Local blind man takes on rowing challenge for Martlets

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Local blind resident, Keith Turner, 52, has taken on the massive challenge of rowing a marathon in his living room to raise money for Martlets

Speaking candidly, Keith, who lives in East Brighton, shared that this is not a challenge he’s excited about, but he’s doing it for an important cause:

“I cannot say that I am looking forward to rowing 26.2 miles (42 Km) which will take me between three and four hours. In fact it sounds pretty daunting, but I have been training for the challenge for some time now. I would like to do it in order to raise funds for the Martlets Hospice.”

The hospice care charity has been struggling in recent months with fundraising events cancelled and stores closed due to Covid-19. Even now, not all of the Martlets shops, which are an important source of income for the organisation, have reopened.

Before coronavirus, Keith was a volunteer masseuse for the carers and patients at Martlets. He visited on coffee mornings with his dog, Eva, and had been doing so for more than five years. Martlets staff say that he was a great help in providing comfort and relaxation, and that Eva holds a special place in everyone’s hearts too.

Keith speaks highly of Martlets, the staff, and the work they do:

“The Martlets is a wonderful place full of loving, caring people who feel it is a real privilege to support as much as possible its patients and their family and friends.”

The charity has continued virtually with some forms of therapy and well-being support, including sound baths and seated yoga, but unfortunately there is no way to facilitate a virtual massage.

Keith was determined to find a new way to help Martlets’ carers and patients, as well as a safe way for him to exercise in the age of Covid-19. Due to social distancing rules, he cannot have a guide runner with him, so his usual form of exercise is no longer viable. He explains that social distancing is very difficult as a blind person, so gyms are not an option either.

All hope was not lost, though, as Keith has been able to borrow a rowing machine from friends and even found a way to raise money with it. He will be rowing a marathon in his living room, and the money raised from doing so will be put directly towards helping Martlets.

Keith says fundraising during the pandemic will continue to be a difficult task for the organisation:

“During the Covid-19 Pandemic and the need to adhere to social distancing, raising funds have proved very difficult and I think this will be the case for the foreseeable future and so, if you can, please make a donation here so that the Martlets can continue its vital work.”

If you would like to support Keith in his fundraising challenge for Martlets, click here to visit his JustGiving page. All donations will help Martlets continue their important work during these difficult and uncertain times.

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