Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE is set to take on his latest adventure after becoming ambassador for Seeing is Believing (SiB), a global initiative that tackles avoidable blindness. Sir Ranulph’s first engagement for SiB was at this morning’s launch for The Standard Chartered Great City Race.
The run race takes place on Thursday 14 July in London and is aiming to raise enough funds to help save 6,500 people’s eyesight in developing countries around the world.
Seeing is Believing is a collaborative partnership between Standard Chartered Bank and the International Association for the Prevention of Blindness, and will once again be the official beneficiary of the 5K corporate team running challenge, which has seen 6,500 city workers in London, from over 350 top city firms, sign up to take part in record time.
£5 from every runners’ entry fee is being donated to Seeing is Believing, and teams are also being encouraged to help raise funds for SiB – with the bank pledging to match all donations pound for pound.
With 90% of people with avoidable blindness living in low income countries, all donations can have a major impact – just £20 is enough to provide a sight-saving cataract operation.
Speaking at today’s launch Sir Ranulph said, “The statistics around preventable blindness are quite shocking. Of the 285 million people living with blindness in the world, 90% of cases could have been prevented. Tragically one child goes blind every minute and 60% of these will go on to die within a year.
“If a father goes blind then it’s not just him who suffers, if he loses his job then the whole family will suffer. The heartening thing though is that small measures can have a really significant impact and the funds raised through this year’s race will help thousands of people. The race is a small distance but makes a really big difference.”
Joining Sir Ranulph at the launch of the race was British Visually Impaired and Paralympic running legend Noel Thatcher MBE who has won 5 Paralympic gold medals. Pictures and video content of Sir Ranulph with Noel, along with advice on how you can support Seeing is Believing can be found on the race’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/standardcharteredgreatcityrace.
Also taking part in today’s launch was Standard Charterd CEO Europe Richard Holmes who said, “We’re very proud of the work we do with Seeing is Believing and since we launched the initiative in 2003 we have helped raise over US$32 million and impacted more than 23 million people.
“However there is still a long way to go and we hope that everyone who is taking part in the race can use their participation to help raise awareness and funds for the cause.”