Tealby schoolboy ‘goes blind’ in amazing fundraising bid

Brennan and Alfie EMN-160226-173937001
Brennan and Alfie EMN-160226-173937001
  • ‘I’ll wear blindfold for school to experience what some people have to live with’

An incredible 11-year-old boy has experienced life as a blind person for an entire school day because he wanted to raise money for guide dogs.

Brennan Matthews, from Tealby, has raised an impressive £253 for Guide Dogs for the Blind after sacrificing his own vision by wearing a blindfold from 9am until 3pm.

Brennan, who is a pupil at Tealby School, took on the challenge on Wednesday (February 24) - and despite it being a lot more difficult than he had anticipated, he did not give up.

His mum, Deborah, said: “We’re really proud of him.

“It’s lovely because it all came from him.

“He’s very kind hearted, always thinking of others.

“It opened everyone’s eyes as to how you’ve got to adapt.”

In a touching letter to parents, Brennan explained how he wanted to raise money for this charity because it did not get any government funding.

He said: “Guide Dogs is an amazing cause and helps thousands of people find happiness.

“For Guide Dogs, I am willing to wear a blindfold for six hours during the school day to experience what some people have to live with.

“Please could you help this worthy cause.

“What you give could change lives.”

Brennan told parents it costs £40,000 to £50,000 to train a guide dog puppy.

And he said: “Guide dogs help guide blind people, giving them independence and sometimes a reason to live.

“Guide dogs also help disabled people who can’t walk or don’t have legs. They help them do everyday jobs such as open the washing machine, picking up laundry and helping them shop.”

During the day, Brennan’s friends Alfie and Charlie helped him with his tasks.

And on a trip out to the village church to look at Medieval architecture, friends described to Brennan what they could see so he did not miss out.

Classmates even did a big countdown for him as the clock approached 3pm and his challenge came to an end.

Speaking during the challenge, Brennan said: “The whole thing is a lot more difficult than I thought, but I have had a lot of encouragement from my friends.

“Hardest things are stairs and going to the toilet.

“Thank you to everyone for their support and their help.”

He added: “Alfie has been a really good guide.

“At first I was a bit worried, but my trust has got better now - it’s all about trust.

“At first I found it hard to configure voices, but I have got better at that as the day has gone on.”

Mum Deborah said: “His whole demeanor changed.

“I think he did feel quite isolated at one point.

“He’s earned a lot of respect as a role model in year six.

“They did a countdown in the classroom when he took it off.

“Afterwards he said his vision was going forwards and backwards.

“His eyes were really red and he was quite dizzy - that was a surprise.”

Deborah thanked Brennan’s friends for their help and his class teacher Mrs Humberstone for allowing the challenge to go ahead.