Whitehead golf challenge raises £3,600 for RNIB

Four friends from Carrickfergus organised a 72-hole golf fundraiser in honour of sight loss charity the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

The event, which took place at Whitehead Golf Club last month, raised £3,595 for the worthy cause.

Event organiser Declan White’s family has had support from the charity’s Children, Young People and Families team since son Ollie (8) was diagnosed with a condition affecting his sight.

When first time parents Declan (30) and Hannah White (29) had their son, they knew they would face some additional challenges to the usual parenting journey.

Declan White, Danny Magill, Jonathan Crooks and Adam McGivern took on the challenge for RNIB.

Ollie has cerebral palsy, which affects his mobility, and shortly before his first birthday, was diagnosed with Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI).

Cerebral visual impairment (CVI) is the most common cause of visual impairment in children in the developed world, yet often goes unrecognised or is little understood.

Declan said: “We had noticed a wee turn in Ollie’s eye, so brought him to the doctors to get checked out. It was then that the doctors discovered he had CVI and told us more about it.

“Ollie’s been wearing glasses since shortly after his first birthday. He would need large print when reading but he can get around our house fine, even run round most days!

Declan, Hannah and Ollie.

“But anywhere unfamiliar he’d take a lot more time and care in case he’d trip. He goes to Roddensvale now and absolutely loves it. We have to be careful when it’s time for the school bus to come in the mornings or he’d be out and away before we realised. He’s a geg!

“He’s on the go from the minute he wakes up until he goes to bed. Nothing seems to bother him, he’s a wee gem.

“We’ve been in touch with RNIB since Ollie was really young. We’ve been on lots of family trips, weekends, and Ollie has had music therapy for a number of years. You find out about all the support that’s out there and things you just wouldn’t know otherwise.

“The best thing is definitely the support network it gives you. We’ve met lots of other families we’d now call friends.

“If you don’t have anyone with vision issues in the family, you don’t have much out there to go on or other people who have experience to seek support from. But now we can reach out for advice and support when we need, and people can reach out to us, ask our opinion on things or how we’ve handled something. It’s been a real godsend at times.”

He added: “That’s why, when me and a few friends who play golf most weekends were thinking of a charity to nominate for some fundraising, I suggested RNIB and everyone was on board. They all love Ollie and the places we work at were helping raise money too with the likes of a wee competition to see how many steps the challenge would take us.

2Turns out it was 57,833! 27.5 miles we walked that day all in. We hit the first shot at 4.34am and it was 7.45pm before I sat down for the day. I wasn’t fit for much the next day!

“We’d like to thank everyone who donated, and encouraged us through the day. Raising £3,595 all in is just amazing and going to a charity that’s helped us so much. The staff are just great, we know we’ve always got someone to turn to.”

RNIB Regional Fundraising Manager Hazel Stirling added: “We’re so thankful to families and friends who choose to support our services. We’re so glad to be able to have been of some help to Declan, Hannah and Ollie and introduce them to other families on this journey.

“Every day 250 people begin to lose their sight in the UK. If you’d like to design your own challenge and make sure support is there when families need it, you can visit rnib.org.uk/TakeOn250

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“If you have a question about living with sight loss, no matter how big or small, call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or email

“RNIB’s Sight Loss Advice Service can answer queries on a wide range of topics ranging from your or a child’s eye condition, living well with sight loss, benefits and concessions, education and much more. We’re here for you.”