Hilary Myers, a member of St Vincent’s Foundation, Sheffield and a past Union of Catholic Mothers President, relates her experience of Sheffield Visually Impaired Walking Group’s fundraising event.
On Saturday, 17 June the Sheffield Visually Impaired Walking Group and their guides faced a tough challenge in completing a 17 mile walk over Sheffield’s hilly terrain, well over the distance of seven miles which they normally walk four times a month.
My thoughts when I took on the challenge and asked my friends and parishioners to support me as a visually impaired walker was, I don’t mind how long it takes me but I hope the weather is kind and not too hot.
We set off from Endcliffe Park at 9am on a warm sunny morning, soon to become a very hot and sticky day. The nice thing about Sheffield is that there are plenty of parks and woods along the route which gave us some much appreciated shade from the hot sun. Everyone on the walk, about twenty of us, was in good spirits.
Being blind or visually impaired does not stop you from walking; you just need the arm of a trained guide and we have some wonderful volunteer guides always willing to walk with us. We change guides usually every few miles to give them a break from ‘guiding’, so there’s always a different person to talk to.
The route started at Hunters Bar, up the Porter Valley to Ringinglow, down the Limb Valley into Ecclesall Woods and across Abbeydale Road at Dore and Totley Station; then on to Ladies Spring Wood and to Beauchief Abbey in time for a packed lunch.
Nicely refreshed, we continued through Chancet Wood to Graves Park and the Gleadless Valley; then onward through Meersbrook Park, across London Road, up the last hill to Brincliffe Edge and Chelsea Park to reach the finish at Hunters Bar at 6pm, where there was lots of chatting, laughing and good camaraderie. We were all in very high spirits and so delighted with each other that we had all finished the challenge. A day well spent!
Over £3,000 were raised in support of the Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind and the Sheffield Visually Impaired Walking Group. What an achievement!
Hilary Myers, Social Secretary
Sheffield Visually Impaired Walking Group