Blind drivers take to the wheel

The Drive of your Life event is at the Grampian Transport Museum in Alford  on Sunday, June 26.
The Drive of your Life event is at the Grampian Transport Museum in Alford on Sunday, June 26.

A North-east charity is giving blind and partially-sighted people the chance to drive a car.

North East Sensory Services (NESS), which has offices in Aberdeen, Elgin and Dundee, is holding its annual ‘Drive of your Life’ in Alford, on Sunday, June 26.

The event, which takes place at the Grampian Transport Museum, will enable people with a sensory loss to experience the thrill of driving.

Men and women who have visual loss will be given the opportunity to drive the dual control cars, accompanied by

qualified local driving instructors who donate their time free of charge.

NESS, which has been supporting people in the North-east since 1879, provides care and support to people who have a visual and/or hearing loss.

From everyday, practical social work support to social support for isolated people, the charity aims to encourage

people with a sensory loss achieve greater independence.

The Drive of your Life event was developed following reports from visually impaired men and women who miss driving.

Neil Skene, fundraising co-ordinator for NESS, who has been blind since he was a child, said: “Driving a car when you are blind or have limited sight is an incredible experience.

“For many people, giving up driving represented a huge and painful step when their sight began to fail, so getting behind the wheel again can be extremely emotional.

“We have seen grown men in tears after being able to drive for the first time in 30 years.”

Partially sighted or blind people can take part by contacting Susan Hewitt at NESS on 0345 271 2345 or emailing susan.hewitt@nesensoryservices.org.

The event must be pre-booked and there is a charge of £15 per person.