Blind presenter Amar Latif conquers Dorset cliffs for charity

BLIND television presenter Amar Latif OBE has completed a charity abseiling and rock climbing challenge near Swanage.

“The Blind Adventurer”, who has appeared on numerous travel documentaries, BBC’s Celebrity Masterchef and as a regular guest presenter on The One Show, aimed to show that adventure can be accessible to all and to raise money for the Dorset Blind Association.

He had planned to do a coasteering challenge with Swanage-based adventure company Land & Wave, but that idea had to be dropped because of conditions on the coast.

Instead, he abseiled down the sea cliffs at Dancing Ledge after a steep, undulating 40-minute hike, then completed his first ever outdoor rock climb on the limestone cliffs, using sound and touch to feel his way up the route, with the help of instructions from the support team.

Amar was joined by outdoor instructor, Verity Church, from Land & Wave, who wore black-out goggles during the challenge to gain an insight into what it is like to experience adventure as a blind person.

Verity also had a sighted guide to assist them and remained blindfolded for over four hours for the hike, climb and abseil.

Verity said: “It was a surreal experience that left me feeling more in tune with the landscape.

“Amar and I exchanged our experiences all afternoon, bridging the gap between sighted and non-sighted.”

Amar was accompanied by sighted guide, Sophia Reed, from insurance company Activities Industry Mutual.

She said: “What a brilliant day seeing one of our members in action and having the chance to guide Amar through their exciting activities!

“Loved it – and so pleased to have been a part of it all.”

Alex Mortimer, Land & Wave company director, said: “Amar was a keynote speaker at a recent event our insurers, AIM, hosted.

“He was so inspirational and fearless, I just had to ask him to join us for an adventure in Dorset.

“It’s been fascinating to learn how we can do better as an industry at making adventure accessible for all.”

The challenge has raised more than £600 so far for Dorset Blind Association and helped highlight the challenges faced by those living with visual impairments.

Sam Baker, community relations officer for the association, who joined the challenge, said: “Being involved in this incredible climbing challenge has been an unforgettable experience for all of us at Dorset Blind Association.

“Verity’s bravery and can-do attitude were truly inspirational, and Amar’s positive approach to life was infectious and motivating for everyone involved.

“We are immensely grateful to the entire Land & Wave team for their fantastic guidance and support throughout the event.

“This event has highlighted the power of adventure and teamwork in raising awareness and support.”

To make a donation to the association, visit https://www.[1]wave.

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