A visually-impaired man who raised around £8,000 for Brain Tumour Research by running the London Marathon in April has been named as 'Cornwall Achiever of the Year’ by PLUSS, a CIC which helps people with disabilities move into employment.
Keith Gale, aged 48, who has Retinitis Pigmentosa, a hereditary visual impairment that gets worse over time, had been out of work for four years until securing a job in February last year as a caseworker for West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas, helping members of the public.
In addition to his duties as a caseworker, Keith spent much of the winter training for the marathon with the help of his work colleague Simon Jones, and continues to compete in events like the Jubilee Pool Aquathon Series, road-running races around Cornwall and, most recently, the Penzance Speed Triathlon which took place last weekend.
He was presented with the PLUSS award by Truro MP Sarah Newton at an event hosted by Cornish comedian Kernow King to celebrate National Employability Day.
Explaining the benefits of being employed again, Keith said: “Working has really helped my self-esteem.
“Financially, things have improved for me. I am meeting new people, far more opportunities have become available to me and I am more fulfilled.”
MP Derek Thomas said that Keith was a “fantastic addition” to his constituency office team.
“He takes his work on behalf of constituents extremely seriously, is a real asset to my office and has achieved remarkable things in sport in recent months,” he said.