Blind Bangor man to embark on a trek of a lifetime across Iceland to support people living with sight loss

23 May 2016
Source: RNIB

Ken Carson will take on the five-day challenge to help RNIB support as many blind and partially sighted people as possible

Bangor resident Ken Carson faces a challenge of a lifetime when he embarks on a five-day adventure across the Icelandic wilderness.

Ken, who has optic neuritis which causes progressive sight deterioration, will be taking part in the Iceland Trek to raise funds for the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

The trip will include 18 hours of trekking which Ken will be taking on to give something back to the charity that supported him after he began losing his sight.

Ken is part of Team RNIB and will stay in traditional mountain huts with temperatures close to -10 degrees at night. The team will explore ‘smoke valley’ in Reykjadalur and take a dip in the hot springs of Solfataras.

As part of his fundraising efforts, Ken has been holding a number of events to help him raise as much money as possible for RNIB. So far, he has raised over £900 from holding a car boot sale, raffle and through his JustGiving page.

He has two fundraising events coming up in June that he hopes will help to boost his total further. Ken will be at Bloomfield Shopping Centre on Saturday 4 June to do a bucket collection, followed by a sponsored walk from Holywood to Bangor with a number of his friends on Sunday 12 June.

50-year-old Ken, who works at the Department of Education, hopes to raise his target of at least £2,450. The money he raises will be used to provide practical and emotional support to the almost 2 million people living with sight loss across the UK, including 31,000 in Northern Ireland.

Ken said: “I was offered a place on RNIB’s Finding Your Feet programme, which helps people to live confidently with sight loss. I went into the course feeling anxious, but within one day I was relaxed.

“You think that’s it, it’s over, I’m not going to be able to do this, that and the other. Finding Your Feet was a life-changer for me. It opened so many doors. I dread to think where I might be now without it.

“That’s why I’m taking part in the Iceland Trek. I want to make sure RNIB is always there for people who are losing their sight and that everyone gets the support they deserve and need.”

RNIB’s Area Fundraising Manager for Northern Ireland, Hazel Stirling, said: “To trek through Iceland will be a fantastic experience for Ken and all the other trekkers taking part. It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something wonderful to raise money for RNIB and help us continue to provide emotional and practical support for people living with sight loss.

“I invite everyone to support Ken in his fundraising efforts and help him reach his target of £2,450.”

A team from RNIB will be supporting and guiding Ken, and other trekkers with sight loss, throughout the challenge, which takes place between 6 and 10 October 2016.

To help Ken reach his fundraising target, please donate by visiting his online fundraising page at http://www.justgiving.com/Kenneth-Carson.

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