UK TV personality Lorraine Kelly has become a Sightsavers International Ambassador, after she experienced the charity’s work preventing blindness and restoring sight in the deserts of Northern Kenya.

Lorraine first supported Sightsavers, which works in more than 30 developing countries, through its World Sight Day campaign in 2010. In February 2011 she took part in the 100km BT Red Nose Desert Trek across Northern Kenya, witnessing Sightsavers’ work in the area and helping to raise more than £1.3 million for the charity through Comic Relief.

Lorraine says: "What really struck me about Sightsavers is that for a small amount of money you can transform someone’s life – taking them from the misery of blindness to a future of independence, often for as little as £5.

“I’m honoured to become an Ambassador for the charity and hope that I can help spread the word about the amazing work they do in the developing world and in turn give the gift of sight to people who are suffering needlessly. It’s shocking to think that there are 45 million people in the world who are blind – but 80% of that blindness can be prevented or cured.”

Lorraine has already helped Sightsavers recruit walkers and cyclists for the Martin Currie Rob Roy Challenge, encouraging people to take part in the 55 mile Scottish fundraiser based on her experience of the charity and the trek. Sightsavers is one of three charities to benefit from the event, which takes place in the Scottish Highlands on 18 June 2011.

She said: “On the trek, when times got tough, I reminded myself that people in the developing world are going blind needlessly. Together we can stop that from happening. Your blisters will heal soon (I promise!) but the impact of what you’re doing will last a life time.”

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