Rebecca Archbold and Tom Oates
Rebecca Archbold and Tom Oates

Tom triumphs in double challenge

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A severely visually-impaired student from Henshaws Specialist College in Harrogate who set himself a double challenge has succeeded on both fronts.

Tom Oates, 19, of Bishop Monkton, has a number of disabilities due to Bardet Biedl Syndrome, a genetic disorder which can affect sight as well as presenting other physical difficulties such as kidney problems and obesity.

He set himself the challenge of completing the Melmerby 10k on Sunday 29 May both to beat his personal best time and to raise funds for a MOTOmed movement trainer for the College’s gym to help other students improve their mobility.

Tom, who is almost blind, completed the race in 1hr 28m, a new personal best, and has raised almost £2,000 towards the movement trainer. He was accompanied on the run by his best friend, Rebecca Archbold.

Tom attends Henshaws Specialist College two days a week, empowering him to adopt and embed proven strategies around sight loss to prepare him with a set of transferable skills for life as an adult, potentially living independently and securing employment.

Henshaws Principal Angela North said:

We are hugely proud of Tom’s achievement. He always wants to help other people and is an inspiration to everyone in College.


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