A HEREFORD man has been named a Guinness World Record holder after taking on a blind-folded challenge in aid of an eye research charity.

Ashley Winter, who has the rare eye disease keratoconus, took on the challenge to set the record for the fastest male blind-folded mile in February to raise money for Fight for Sight, crossing the finishing line in 10 minutes 11 seconds.

Hereford Times:

After months of waiting for Guinness World Records to confirm the evidence, the 37-year-old, who is a welfare officer for the Defence Medical Welfare Service and served for 14 years, received his official certificate last week.

The money raised will fund vital eye research that could lead to the next breakthrough for sight loss conditions.

Ashley was diagnosed with keratoconus in 2010 but he is determined not to let his sight impairment get in the way of his passion for adventure and regularly takes part in challenge events to test his endurance levels and physical strength in the face of his condition.

His eye condition means that the normally round dome-shaped clear window of the eye (cornea) progressively thins, causing a cone-like bulge to develop. This results in poor vision, and currently there is no cure.

Ashley said: “I’m delighted that my Guinness World Record attempt had been approved. I want to prove to myself and to others with an eye condition what can be done if you put your mind to it.

"By raising money for Fight for Sight I hope to help find the next breakthrough in treating sight loss conditions like keratoconus.”

Director of Fundraising at Fight for Sight Ikram Dahman said: “A huge congratulations and well done to Ashley for his achievement of setting a Guiness World Record. Ashley is a fantastic ambassador for Fight for Sight and we are very grateful for all his work in fundraising and raising awareness for the charity.

"Eye research was already a hugely underfunded area and this has only been made worse during the Covid-19 pandemic, which is why the support of people like Ashley is more important than ever. We know that researchers are on the cusp of breakthroughs and we can’t let Covid-19 affect out long-term mission – to create a world everyone can see.”

Ashley is now listed on Guiness World Record’s website as the record holder for the fastest mile blindfolded (male).

To find out more about keratoconus or to donate to pioneering eye research, visit Fight for Sight’s website at www.fightforsight.org.uk/