The Martine Brooks Charity Challenge 2008

The TRL Challenge

 

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Introduction
Martine's Day
Steve's Day
GDBA

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About Martine

About Verity

About Steve

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Introduction

On the 4th October 2008, both Martine and Steve undertook a blind drive challenge at the Transport Research Laboratory at Crowthorn, which can be seen from the air here at google..

for Steve, this was a new experience, driving with a blindfold, and for Martine, driving with a driving instructor (navigator) who had never done anything like this before brought different challenges.

In total, £1200 was raised for the Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Steve's Day

This was such an interesting experience for me - I have, of course, seen this sort of thing from the passenger seat, but had not appreciated what it was like from the driving seat.

I wore a blindfold around the 7.5 km circuit (3 laps), and was instructed by Stuart, a local driving instructor. He had never done anything like this before, so he and I had to do in just 10 minutes what Martine and I took a year to achieve - work out a communication system.

Stuart started off telling me that in 50m, there was a left turn. Without any understanding of how fast I was going, 50m meant absolutely nothing to me, in fact, I asked several times along the stretch "are we there yet?". When we arrived, I did what I though was a good 90 degree left turn, feeding the wheel to full lock for the 3mph I believed I was doing. In fact, I was doing 15mph, and the turn was a rolling left bend which only required a 10 degree input to the wheel. I hit yet another kerb.

As the drive progressed, I got a better feeling for how much I should turn, and Stuart appreciated that I couldn't judge distances, so I started getting the turns down pat.

Anyway, please have a look at the video and judge for yourself.

Steve.

Martine's Day

On 4th October 2008, 53 blind, partially sighted and fully sighted people with blind fold, drove round a circuit at the Transport Research Laboratory at Crowthorne, Berkshire in order to raise funds for the Guide Dogs Association.

For me, It was brilliant being behind the wheel of a car again. I thought I might have trouble remembering how to drive after a two year break but it was not the case. It did not take long to agree with Jeff, one of the instructors of the event, on a strategy to communicate and As soon as I fastened the seat belt and got hold of the gear stick, it all came flooding back. I even did a hill start and overtook another car (which I had never done before). The 2.5 km circuit had different degree bends, a U turn, pedestrian crossings and traffic cones scattered about. My two laps round it went like a flash.

Martine.

The GDBA

At any one time the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association supports about 5,000 guide dogs in the UK.

Every year they breed over 1,000 guide dog puppies, some of which go on to become brood bitches and stud dogs.

It costs the Association around 10 per day (raised through voluntary donations) to breed, train and care for each guide dog.

The working life of a guide dog is about seven years and many guide dog owners have several dogs during their lifetime.

 

 

About Martine

Martine has been a guide dog owner for 27 years and in the last year, has started working with her new guide dog, Verity - a flat coat retriever.

About Verity

Verity is a two year old flat coat retriever.  She has been with Martine for the last 9 months. She enjoys her work, gets on well with the kids at the school where Martine works, and enjoys playing with her "b-a-l-l".

Picture of Verity - Click to see where !! Picture of Verity in the Sea

About Steve

Steve previously taught Martine to drive, and is keen to see a car from a very different perspective.

Special Thanks To

  • Barclays Bank plc, Eastern Region

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