Friend hon­oured by award-win­ning boss

Char­ity chair­man given top award after marathon moun­tain chal­lenge

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - NEWS - By Stephen Briggs [email protected]­ter­bor­oughto­ Twit­ter: @PTstephenB

The head of a Peter­bor­ough based char­ity who climbed the high­est moun­tains this year has picked up a top gong at a na­tional awards cer­e­mony.

Bob Nolan, chair­man of Deaf­blind UK, which is based in Hamp­ton, won the Un­sung Hero prize at the 2018 Deaf Sports Per­son­al­ity of the Year awards.

Bob, who him­self is Deaf­blind, hav­ing been born deaf and has now lost 97 per cent of his vi­sion as a re­sult of Usher’s Syn­drome, was ap­pointed Chair of the char­ity ear­lier this year.

This year he took on an in­cred­i­ble chal­lenge - and is al­ready plan­ning his next big ad­ven­ture.

Dur­ing Deaf­blind Aware­ness Week 2018, the theme of which was ‘Be­cause life is still an ad­ven­ture’ Bob be­came the first Deaf­blind in­di­vid­ual to com­plete the Three Peaks Chal­lenge, climb­ing Ben Ne­vis, Scafell Pike, and Snow­don, whilst also cy­cling the 483 miles be­tween peaks on a tan­dem bi­cy­cle.

Bob said “It was spe­cial to be recog­nised by Deaf Sports for be­ing the first Deaf­blind per­son to com­plete the Three Peaks Chal­lenge.

“They also recog­nised my small part in en­cour­ag­ing and sup­port­ing Deaf­blind peo­ple all over the UK these past 20 years. As the first Deaf­blind re­cip­i­ent of a DSPY award I do hope many more will now fol­low.”

“The key peo­ple I’d like to thank are my wife Louise, who her­self is se­verely deaf and has com­pleted all my tan­dem chal­lenges with me and sup­ports me in ev­ery­thing I do. Also Drena and Hammy O’Mal­ley from Deaf­blind Scot­land who en­cour­aged and sup­ported me through­out.”

Bob paid spe­cial tribute to one of his clos­est friends, who in­spired him on his in­cred­i­ble chal­lenge.

He said: “How­ever I’d also like to ded­i­cate my award to one of my clos­est friends, Richard Cole. Richard was also Deaf­blind (with Usher type II) and con­tracted Mo­tor Neu­rone dis­ease in 2005.

“In his later years he was an en­thu­si­as­tic blind archer and re­tained a pos­i­tive out­look and ter­rific sense of hu­mour even through the dread­ful fi­nal stages of his MND.

“Richard and his wife Jane crossed the coun­try to be part of our first Lands End-John O’Groats Tan­dem Chal­lenge in 2008, de­spite only hav­ing weeks to live.

“I know he’s out there some­where en­cour­ag­ing me, and no doubt tak­ing the mickey too, and would have loved to be at the DSPY Awards cel­e­bra­tion.”

He added: “I hope my achieve­ments will in­spire Deaf­blind peo­ple, and oth­ers, that no mat­ter what chal­lenges we face in life if you want to do some­thing badly enough, with the help of oth­ers you can find a way.”

Bob Nolan with his award

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