On Tuesday 18th April, some members of the Travel Village Group team took part in a mile long blindfolded walk in order to raise awareness for Guide Dogs UK. “Walk A Mile In Someone Else’s Shoes” was a guided walk along Blackpool’s Promenade which finished at the Comedy Carpet, in front of the famous Blackpool Tower.
We had 15 participants from our incredible team, either guiding or blindfolded (or taking photos for us!), who set off on the walk in the fantastically sunny weather.
Participants were Heather Ascroft, Norry Ascroft, Jess Clayton, Richard Cross, Lily Hall, Becky Hawker, Jenny Higgins, Millie Jackson, Lewis Johnston, Carolyn Markey, Lilli Medlicott, Tracy Metcalfe, Annie Shaw, and Callum Stoneman with family friend Rachael.
Callum Stoneman has been completely blind since birth due to Norrie Disease and, in 2016, he was paired with his guide dog, Iggy, helping him to live life independently. With Iggy’s help, he was able to move out of his family home, attend university to get a degree, start full-time work and travel to numerous places.
Iggy made Callum so much more confident and made aspects of his life much more manageable. In February 2023, Iggy sadly passed away after battling a short illness. This has been incredibly difficult for Callum as he has had to adjust his life to get around with only a white cane.
Callum now has to wait a minimum of 18 months for another guide dog. It costs £50,000 to train a guide dog which completely comes from donations. Iggy has been life-changing for Callum, so any awareness-raising is hugely appreciated, in addition to donations for Guide Dogs UK.
We asked the team what they thought of the guided walk:
“The event truly made me realise the importance of Guide Dogs and how much someone can rely on them to go about every aspect of their daily life”Richard Cross, Group Commercial Manager
“It was such a great day. I have been the mum of a blind child for over 23 years, yet I have never done anything like this before. It certainly was an ‘eye opener’ to a few of the challenges that visually impaired people come across in everyday life and how amazing a guide dog really is”Tracy Metcalfe (Callum’s mother), Holiday Village Travel Professional
“It was incredible to see everyone at TVG come together to support such a wonderful and important cause. Together, we walked a mile with Callum to raise money for Guide Dogs UK. Loads of people took notice and smiled as we walked past, I feel we definitely raised awareness of the importance of Guide Dogs and everything that they do.”Lilli Medlicott, Marketing Assistant
“It was a strange, but incredibly valuable experience. I would encourage others to try it and realise what it’s like to be without sight; and to be dependent on someone else, placing your full trust in them. It’s definitely a true team bonding experience!”Jenny Higgins, Marketing Assistant
“It was really daunting at first to be confident with your footing. I can completely understand how having Iggy increased his [Callum’s] confidence to go out. It must be so hard now to adjust to just having the white cane”Heather Ascroft, Ascroft Travel Owner