By Ellise Hollie Hayward, 21, Disabilities Correspondent, Jill Dando News
Young philanthropist Izzy Rutter, an 11-year-old from Exeter, recently accomplished an impressive 20-mile charity walk to raise money for InFocus Charity, based in Devon.
InFocus Charity is dedicated to supporting young individuals with vision impairment and complex needs.
Izzy embarked on her challenging journey, covering a 20-mile route from Exeter to Dawlish Warren and back, all in pursuit of her New Year resolution to raise £100 for a local charity.
During her walk, she went the extra mile, quite literally, by walking one of those miles blindfolded.
This unique experience allowed her to gain a deeper understanding of what it’s like to live with a visual impairment.
Reflecting on her achievement, Izzy shared, “Walking blindfolded was a bit unsettling, even with my dad guiding me every step of the way.
“It heightened my awareness of sounds and the sensation of grass brushing against my legs, causing a few surprises along the way. I had to rely on my guide to keep me informed about my surroundings, which reminded me that young people at InFocus must place complete trust in the staff, and they, too, must experience moments of fear.
“Throughout the day, I reminded myself that the challenges faced by the young people at InFocus Charity are far greater, and this motivated me to keep going.
“Of course, the three bottles of Lucozade helped as well! Upon completing my walk at InFocus Charity, I was overwhelmed by the warm welcome from the staff and young people who organised a party to celebrate my achievement.
“To my astonishment, I surpassed my initial target of £100 and raised an incredible £629! I chose InFocus not only because my mum works there but also because I find great joy in helping those who may not have the same abilities as us.
“My dream is to follow in my mum’s footsteps and become a support worker at InFocus, just like her. I hope that the funds I’ve raised will make the lives of others a little bit easier.”
Head of Fundraising at InFocus Charity, Sue Surret, said: “We are very proud of Izzy for her fundraising efforts, and we wanted to say a big thank you from all staff and young people at InFocus.”
Izzy’s initiative also marks the launch of InFocus’ new fundraising challenge, “Take a Walk on the Blind Side.”
This challenge invites participants to walk one mile blindfolded, guided by someone with sight, and seek sponsorships for their efforts.
To participate in this unique challenge, please register your interest by emailing email@example.com, and they will provide you with a complimentary InFocus Charity blindfold to kickstart your journey.
Ellise Hollie Hayward, 21, started her role as Disabilities Correspondent for Jill Dando News after delivering an inspirational talk of Priory Community School Academy, part of The Priory Learning Trust. Email her your stories via Editor@theplt.org.uk
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