DCSIMG

Charity campaign sees Hartlepool MP experience life with no sight

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright being guided along York Road by David Waterfall and Linda Cooper with her guide dog Zoey

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright being guided along York Road by David Waterfall and Linda Cooper with her guide dog Zoey

HARTLEPOOL MP Iain Wright spent a morning in the life of a visually-impaired person as part of a charity campaign to improve the lives of blind people.

Mr Wright was challenged by the charity Guide Dogs to take part in a blind-folded walk.

The aim of the task was for Mr Wright to experience the every day trials and challenges of visually-impaired people so that he could then encourage changes from the Government.

So the town politician set off on the tough task from his offices in South Road, Hartlepool, and then made his way to York Road, complete with special black-out glasses, a white stick and a partner with a guide dog.

He went down York Road and negotiated crossing Park Road, before getting on a bus to Shakespeare Avenue, in the Rift House area.

Mr Wright then travelled back into town by bus before heading back to his offices where he was de-masked and his sight returned.

He said: “Probably like most people, I take my sight for granted.

“It’s a very strange sensation and you have a huge range of emotions, you feel very vulnerable.

“Ordinary things like walking down the street, crossing a road, or getting a bus are fraught with danger and anxiety.

“I wanted to get a sense of what visually-impaired people have to cope with.

“I’ve walked down York Road hundreds of times but doing it with a cane is a whole different experience.”

He added: “we need plans putting in place on buses for example, every time the bus is stopping there is an announcement saying where it will stop.

“I have been able to experience for a short time, what many people have to put up with on a daily basis, and in doing this it will help me to lobby the issues in parliament.”

Guide Dogs launched its campaign earlier this year and challenged the Prime Minister David Cameron to take part in a blindfolded walk along Downing Street.les first hand.

 

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