Supporting Speed of Sight
Speed of sight is an organisation founded by former three times Guinness world blind land speed record holder Mike Newman, who is known as the world’s fastest blind man. Mike holds the world speed records for land, sea and air. On land Mike was alone in the car. He had a chase car with a navigator and driver following him. Now there’s a brave man!
Along with his business partner John Galloway and a team of generous volunteers, Speed of Sight allows disabled people aged 6 to 90 and their families to take part in driving experiences that are otherwise taken for granted by the able-bodied.
The charity is based in Lancashire, however, they provide driving days across the UK from Teesside in the North East to Llandow in South Wales.
An optimistic outlook
Speed of sight have an optimistic outlook; focusing on what people can do instead of what they can’t do; after all, just because someone has a disability doesn’t mean they can’t live life to the full.
The gift of being able to drive despite being blind or suffering from a disability, even if it is just for a few hours, is life-changing and truly unforgettable. It boosts their confidence, self esteem as well as their general physical and mental well-being just like any other sporting or physical activity. It gives them the opportunity to experience things that they may never have or never will.
A driving ambition
All the Speed of Sight cars are custom made and dual controlled to cater for different disabilities without compromising safety. They have to consider different requirements such as whether the frame of the car can be adapted so people using hoist access can do so easily or whether there is space for a foot-guard for those who can’t control their movements. These often prove to be engineering challenges, but this doesn’t deter Speed of sight from their main aim of inclusion; they are determined to be able to provide this experience to all who would want it. The barrier to inclusion may not be physical, instead psychological such as lacking confidence or are anxious about the experience but Speed of sight overcome this by talking them through the whole process.
Each individual is accompanied by an instructor who guides/directs them through the activity; they are connected through speakers in
each others helmets so communication is clear between them. The knowledge that an instructor is with them every step of the way is enough to encourage the most anxious participants to fully embrace the day.
Speed of sight also shows insight into life without one of the senses through activities like corporate days where staff are blindfolded whilst driving. Not only is this great fun and a helpful team building activity, it increases awareness of the difficulties faced with visual impairments and blindness as well as the importance of trust and communication.
It is our pleasure to support Speed of Sight as Greenfield’s charity of the year for 2020 in any way we can. We will hold a number of awareness and fundraising events to help promote this incredible organisation.
Charity Number: 1150463