Teenager goes blindfolded for eight hours to raise money for Royal Blind Week

Posted: 23/02/2017 | ,

Teenager Anneliese Smith has raised nearly £100 for Royal Blind by wearing a blindfold for eight hours to support Royal Blind Week.

Anneliese wears a blindfold and holds a toyThe 14-year-old took on the #Blind4Day challenge in order to gain an insight into how visually impaired people experience the world on a day-to-day basis.

Think you've got what it takes to go #Blind4Day? Find out how here. 

Anneliese was assisted in the challenge by her best friend, Skye Littlehales, who acted as her sighted guide throughout the day.

Together the pair completed everyday tasks including a visit to the library to pick out books.

Skye helped Anneliese get ready for the outing, guided her around the library and assisted her with crossing the road – a task which Anneliese described as a ‘daunting’ experience.

She said: "It was extremely difficult and I'm so grateful to have a friend like Skye to help me. I found it enlightening as many of the things that you take for granted like tying your shoes and making lunch were so much more difficult and how much I had to rely on just my hearing. 

Anneliese laces her shoes while wearing a blindfold

“I learned just how difficult it is to be blind and how much you have to rely on the trust you have for your sighted helper. I also learned how much the blind have to rely on their other senses.”

Royal Blind Week runs from 20-26 February and there is still time to take part in your own #Blind4Day challenge. You can choose to be blindfolded for an hour, the duration of a task, or even the whole day.

Other challenges include All Eyes on You – where participants wear outrageous eye makeup during their daily activities – an eBay auction of goodies signed by celebrities and a raffle. There are also free resource packs at www.royalblind.org/royal-blind-week for schools who want to take part.

Those who wish to contribute but are unable to take part in fundraising activities can text RBWK16 £3 to 70070 to donate £3.

#Blind4Day is now in its fifth year, and it is hoped more people than ever will take on the ultimate fundraising challenge. Fundraisers will set their own sponsorship target and can choose to go blindfolded for a task, a number of hours, or for an entire day.

Davina Shiell, Marketing and Fundraising Manager for Royal Blind, said: “A huge thank you to Anneleise and everyone who is supporting Royal Blind by taking part in the #Blind4Day challenge.

"Royal Blind Week provides the ideal opportunity for people to engage with the charity and help raise funds and it also raises public awareness of the challenges faced by visually impaired adults and children across Scotland every day.

“The #Blind4Day challenge is one of the toughest fundraising activities that people take part in on behalf of Royal Blind. Activities like pouring a glass of water or catching the bus to work can become very challenging. We can never truly understand what it would be like to live with a visual impairment, but it is a great way of putting yourself in the shoes of a person with sight loss and raising awareness of the many services that Royal Blind provides.”

Royal Blind operates seven services for blind and partially sighted children and adults across the country, including the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh.

For free resources for school fundraising or to sign up for the challenge or for more information on Royal Blind Week visit http://www.royalblind.org/royal-blind-week/resources/case-studies