Meet Lisa

Running as a VIP

Lisa Hendy is a keen runner and Berkshire Vision member who recently completed her 100th parkrun.

She shares her story to show others that sport can be accessible to everyone.

Lisa was born with Ushers Syndrome a rare, genetic condition. She first noticed the symptoms around the age of 16 and was initially diagnosed as having Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). It wasn’t until around 2014 that she was diagnosed with Ushers Syndrome. Lisa has tunnel vision and wears hearing aids. She also has a Guide Dog.

It was about eight years ago that Lisa started to run, she had always been keen on sport and athletics and wanted to give it a try. She was unsure how to go about it as a visually impaired person (VIP) and initially went out on her own, but found this to be a bit of a struggle. She felt that her sight loss was a proving to be a barrier to her running.

Then she found out about the Berkshire Vision running club and went along to the sessions at Palmer Park running track. It was at these sessions that she learnt how to run with a guide and her running came on leaps and bounds. Coming to the running club and getting the support she needed to learn to run as a VIP changed everything for Lisa, she says that without Berkshire Vision she would not have been able to run.

Since Lisa joined the Berkshire Vision running club, she has completed two half marathons and a triathlon and plans to run the Reading Half Marathon in April. This is something Lisa is particularly excited about; she is a Reading FC fan and is looking forward to crossing the finishing line in the stadium.


Around three years ago Lisa started to go to parkrun, she had been keen for a while but there was not one that she could easily get to. When parkrun started at Prospect Park she decided to give it a go.

Parkruns are free, weekly, community events all around the world. Saturday morning events are 5k and take place in parks and open spaces. Parkrun is a positive, welcoming and inclusive experience where there is no time limit and no one finishes last.

She contacted parkrun first to see if they would be able to provide her with a guide and they were incredibly helpful. She has four different guides that she runs with and even though it was delayed due to Covid, she has just completed her 100th parkrun.

Lisa encourages everybody to give running or sport a try.

“Barriers are made to be broken, there’s always a way through it”

Lisa Hendy

If you would like to find out more about the sporting activities that Berkshire Vision offer please get in touch with us on 0118 987 2803.

Ushers Syndrome is the most common genetic cause of combined deafness and blindness. Usher syndrome (USH) is a rare inherited condition - passing from parents to children - that impacts three major senses in the body: vision, hearing and balance. There are three clinical types of Usher syndrome: Type 1 usually causes profound deafness at birth, vestibular (balance) dysfunction and progressive vision loss; Type 2 usually causes moderate to severe hearing loss at birth and progressive vision loss; Type 3 usually causes later onset progressive hearing loss and progressive vision loss.

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