An inspiration to us all !

14th October 2015

70-year-old Roger Barrett who is registered blind walked the entire Pembrokeshire Coast Path recently and is encouraging people of all abilities to follow in his footsteps.

Roger completed the 186-mile National Trail  over a period of three months but taking just 17 days. He walked an amazing 8 to 16 miles a day with the help of Peter Royle, a Voluntary Activity Leader for the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Diagnosed with the hereditary degenerative eye disease retinata pigmentosa 30 years ago, Roger was not about to let his impaired vision stop him from taking on the challenge of the dramatic and sometimes hair raising landscape the Pembrokeshire Coast Path provides.

 “Overall it was a very enjoyable experience and I’d thoroughly recommend that everyone have a go at it, even if you do it in short stages. I talk to people who say it’s always something they’ve fancied doing - I’ve shown that with help it’s possible for anyone to do it and hopefully others will now think it’s a good idea."

“The National Park volunteers are very generous with their time and energy and their willingness to take people out to enjoy the countryside and support them.”

 Roger had been put in touch with the National Park Authority’s Walkability Project Co-ordinator Paul Casson, who got in contact  with volunteers to accompany him on his walk. Peter initially volunteered to help out as part of a team but ended up completing the entire Coast Path.

 Starting their adventure in June, they set off from Amroth in the south towards the north. This was so the sun was behind them, making it easier for Roger. 

Peter has volunteered with the National Park Authority for almost 10  years, added: “It was great fun walking with Roger. It took us a while to work out how we were going to do it and there were a few teething problems. I realised if we came to a gate and I hadn’t told him in advance, he would keep walking and I would end up wedged between him and the gate.

“I’m rather glad I got involved as it’s the first time I’ve walked the entire Coast Path and it’s nice to have done it with a purpose" 

“One of the main messages I hope people take from the walk is that the Coast Path is for everyone, don’t let any disability or restriction stop you enjoying the Path.”

It sounds like everyone got such a lot from this adventure - What an inspiring story !  

If you want more information on the National Park Authority’s Walkability Project, visit www.pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk/walkability or call Paul Casson on 07866 771107.

 

 

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