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Byron Shire
July 14, 2024

Seeing the need to prevent blindness

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The first time Hugo sold ice cream with his pedicab helping! Photo supplied by Hugo Crabb
The first time Hugo sold ice cream with his pedicab helping! Photo supplied by Hugo Crabb

While riding a pedal powered rickshaw, apparently it’s called a pedicab, carting tourists around Byron Bay, Hugo Crabb has started raising money for the Fred Hollows Foundation. Beginning by selling ice cream to raise money he found ‘people just wanted to join in’ and he ended up with around ten people helping him to raise $246. A second ice cream selling session with just him and a friend raised another $50 and a talent show at the Arts Factory hostel raised a further $144.90. Now he has decided to take it one cycle further and ride from Byron Bay to Melbourne to raise money for the foundation.

‘Before I came to Australia (from the UK) I had thought of cycling from Sydney to Brisbane but it didn’t happen,’ said Hugo. ‘I’ve learnt a lot while staying in Byron, the people are so loving and supportive. It’s such a great place and it has been really easy to get this off the ground.’

Hugo chose the Fred Hollows Foundation as the charity he wanted to support because he believes ‘that it will put the money to good use. I want every cent to go where it is supposed to go.’

The Fred Hollows Foundation aims to end avoidable blindness. Four out of five people who are blind don’t need to be and during his lifetime Fred Hollows said that it is ‘obscene to let people go blind when they don’t have to.’

The foundation ‘trains doctors, nurses and healthcare workers, distributes antibiotics, raises money for much needed equipment and medical facilities and performs eye operations’ both around the world and here in Australia, particularly in the Aboriginal community says its website.

‘The reason I’m travelling around is to see the world. I’m lucky to have all my senses and I find it incredibly sad, especially here in Australia, that the Aboriginal people are less well off and more susceptible to these conditions.’

Hugo will ride 2,500 to 3,000 kms in four weeks travelling from Byron to Melbourne starting out on February 25. ‘I will do the ride as cheaply as possible,’ said Hugo. ‘I’m planning to use the warm showers cycling website to find free places to stay and I already have a couple of offers from passengers I have had in the pedicab for places to stay on the way.’

So far Hugo has raised $600, that is 24 eyesight saving operations, and is hoping to raise more. Restoring eyesight can cost as little as $25 say the Fred Hollows foundation. If you would like to donate to Hugo’s fundraising the go to his mycause page or find out more on his facebook page.


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