A Wigan woman with cerebral palsy from Wigan has seen her dreams of driving a racing car become reality.
Self-confessed adrenaline junkie Hannah Shelmerdine, who is also visually impaired, was able to get behind the wheel for the first time thanks to Speed of Sight - a cause set up by multiple blind land speed record breaker, Mike Newman with the help of his friend John Galloway to provide motorsport experiences for people with disabilities.
The charity has joined forces with The Perfect Getaway - a travel company whose work organising tailor-made breaks is pumping much-needed funds into the organisation.
Husband and wife team, Trevor and Caroline Vanzie’s creation of a spin-off website for Speed of Sight offers competitively-priced holidays with a personal touch, meaning they can cater for all needs and take the worry out of travelling by planning every element of a holiday.
Hannah has now hit the racing circuit five times and said taking part in track days gives her the opportunity to explore what she can do.
The Golborne 31-year-old, who goes sailing every week and has also tried rock climbing, abseiling, zip wiring and canoeing, said: “My two younger sisters both own cars and I always felt a bit left out because I’m a full time wheelchair user.
“My carers are always trying to get me to experience different things, so for my 30th birthday, they organised for me to have a track day with Speed of Sight and I haven’t looked back since.
“The first time I got behind the wheel was scary but after I’d done it once, there was no stopping me. I’ve never come across a charity like it before and even though my needs are complex, they were able to accommodate me and suddenly, so many barriers were broken down for the first time in my life.
“I’m now a bit of an adrenaline junkie and have done track days about five times, I’ve even done the off-road experience. I don’t tend to have any lunch before I go because it is so fast and the whole experience is so thrilling. It just shows that anything is possible and it’s great for a charity to offer such an opportunity for people, no matter what their disability
“It’s fantastic how The Perfect Getaway is supporting Speed of Sight through the new website. Every donation makes a big difference and as a volunteer and a user of the charity, I know how much it means to people with disabilities to have their dreams turned into reality so I can’t thank The Perfect Getaway enough.”
Hannah has raced at several venues now, including the Three Sisters at Bryn and a track in Manchester where she is pictured here.
John Galloway who co-founded Speed of Sight, said: “Our aim is to be inclusive and accessible for our supporters, no matter what their ability.”