Blind Peterborough woman completes marathon trek across volcanic landscape in Iceland

Kawal and other trekkers
Kawal and other trekkers
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A blind woman from Peterborough has completed a trek of a lifetime across Iceland.

Kawal Gucukoglu took on the five-day challenge to help RNIB continue providing emotional and practical support to blind and partially sighted people.

Kawal on the trek

Kawal on the trek

She trekked across the wild, but beautiful landscape to raise vital funds for RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People).

During the trek, Kawal covered 37 kilometres and experienced mountain climbs, volcanic sulphur clouds, mossy lava fields, hot springs and gale force winds. She was part of a team of over 30 trekkers, of whom 11 are blind or partially sighted.

47-year-old Kawal has been blind since birth after being born premature. She has so far raised over £3,200 for RNIB, a charity that provides a range of services and support for blind and partially sighted people.

Speaking about her Iceland Trek experience, Kawal said: “Before the trek, I had never done this much walking before, neither had I been separated from my guide dog Ursa, who I’ve had for four years. It was really important that I did this, as RNIB is an amazing charity and the services they provide for people with sight loss are invaluable.

“The local guides who accompanied us on the trek were fantastic, and without them I could not have done the trek. All of them took something away from the few days we spent together, and considering they had never guided blind and partially sighted people before, they did a fantastic job.

“I would recommend RNIB’s Iceland Trek to anyone who wants to push themselves and take on a challenge, as well as raise money to support people living with sight loss.”

Following the success of the event, RNIB has launched a second Iceland Trek taking place from 21-25 September 2017. Trekkers will have a fundraising target of £2,650 and will be supported by RNIB’s dedicated fundraising team every step of the way. To find out more or to sign up, visit www.rnib.org.uk/icelandtrek.

To support Kawal’s fundraising efforts, please visit her online fundraising page at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/RNIBiceland.