A Walk on the Blind Side

Mon 8th April 2013 at 12.00 - 12.00

Our Club supported the charity ORBIS and its fund-raiser Orbithon, with a "Blind" walk for a mile by President Elect Keith Woods. This walk as also supported by other clubs in our District. Keith's walk was a front page feature in the Billericay Gazette

We supported the ORBIS's fund-raiser Orbithon, with a mile
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A Walk On The Blind Side

Keith Wood, vice-president of The Rotary Club of Billericay is this week, as he admits himself, “an enlightened man”. He had just walked blindfold to “see” for himself what the blind and partically-sighted experience in everyday life.

Keith agreed to be the club’s volunteer to walk a sponsored mile blindfolded as part of Rotary’s week-long drive to support the charity of ORBIS UK dedicated to saving sight worldwide. Along with rotary clubs throughout Rotary District 1240 which encompasses Essex and parts of Hertsfordshire, the Rotary Club of Billericay agreed to take part in the ‘ORBITHON’ whereby each club identified a person and a day of the week to walk one mile with their sight impaired, accompanied and guided by a sighted person during the walk.

Having agreed take up the challenge, pet shop owner Keith Wood walked a mile from the Billericay Health Centre in Stock Road, through Billericay High Street to the club’s meeting place, The Ivory Rooms in Laindon Road – a distance of one mile, 635 yards (precisely measured!) – after which he enjoyed a deserved lunch.

He said: “That was an incredible experience. What I did not realise that the areas most affected were my senses. Suddenly I was hearing traffic louder, more aware of people and obstacles such as lampposts and bus shelters and road crossings. Even smells seemed greater. I smelt something which I could not recognise and asked my guiders what it was. They told me that we had just passed a flower shop. Normally I am sure that I would have smelt flowers easily.”

“They” were Keith’s guides – club members, Ed Harrison, Peter Strong and Michael Sinclair.

Keith’s effort meant the Billericay club was on target to raise the