I first met Roger Clifton when I was volunteering at Beyond Barriers Vision Impaired Group in Tower Hamlets, and the first impression I got was he’s a great guy.
Later I was lucky enough to be asked by Roger to attend an interview at East London Vision (ELVis). And as luck would have it, I was offered a job at East London Vision working with Roger Clifton who was the CEO at the time.
I worked with Roger for over two years. He was so encouraging, had great enthusiasm and was so passionate. It was a joy and a privilege to work with him. I remember him being a very positive person, and all the service users were fond of him. He was a very charismatic man.
Roger was not only my work colleague but he was a great friend. What a sad day when he was took away from us. Roger will be missed but he will be forever in our hearts.
For those of you who know me, you’ll know that I like a challenge, and for those that don’t know me, well, now you know that I do!
In my blog post, I’m going to tell you about my most recent rock climbing experience with the Bendrigg Trust based in Kendal, North West England.
I arrived late Friday afternoon at my accommodation, Acorn House, where I’d be staying for the weekend. Shortly after my arrival, I spent the evening learning about the safety aspect of rock climbing at the Bendrigg indoor climbing facilities. We covered topics like safely belaying, securing a harness by double backing webbing, and tying knots.
The next morning, I set off with my group to the Yorkshire Dales. My group consisted of 6 other vision impaired people, our guides, and the climbing instructors. When we arrived there were several climbs already set up for us to tackle. As I’ve experienced indoor climbing in the past I was unsure how different outdoor climbing would be, however I was about to find out. With the figure-of-eight and stopper knots completed I quickly underwent a safety check before I began to climb. After completing the first few climbs with my group I felt comfortable to take on more challenging climbs. Then, after lunch, our next challenge was to climb a tall chimney-like structure. And I’m proud to say that I successfully managed the climb, and as a treat my team and I headed to the shops for some well-deserved coffee and ice cream.
On Sunday, which was my last day with the Trust, we headed to the Lake District. Our instructors wanted us to reach our climbing potential, and gave us harder climbs; more difficult than I expected as they required some strategic thinking and planning out. I have to say that climbing wasn’t very easy without hand and foot holds as I had to hold on to whatever was available like tree branches. However, I managed to reach to the top of the climb and I felt a great sense of achievement!
Overall, I had a fantastic weekend at the Bendrigg Trust. It’s something I will definitely do again in the future, and will encourage others to take part in as well.
The Bendrigg Trust holds various activities suitable for vision impaired people. To learn more about what they offer please visit their website: http://www.bendrigg.org.uk