Team gear up for tandem cycle ride at charity event for North East Sensory Services (NESS)

A fundraising assistant who lost his sight in 2010 is gearing up to pedal 25 miles over hilly terrain this weekend in a bid to help raise awareness of a charity that supports people throughout the North-east with visual impairment or deafness.

Bruce Cruickshank, 32, of Keith, who is the trainee fundraising assistant for North East Sensory Services (NESS) based in Elizabeth House in Elgin, will take part in the 15th Glen Moray Sportive & Bike Ride on Sunday 21 June 2015 on a tandem bike with volunteer for the service, Sandy Comfort.

The popular cycling event, in collaboration with the Moray Council, will raise funds to help NESS over 4500 people throughout the North-east with severe visual and/or hearing impairment or deafness.

2014 was a record breaking year for the event with it raising its highest ever total to date, £6,673 for NESS.

The bike challenge will see participants tackle either 10 mile, 25 mile or 75 mile cycle routes, all beginning from sponsor of the event, Glen Moray Distillery, and costs from £5 to £20 (dependent on the distance) for individuals to take part, with all proceeds going straight to NESS.

NESS provides social work and rehabilitation services; a young people’s sensory service; Connect, Inform and Support (CIS) for people aged 65 and over; an assistive technology service; an employment service, interpretation services, transcription services and clubs and groups for users in the area. There is also an in-house technology room and audio library located in Elizabeth House, Elgin.

Bruce, who was a former digger driver, came to the charity NESS as a service user after he lost his sight due to having Type 1 diabetes in 2010.

He said: “I’ve been swimming and taking part in spinning cycling classes to help get me fit for the event, so I am quite confident we will be able to do it. It should be a great day, we’re just keeping our fingers crossed for the weather.”

Sandy, 63, added: “I’m really looking forward to the day itself, it should be great fun. I’m already a keen cycler, but I’m confident Bruce and I will manage the challenge no problem.”

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