Tom Skinner from Beverley is taking on the challenge of running 1,000 miles in 2020 to raise funds for his local sight loss charity Sight Support Hull & East Yorkshire (HEY).

Image shows Tom Skinner outside the Halifax Bank in Hull

Tom is registered is partially sighted due a sight condition called Nystagmus which he has had since birth as well been shorted sighted. Married with a young family and a full time job with the Halifax Bank, Tom has undertaken many challenges over recent years for Sight Support HEY including cycling, running and swimming. He’s also taken part in an abseil down the K2 building in Hull, a simulated helicopter crash into water and the Three Peaks Challenge.

“I love been outdoors and living life to the full,” says Tom “I have grown up with a sight condition but have never allowed it to stop me achieving anything I want to do. Life can be full of challenges for us all and we all have our own ways to get on. I choose to give anything a go and to challenge myself. Much to my wife’s despair at times”.

“My father has always encouraged me to cycle and I have commuted my many years. Like many people with a sight impairment I’m unable to drive. I hate relying on lifts and getting from A to B. All it takes is planning a bit more time, some faith in public transport and technology, and also the right mind set”.

A collage of Tom Skinner undertaking a variety of fundraising activities
Image shows a montage of Tom Skinner undertaking a variety of fundraising activities

For the last four years Tom has commuted from Beverley to Leeds for work which meant a nine mile bike ride to Hull station and then to Leeds on the train. He figures he has cycled over 5400 miles in all weathers and even though he has now returned to working in Hull his commute on the bike remains the same.

In 2020 he is taking on his biggest challenge to date: to run 1,000 miles. Tom has entered 15 different races to work towards his goal including what will be his first ever marathon in Manchester on 4th April and his third Great North Run in September. He has already raced some 200 miles and recently took part in a night time run round Dalby Forest using a head torch.

“Running through a forest in the dark was a very strange experience but somewhat interesting experience,” says Tom “It makes me really think what a person with no sight or tunnel vision must experience on a day to day basis. How do they manage? How do they get out and about and what skills do they need to learn to make sure they are not restricted by their sight condition?”

“It’s one of the reasons I raise funds for Sight Support. The charity receives no government funding and relies on donations to provide its services which support, encourage and help anyone with a visual impairment to achieve”.

Sight Support’s Fundraising Manager, Angela Gregory says: “We are so grateful for Tom’s continued hard work and support. He is such an inspirational role model for anyone with sight loss. We are always amazed and inspired by the lengths to which people will go to help us continue to provide our life enhancing support services.”

“We’d also like to thank the Halifax Bank who often kindly match Tom’s fundraising efforts through the company’s Matched Giving Scheme”.

The money raised money will Sight Support HEY to provide information and emotional support through its experienced staff, resource centre, booklets, support groups and information sessions and so it really will make a difference to the lives of many local people who are blind or partially sighted.

Anyone wishing to support Tom, can do so through his JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/challenge1000-sightsupporthey.