THE incoming chairman of a disability charity has hit the road to lead by example when it comes to fundraising.

Optometrist Gordon Ilett will officially become the chair of trustees at SeeAbility, which has a base in Heather Drive, Baughurst, this month.

To show his commitment to the charity which encourages people with disabilities to challenge what they expect from life, from themselves and from wider society, Mr Ilett has embarked on a 700 mile cycle ride across the south of England.

While Mr Ilett will use his journey to raise funds for SeeAbility’s vital work, he is also seeking to raise awareness of the fact that people with learning disabilities are 10 times more likely to have serious sight problems and that seeking the right support early, can make all the difference.

The incoming chair’s journey started on August 28, and along the way he will stop off at various SeeAbility sites.

Mr Ilett said: “As SeeAbility’s incoming chairman I was looking for a way to extend my relationship with the people we support.

“I had a light bulb moment and realised this could also be the perfect opportunity to raise vital funds for SeeAbility.

“So I decided I’d like to visit the majority of our homes located in southern England, by cycling to them.”

He added: “I’m really looking forward to meeting all of the staff and people that we support, as well as seeing the difference we make to people’s lives. I think that visiting these places is really important for my role as chairman.”

Heather House, in Baughurst, is run by the charity as a residential home for young people with a range of disabilities, including sight loss, and life-limiting degenerative conditions.

To support Mr Ilett on his fundraising challenge, go to