Blind marathon runner Dave Heeley took centre stage at the start of a campaign to raise the profile of Guide Dogs for the Blind in Birmingham.
“Blind Dave” joined Lord Mayor Coun Chauhdry Abdul Rashid to launch the charity’s Sight Awareness Roadshow, which will run in Victoria Square until Thursday.
The father-of-three from West Bromwich ran seven marathons on seven continents in seven days in April this year, starting in the Falkland Islands and ending at the London Marathon.
His efforts collected an astonishing £375,000 for the Guide Dogs and generated an estimated £5 million in publicity around the world.
He received an award from the Lord Mayor and the charity’s chairman, Tony Aston, for his extraordinary feat.
During the roadshow there will be opportunities to learn more about the charity’s work and how to get involved.
There will also be tips on how to help people with guide dogs negotiate their way around major cities like Birmingham. Copies of a How to Guide booklet and DVD will also be available.
Sue Davenport, Guide Dogs for the Blind regional fund-raising manager, said: “The charity takes very seriously its role in raising awareness of the impact of sight loss and we’re delighted to have this high profile opportunity to make a difference in Birmingham.
“Increasing public understanding of visual impairment is an important part of our work in promoting the mobility and independence of blind and partially-sighted people, and a vital support to our core guide dog service.
“The more people learn about the challenges of getting around our busy towns and cities with limited or no vision, the more confident and sensitive they will be in providing appropriate guiding assistance.”
For more information on the charity visit the website or phone 0870 240 6993.