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AwardsBusinessman and Guinness World Record holder awarded honorary degree

Businessman and Guinness World Record holder awarded honorary degree

A businessman and philanthropist has been awarded an honorary degree from the University of Salford after creating a charity that helps people with disabilities get behind the wheel of a car.

Thanks to John Galloway and his Speed of Sight charity, thousands of people have been able to experience driving, despite being blind, having limbs missing or another disability which means they are not allowed to drive.

Prior to co-founding Speed of Sight, John (pictured) spent over a decade as the managing director of a digital media agency, providing bespoke website and digital media solutions for large blue chips and SME businesses.

His journey with the charity began when he joined forces with Mike Newman, who is blind, to help him achieve his personal quest of setting a blind land-speed record. Together, they achieved seven world records, including setting Guinness World Records in cars, planes, powerboats, and racing trucks.

In 2012, John co-founded Speed of Sight, dedicating himself full-time to the charity’s mission of providing exhilarating driving experiences to individuals, of all ages, who have disabilities that preclude them from holding a driving licence.

He said: “One of my best friends passed away aged 16 with spina bifida and my mother had sea hand syndrome, ended up in wheelchair, and also my dad had two strokes and developed dementia. My career was going well but my personal life was full of issues. But it raised my awareness of disability and drive me to want to help others.

“There are things we take for granted as human beings but not everyone can have those experiences. We are the only charity in the world that provides these kind of life changing experiences for people with life limiting disabilities. People who have been told they will never be able to drive due to their disability, when they get behind a wheel their reactions a are priceless. Many are lost for words, punch the air or cry with joy after they’ve driven round our tracks for the first time.”

Speed of Sight works with people from age seven to 90. The drivers work with an instructor as they navigate round a circuit and have full control over the car.

Dr Francine Morris, associate dean for Enterprise and Engagement at Salford Business School, said: “John has worked with Salford for a number of years and he has contributed so much. He truly is an inspirational figure whose compassion shines through in everything he does. John fully deserves this honour and we look forward to working with him more in the future.”

Helen Greaney
Helen Greaney
I'm a journalist with more than 18 years' experience on local, regional and national newspapers, as well as PR and digital marketing. Crime and the courts is my specialist area but I'm also keen to hear your stories concerning Manchester and the greater North West region.
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