Blind – but he’s getting on with life

Presenting of the first John Benson Award to Christopher Scrivener who lost sight aged 15'Pictured at Halifax Society for the Blind, Clare Road, Halifax, are Jim McAndrew - trustee, Peter Benson - trustee and son of John Benson, Christopher Scrivener and office manager Eileen Holmes
Presenting of the first John Benson Award to Christopher Scrivener who lost sight aged 15'Pictured at Halifax Society for the Blind, Clare Road, Halifax, are Jim McAndrew - trustee, Peter Benson - trustee and son of John Benson, Christopher Scrivener and office manager Eileen Holmes

A YOUNG Rastrick man who is getting on with life despite being blind has had his determination recognised by becoming the first winner of the John Benson Award.

Christopher Scrivener, 21, of Woodhouse Lane, started losing his sight at the age of 14 due to a genetic condition. He is registered blind but that hasn’t stopped him with his ambition of teaching physical education.

Last year he undertook a charity tandem bike ride from Huddersfield to Brighton.

The Halifax Society for the Blind award is in memory of John Benson, a trustee of the society, who died last year. It honours the achievements of blind or partially sighted young individuals.

Christopher, who has the condition leber optic atrophy which affects mainly young males, intends to spend the £500 award on training courses.

He said adapting to blindness had brought its difficulties including disrupting his GCSE studies. But he pursued his interests and attended college courses. He is studying for a foundation degree in health related exercise and fitness at Bradford College. It includes work experience at Huddersfield Sports College and he hopes it will lead to a full-time job.

“If you are good at communicating you do not need to see - people will give you the answers,” he said. “Being blind is frustrating at times but you have to find your own way through.”

His parents Richard and Sarah are obviously proud of his achievements.

Richard said: “He is doing what he always wanted to do. He is very single-minded which you have to be to get over the barriers that are there.”