Parkrun's Visually Impaired scheme is based on the original parkrun concept. Parkrun is a free 5-km run held in local parks across the country. The parkrun VI project provides support for those with a visual impairment. Parkrun are passionate about increasing the amount of active visually impaired runners in the UK.
Whilst there are around 1.49 million visually impaired people in the UK, less than 10% of them are regularly active. National Lottery funding has helped parkrun to host taster days to introduce new visually impaired runners to the parkrun family. So far, over 150 people with a visual impairment have started running, walking or volunteering at events.
It's not just about the runners. Parkrun's VI scheme also focuses on encouraging more people to become volunteers to act as guides for visually impaired runners.
For Terry, a visually impaired runner found parkrun’s VI scheme was a great way of getting back into the sport of running:
"Before my health problems I was a very experienced runner, but had given up on ever being able to run again. I was invited to parkrun by friends to walk around the course. Upon completion, the organisers asked if I would like to come again and asked for volunteers to walk/jog with me.
"I knew that my local parkrun only existed because of volunteers turning up to ensure runners like myself were safe, so volunteered in the hope that I could help others as they helped me."