Blind woman will abseil County Ground to help guide dogs charity

This Is Wiltshire: Dianna Mansfield Dianna Mansfield

PEOPLE will be throwing themselves off the top of the County Ground this weekend, not because of Swindon’s defeat to Colchester, but to raise money for a good cause.

Around 20 people have signed up to take part in a abseil on Sunday where they will climb to the top of the Don Rogers stand to complete a heart-stopping 83ft abseil in aid of the Guide Dogs charity.

The event is part of the Walk My Way Week, which is an awareness week aimed to highlight the challenges of blind and partially sighted people.

Walk My Way Week will start on Saturday, with a collection at the Brunel Centre before people take the plunge at the County Ground.

Blind woman Dianna Mansfield will be taking the drop for the second time after she took part in the event last year.

Dianna, from Cricklade, has always had bad sight and started losing it nearly 40 years ago, and despite several operations she is completely blind in one eye. She said that taking part in the abseil was an exhilarating experience last year and she got the chance to go down twice.

She said: “I am looking forward to it, I did it last year and it was brilliant.

“Because I am blind I think it was more of a challenge trying to manoeuvre my way down, but when I got to the bottom I was asked if I wanted to do it again and I said yes.

“Last year I raised £235 for the charity and so far I have got about £100.”

Dianna, who has a guide dog Katie, and a retired guide dog Venice, said that having a dog changed her life. She wants as many people to support the charity during the week.

“It is important to support the charity, before I had a dog I had a long white cane and I really was afraid to go out on my own because people were walking into me and I couldn’t find doors,” she said. “I was a prisoner in my own home.

“Since getting the dog it has changed my life and I am happy to go out in Swindon, go on the bus and see friends.

“I hope as many people as possible will support the charity because it does not get any government funding.”

There is a registration fee of £20 plus minimum sponsorship of £100. For more information contact rach-tom@hotmail.co.uk or call 01793 828126.

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