Lauren spends a day seeing Manchester through Maia's eyes

Lauren Powter spent a day 'blind' in Manchester to raise awareness of the challenges visually impaired people like her 15 year old sister Maia face everyday, and raise money for CLIC Sargent and RNIB.

With the help of her boyfriend and friends, Lauren experienced a day "blind" in Manchester. (Photo's courtesy of Lee Avison Photography)

Lauren visited Manchester for the day seeing (or more accurately not seeing) the city ‘through Maia’s eyes’. Last year Lauren’s sister Maia, 15, was diagnosed with NF1 – a genetic illness that develops tumours on the nervous system - and is now registered blind. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy and has been supported by CLIC Sargent and RNIB.

To raise awareness of Maia’s condition and say thank you to both charities, Lauren decided to spend the day blind and experience some of the challenges faced by people like Maia. She wore blinding goggles from the moment she woke up until she went to bed that night, taking public transport from her hometown in West Yorkshire to get to Manchester and go around the city.

After completing the challenge, Lauren said: “OK, so, I have my sight back! Incredibly emotional experience.

"Three things that made me want to cry: 1, Trying to eat my breakfast; 2, Using public transport (trams especially); 3, Trying to have a coffee with friends that I couldn't see.

"Taking my glasses off made me bawl for about 15 minutes!

"Things that I loved: 1, The appreciation of people around me; 2, Touching and hugging friends; 3, Understanding how difficult small things can be for the visually impaired.

"So far, the general public (and my lovely friends) have donated £1,497.34, which is huge. I could cry again! Thank you so much, you lovely people!”

Noemie Salvaudon, Fundraising Manager at CLIC Sargent, said: “People like Maia are inspirational, and so are people like Lauren. We’d like to thank her for all her support and efforts. The funds she has raised so far could help people like Maia by providing CLIC Sargent support grants to help families with the extra costs a cancer diagnosis can bring.”

Donations are still welcome and you can sponsor Lauren on her Virgin Money Giving Page. Donations will be split equally between CLIC Sargent and RNIB.

If you live in Yorkshire & Humber and you’ve been inspired by this story to support CLIC Sargent, please contact your local Fundraising Manager, Noemie Salvaudon at noemie.salvaudon@clicsargent.org.uk or on 0113 288 3223.

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