Bidwells climbs Mount Helvellyn to fundraise for charity RNIB

24 June 2016

To raise money for the Royal National Institute of Blind People, Bidwells recently took on the challenge of reaching the top of Mount Helvellyn. The property consultancy managed to bring in more than £5,000 for the charity, which is earmarked to increase the charity’s collection of talking books.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is a UK-based non-profit organisation that supports those dealing with blindness or partial sightedness through emotional, and practical advice and technologies. The organisation was established in 1868, and today provides advice and support to almost two million people with sight loss through a volunteer network that counts more than 3,000 throughout the UK. The organisation raises funds through a range of measures, from collecting donations directly to collecting stamps and organising fundraisers.

Like many other not for profit organisations, the RNIB also benefits from the social responsibility and philanthropic efforts of businesses. One such effort, recently announced by Cambridge-based property consultancy Bidwells, saw the firm raise money through an arduous, and hazardous, climb to the top of Mount Helvellyn in the Lake District.

Mount Helvellyn is England’s third-highest mountain. The paths to its peak are rocky and treacherous in places. The 17km trek the team of 15 took to reach the top was considerably more challenging than merely navigating the topography. Participating team members wore specially-adapted eye-glasses that simulated various eye conditions including tunnel vision, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy, revealing – in so far as it took away – the effects of the various conditions. The team, in turn, also experienced what it was like to be a guide for a partially sighted person.

Bidwells climbs Mount Helvellyn partially in the dark for RNIB fundraiser

The effort raised £5,134 for the charity, with further funds expected to continue to come in. Various means were taken to collect funds, through sponsorship logos on the team t-shirt as well as generous donations made by SDC Builders, Associated Architects, bb+c architects, Wates Construction, Scott Brownrigg and Couch Perry Wilkes.

The money raised allows the RNIB to add a number of children’s book titles to its library of talking books. The library provides blind and partially sighted people with free of charge access to a number of worlds of imagination.

Ian Wakeling, who initiated the fund-raising challenge, says: “We wanted our fund-raising event to be a unique challenge and as well as raising much-needed money for a worthwhile charity we wanted to test ourselves. Project management can sometimes mean that each individual works in isolation so we wanted to do something that brought us together as a team. Using the glasses, we had no choice but to work as a team and we clearly underestimated how difficult and disorientating it would be just wearing the glasses, let alone trying to negotiate mountainous terrain.”

Haidee Turner, RNIB Area Fundraising Manager, says the charity would like to say “a huge thank you” to those that took part in the challenge and help fundraise generous donations. Turner adds “The money they’ve raised will enable us to add three children’s books to our Talking Books library, helping to give the gift of reading to even more blind and partially sighted children here in the UK.”


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