Blind and partially sighted people experienced the thrill of being behind the wheel again during a sight loss charity’s annual driving event.
Galloway’s hosted its popular driving day at Three Sisters Race Circuit in Ashton-in-Makerfield, near Wigan, offering visually impaired people the opportunity to drive a dual-controlled car with a fully qualified driving instructor.
They also enjoyed the exhilaration of whizzing around the race track as a passenger in classic sports cars, including a Ford Escort MK2, Aston Martin and Porches.
John Parry, who has provided dual controlled cars and instructors for the event since 2007, said: “I enjoy giving people the opportunity to allow blind and partially people to drive, as it is something that the rest of us take for granted. To be able give something back to them and give them that experience means a lot.”
Mosie Wild, 68, of Horwich, who lost her sight five years ago, said: “What a wonderful day out I had on the driving experience. It was the most amazing day. I was so emotional to be sat in the seat of a car, driving round a race track. It was wonderful. Thank you so much to everyone at Galloway’s, as they are doing an absolutely amazing job.”
Rally driver Mark Kelly, who drove people round the track in his Ford Escort MK2, said: “It was my pleasure to be able to help. It’s such a joy to drive the car and to be able to give people this experience is amazing.”
Tim Evans, who brought his Aston Martin Vantage V8, said: “It’s nice to get the reaction of the people you take round and put smiles on people’s faces. The good thing for me is that my grandmother has been supported by Galloway’s, so I was more than happy to help out.”
James Coulton, Outdoor Activities Co-ordinator at Galloway’s, which supports people across Lancashire and Sefton, said: “We know driving is one of the things people living with sight loss miss the most, so to be able to offer the opportunity to be able to drive again, or sometimes for the first time, is incredible.
“We want to say a big thank you to everyone who helped to make this possible, including John Parry Driving School in Skelmersdale, Chris Hulme, The Independent Porsche Enthusiasts Club in Cheshire and Staffordshire, Mike Beeston, Roy Sammons and finally, Mark Kelly, for bringing his Ford Escort MK 2 and arranging the Aston Martin, BMW M4 and TVR.
“We are also grateful to our volunteers for their support during the day.
“We have had some great feedback from the event and everyone is looking forward to our next driving day, which we hope to arrange for next year.”