Group Photo

Matt Lawley

Norwich man Matt Lawley is starting his volunteering career by putting his best foot forward – stepping out to guide a blind walker on a 50km challenge to raise money for the county’s sight loss charity.

Matt Lawley decided to become a volunteer for Vision Norfolk, and his first assignment will be to help Ed Bates from the charity undertake the marathon walk in June, as part of an eight-strong team taking part in the 2021 Broads Walk Challenge event.

The pair will be walking from Aylsham to Acle via North Walsham, Stalham, Hickling and Potter Heigham, negotiating riverside paths, marshes and reedbeds on the way.

Mr Lawley decided to take the plunge and become a volunteer for the charity having been inspired by an incident in his university days.

“When I was a student, I was watching a football match in a pub when I became aware of a chap in a Man Utd shirt who had his back to the screen, but who was engaged with the match and enjoying it as much as everybody else. I realised that he was blind, and that his sight loss wasn’t stopping him from living his life to the full.

“Since then I have always followed blind football and visually-impaired athletes at the Paralympics, so I thought I should take the step and become a volunteer to support Vision Norfolk, which does so much to help visually-impaired people lead independent and fulfilled lives in the county.”

As an active sportsman who enjoys playing football, cricket and golf, Mr Lawley is hoping to put his interests to good use by helping visually-impaired people in Norfolk stay active and take part in sports.