Welcome to the Big Blind Walk 2018!

I have now set off on my epic walk. I aim to cover nearly 1,000 miles up through Great Britain, having started at 0930 on Sunday 29 April 2018 from Land’s End (Cornwall) and finishing at John O’Groats (Scotland) sometime around 22 June, taking approximately 7 weeks to complete this challenge. Click on the Route button and follow me all the way!

Route

Accompanied and guided by friends and colleagues, , members of the public, voluntary sector representatives and patient support groups, researchers, eye health and health care professionals, I will be visiting eye clinics, eye hospitals and community centres along the route, sharing experiences with patients and practitioners and promoting the wonders of eye research.

Please follow my progress on social media, Blog, News and Route pages. I am wearing a tracker so try and keep pace with me!

I tandem cycled from John O’Groats to Land’s End in 2010 and so I have now turned around and started all over again, getting up even more close and personal with the different terrains, environments and communities throughout the country. I hope to encourage others, sighted and less sighted to join me on this adventure.

Sponsors and Partner

I am so grateful for the tremendous financial and promotional support provided by my charity partner National Eye Research Centre (NERC), my retail partner Wheyhey! (Offering outrageously delicious treats which are high in protein and low in sugar) and my two leading sponsors, Second Sight and 100% Optical .

Note:  100% Optical is the UK’s largest optical show. It took place at London ExCel 27-29 January and was bigger, bolder and brighter than ever before. 8,936 visitors came together to learn, network and discover the latest products, technologies, and solutions on an international stage, with the event delivering even more international brands across Eyewear, Equipment, Lenses, Business Services and Audiology than ever.

 100% Optical is the must-attend event for all businesses and professionals working in the Optical Industry.

 

Also, a big thank you for the reach and exposure provided by my media partner Primary Health Net. Please read more about them all by clicking on the Partner and Sponsors buttons.

 

Charity Partner Retail Partner Media Partner Sponsors

About Julian Jackson

I lost my sight in 2010 to a retinal inherited disease and therefore I have a personal as well as professional interest in the daily battles being waged in hospitals, eye clinics and universities across the UK to prevent sight loss, treat eye disease, restore sight and of course improve the quality of life for patients through enhanced rehabilitation. I have personally overcome many challenges and i am totally convinced that ongoing eye research will continue to provide solutions that will give those wrestling with avoidable and unavoidable sight loss so much more hope, independence, mobility, financial independence and emotional well being.

However, we need to raise the general level of awareness around sight loss, introduce everyone to this incredible scientific world of discovery and innovation and encourage people to financially support eye research if we are to continue this progress towards a future where everyone can see! I hope my walk will go a long way in reaching these goals and supporting the aims below.

The key Aims of my walking challenge
  • Raise awareness and understanding of sight loss
  • Drive vision and eye health up the public health agenda
  • Promote the critical role that eye research plays in the prevention of sight loss, treatment of eye disease, rehabilitation of patients and the restoration of sight
  • Establish an eye research fund to build on already proven research and to support UK based research centres of excellence in retaining the best minds in eye research
My key messages
  • Increased funding is critical to support prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and cures for sight loss.
  • Sight loss is a clear and present danger. Avoidable and unavoidable sight loss in the UK is growing and projected to reach 4 million people by 2040, resulting in significant social, psychological, emotional and economic impacts.
  • Eye research is the best-kept secret in the UK and this has to change. This world of discovery, innovation, and achievement needs to be exposed and celebrated.
  • Increased funding is critical to support prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and cures for sight loss.
  • The science behind correcting and enhancing vision as well as protecting, preserving and restoring sight goes hand in hand with the practical support for the visually impaired and blind.
  • Take responsibility for your eyes. Early detection and making the right lifestyle choices are key.
  • Sight loss does not have to result in lack of hope, motivation or mobility.
  • Greater access to more community-based eye care services is critically important.
How you can help

Please spread the word via social media and follow, like and share my previous and future posts. I am active on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

You can download Big Blind Walk posters from the Promotion page. Speak to your local and regional media contacts and encourage them to contact me for interviews. My mobile number is 07773 800073. I am available throughout the walk. Examples of articles and radio interviews can be found on the NEWS page and the Video Streaming button for reference.

To donate directly to the eye research fund administered by my charity partner the National Eye Research Centre (NERC), to help us continue the fight against sight loss, please CLICK HERE.

Thank you so much.

 

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Guiding me

A huge thank you to anybody brave enough to volunteer themselves as a guide for some of the way. I adopt a “you lead and I follow” approach which is very low tech and involves some kind of toggle that we both hold on to, allowing me to walk alongside my guide so that I can be “steered” either left or right. I will always walk on the right of my guide so I can grip my white cane in my right hand. Be prepared for lots of questions from me about the terrain and surrounding area and the general walking conditions! Social media coverage is a key aspect of my walk so I will invite all guides and walking companions to take as much film footage as possible, recording places, faces and experiences for live and future broadcast. If you feel up for a 20-25 mile walk on any one day of this walking challenge, then feel free to contact me. guides are welcome to stay for more than one day as a support vehicle will be on hand at all times with food, medical support and ample space to rest.  A luxury tent in close proximity to the support vehicle is available for overnight accommodation.