AN inspirational Taunton man determined to lead a normal life after starting to lose his sight is one of the stars in a 2014 calendar.

Mike Church, 42, tells his story of how he adapted to becoming visually impaired alongside his photo in the Action for Blind People’s calendar.

He initially felt isolated and depressed, but after taking part in a Living with Sight Loss course, he now goes shopping alone, works out in the gym, plays bowls and plays cricket for Somerset’s visually impaired team.

“If I had to pass on any advice to those losing their sight, I would say, ‘Don’t let it beat you’,” said Mike.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel – access the support that is out there as it really can make your quality of life better.

“Without Action I don’t know where I would be. The Living with Sight Loss course has given me access to like-minded people going through the same things as me.”

Mike, whose eyesight began to fail following complications with diabetes, wants to do a 135-mile sponsored walk in Corfu to raise money for Action for Blind People, while his long-term ambition is to become a personal trainer.”