Blind man takes driving challenge for guide dogs

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A blind man from Long Buckby got behind the wheel of a car for the first time in eight years in aid of the Guide Dogs charity at the weekend.

Frank Berry, 75, has advanced glaucoma and was registered blind in 2005. He cannot see to his left, right, up or down and can only see things in a straight line in front of him.

On Sunday he travelled to the Motor Heritage Museum at Gaydon where he completed a blind driving experience.

He said: “I was a bit nervous and held my breath for the first lap but the instructor put me at ease and I’m glad I did it.”

Mr Berry had control of the steering wheel and gears and was only required to turn right. An instructor first took him through what he would need to do and accompanied him on the drive.

Mr Berry said: “It felt like I was driving at 100mph but I assume it was only about 30.

“I probably wouldn’t do it again but it was a big challenge and I want to do what I can for the Guide Dogs charity.”

Mr Berry said when he was first diagnosed with glaucoma he had been angry and frightened but that his life improved with the help of a guide dog.

He now has a five-year-old golden retriever, Quasia, who travels everywhere with him.

Mr Berry’s wife, Chris, said: “She is a lovely dog and Frank fills his time with doing things for the charity. The whole family are so proud of him because things don’t come easy but he never gives up.”

A coffee morning in aid of Guide Dogs will take place on October 12 at the United Reformed Church Hall in Long Buckby from 10am until noon. To sponsor Mr Berry visit www.justgiving.com/FrankBerry.