A MUSIC teacher from Herefordshire, who is living with sight loss, has been raising awareness of the challenges people with similar conditions are facing, such as following social distancing guidance when they can’t see.

James Wall, from Bishops Frome near Bromyard, raised £1,000 for Guide Dogs as he took part in the charity’s Walk Your Socks Off challenge earlier this month.

The challenge asks participants to set a personal step target in a chosen week in May, which they can achieve at home or under current government guidelines, and raise funds through sponsorship.

Mr Wall, who is a music teacher at Lucton School near Leominster, chose to support the challenge, as he suffers from a sight condition called Keratoconus, which affects the cornea.

He said: “I’m a big fan of dogs, but I’m also struggling with my own eyesight so wanted to do something to help those in a similar position.”

Mr Wall, 30, had a cornea transplant in his right eye and hopes that his sight will be drastically improved once he has also had a transplant in his left eye and can start wearing contact lenses again.

He added: “It’s bad enough for me, but if you’re permanently in a worse state than I am, it must be really difficult.

“I can relate to the challenges people with sight loss are facing at this time, such as following social distancing guidance when you can’t see.

“I am so grateful to the ophthalmology team at Worcester Hospital and at BBR in Hereford, for their excellent care; they have really gone above and beyond during this difficult lockdown time.”

He managed to meet his target of 150,000 steps by using his exercise bike at home and going for a walk once a day in the lanes around the village with his wife.

The money will help charity continue its work, and a spokesperson said it costs £57,000 to train and support a guide dog partnership throughout the life of the dog.