Blind hiker set to take first steps on fundraising journey
A blind hiker from Heckmondwike will take the first steps on what he hopes will be a long career raising funds for good causes.
On Saturday, July 3, Khalid Hussain, 59, and his sighted assistant, Tariq, will be joining more than 500 fellow fundraisers from Macmillan Cancer Support on a hike across the Yorkshire Dales.
Khalid, a retired social worker, has had no vision at all since he was seven years old and has never walked more than a couple of miles before.
Khalid said he was inspired to begin fundraising by fellow Yorkshireman Captain Sir Tom Moore
“I’ve been wanting to begin fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support for a while but kept saying to myself, ‘OK, after lockdown finishes, after Covid’.
"But then I heard about Captain Tom Moore and I thought if Captain Tom can do this now, why am I sitting around waiting for Covid to end?
“It’s not the easiest first event, hiking along bumpy, muddy footpaths, but I’m determined to get to the finish line and I’m excited about beginning this new chapter in my life.
“For many years I worked as a social worker with Kirklees Council, assessing people for services when they became ill with cancer.
"Time and time again we turned to Macmillan for help and they never let us down. Great advice, vital services, I’m a huge fan of Macmillan and thrilled to have the opportunity to help them.”
Khalid grew up in Batley. He worked in social care with Kirklees Council for 25 years, working with young offenders, children with disabilities and adults needing community care services.
Now retired, he wants to help some of the good causes he encountered during his long career.
In the next few weeks he will be trying out some shorter walks to build fitness and experience and will be going out to buy his first pair of hiking boots.
Although he will be walking with a sighted assistant, Khalid expects to finish somewhere in the middle of the group of hikers on the day.
“I do naturally have quite a brisk walking pace, so I’m aiming to stay with the main group of hikers for most of the hike.
“I know it’s not a race but I have no intention of finishing last!” he said.
Khalid has launched a JustGiving page and has set himself a target of £1,000 for this walk.
To donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/khalidhussain