Bike ride to help the visually impaired

Duncan Ross and pilot John Brady in training
Duncan Ross and pilot John Brady in training

An Aberdeenshire man who was registered blind at birth is raising money for the visually impaired in South Africa.

Duncan Ross, from Alford, is using his passion for cycling to help a child through school.

Early next month he will undertake a tandem bike ride from Aberdeen to Braemar.

Duncan, 29, will be accompanied by his ‘pilot’ John Brady.

They met through North East Sensory Service, the blind and deaf support group, and have cycled together for years.

He has also received a message of support from cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy.

Duncan, originally from Tarland, came up with the fundraising idea when he was visiting sister Jenna in Cape Town.

He said: “When I was out there I realised that people have a lot less than me.

“I then began to imagine what it must be like to be visually impaired in Africa. At this point I realised I was lucky.

“So, in order to give back, I would like to use my passion for cycling and do a sponsored bike ride in order to raise money for the visually impaired in Africa.

“My hope is to raise enough money to support a visually impaired child through school.”

Sister Jenna said: “A couple of years ago Duncan came out to visit me in South Africa, and we spend several weeks travelling along the South coast.

“We got to speaking about the level of poverty in the country, and Duncan pointed out that it must be extremely difficult, not only to be poor, but to be visually impaired in these circumstances.”

She added: “He realised he was lucky to have access to facilities such as the Sensory Service, and also to the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh.”

He will be raising money for the Athlone School for the Blind in Cape Town. Duncan will also be off a signed copy of the Sir Chris’s book.

His Just Giving Page is at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/duncanrosscycle

Donations can also be left at Graeme Barber Butcher in Alford.