work that both charities do for those suffering with sight loss. We are very grateful for the support of the cadets in doing this and anticipate that a challenging and rewarding day will be had by all".

Useful Vision was set up nine years ago to address a need for activities to stimulate and engage blind and vision impaired children that would also be enjoyable for their families. From small beginnings there are now over 300 families registered across the North East for the charity's services.

Blind Veterans UK provides support, rehabilitation, training, welfare and rehabilitation to blind veterans, regardless of when they served or how they lost their sight. We support over 3,500 blind veterans in our three centres in Brighton, Llandudno, North Wales and Sheffield, as well as in veterans' own homes.