Registered blind man from Milton Keynes takes to the driving seat

Shaun Littlejohn
Shaun Littlejohn

A registered blind man had a dream come true when he took to the driving seat.

Shaun Littlejohn, who also has a learning disability, realised a lifelong aspiration to drive thanks to The Fremantle Trust’s Wishes and Dreams initiative.

A resident at Milton Keynes Supported Living service run by the trust, Shaun has always longed to be able to take the wheel but never thought it possible, having been registered blind since childhood.

He is one of 25 people across The Fremantle Trust’s learning disability and older people’s services to benefit from its 25th anniversary Wishes and Dreams campaign.

When the team heard about his ambition, they sought help from professional instructor Steve Lewis, who is chief instructor at R3 Rockingham, delivering specialist hands-on driving tuition and skid avoidance courses.

On the day Shaun was joined by his parents Gill and Brian Littlejohn, friends Chris Marsh and Iain Freeman and his support worker Teresa Goy, who watched him settle into the driving seat in a dual controlled MK7 Golf 2.0 ltr TDI. Steve supported from the passenger seat to enable him to drive around the Rockingham Oval.

The experience will go down as a memory for Shaun to treasure as the idea of driving was something he never imagined would ever become a reality. He was so taken aback when he was told about the opportunity he said: “You’re telling me fibs - it really can’t be true!”

Sue McMillan, service manager at Milton Keynes Supported Living, said: “Shaun talks a lot about how his brothers drive and that he wants to be just like them. It was an emotional day for him and his family as it really was a life-changing experience. We’re extremely grateful to Steve at R3 Rockingham for making it happen.”

Steve Lewis said “It was an absolute pleasure to meet Shaun. Our training is based around hands-on understanding of what a vehicle is doing when we drive. We often talk about ‘feel’. Shaun fully understood the importance of smooth, gentle inputs to the car. In fact his throttle control was smoother than many sighted people I’ve sat beside. It was a pleasure to see the smiles not only from Shaun but everyone involved in the project.”