17 January 2018

Blind 'K'Nexpert' at RBLI's social enterprise recreates London skyline

A blind factory worker at Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company has constructed large-scale. K’Nex models of London’s most popular landmarks using nothing but his acute sense of touch.

Sean Read, who lost his sight as a result of a degenerative condition, used more than 40,000 individual pieces to make Tower Bridge, The London Eye and The Shard at Aylesford-based BBMC – a social enterprise which employs more than 100 people, 70% of whom are either veterans or have a disability.

The 52-year-old, who was assisted by colleague Graham Cherry, spent a total of spent five weeks making the models which have since been displayed at toy fairs around the country.

Sean, who was unemployed for 13 years before being employed in 1999 by BBMC,  said the organisation has given him a second chance at life.

He added: “At the time, when I was unemployed, I was aimless trying to find any work basically.

“I had such low confidence that I was willing to take on just about any job that I could - just for the sake of getting a job.  I wasn’t particularly bothered which job it was, as long as I had one.

“But since I have been here, I haven’t been happier, because the supports been there from all levels – from among my colleagues, my immediate supervisory team and from those above me.

“Life has been given a purpose since I’ve been here.”

Despite being without his sight and using only a keen sense of touch, Sean now makes point of sale K’Nex models for toy shops, high-profile department stores and various exhibitions around the World.

In 2014, Sean played a key role when BBMC, which is run by military and disability charity Royal British Legion Industries, broke the world record for the largest K’NEX structure when they made a 1:1 scale model of supersonic car Bloodhound SSC.

BBMC Team Leader and former Royal Engineer Tim Brown, who served in the Gulf War, Northern Ireland and twice in Iraq, said Sean has an incredible gift for constructing complicated models.

He added: “Sean’s ability to assemble these very intricate and complex models is phenomenal - there’s a reason why we call him a ‘K’nexpert’.”

“He is a testament to the staff here and to the ethos of BBMC which recongises that even when individuals are faced with workplace barriers, such as disabilities, they can still achieve truly amazing things.”   

Blind factory worker recreates London skyline with K’Nex

A blind factory worker at Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company has constructed large-scale K’Nex models of London’s most popular landmarks using nothing but his acute sense of touch.

Sean Read, who lost his sight as a result of a degenerative condition, used more than 40,000 individual pieces to make Tower Bridge, The London Eye and The Shard at Aylesford-based BBMC – a social enterprise which employs more than 100 people, 70% of whom are either veterans or have a disability.

The 52-year-old, who was assisted by colleague Graham Cherry, spent a total of spent five weeks making the models which have since been displayed at toy fairs around the country.

Sean, who was unemployed for 13 years before being employed in 1999 by BBMC,  said the organisation has given him a second chance at life.

He added: “At the time, when I was unemployed, I was aimless trying to find any work basically.

“I had such low confidence that I was willing to take on just about any job that I could - just for the sake of getting a job.  I wasn’t particularly bothered which job it was, as long as I had one.

“But since I have been here, I haven’t been happier, because the supports been there from all levels – from among my colleagues, my immediate supervisory team and from those above me.

“Life has been given a purpose since I’ve been here.”

Despite being without his sight and using only a keen sense of touch, Sean now makes point of sale K’Nex models for toy shops, high-profile department stores and various exhibitions around the World.

In 2014, Sean played a key role when BBMC broke the world record for the largest K’NEX structure when they made a 1:1 scale model of supersonic car Bloodhound SSC.

BBMC Team Leader and former Royal Engineer Tim Brown, who served in the Gulf War, Northern Ireland and twice in Iraq, said Sean has an incredible gift for constructing complicated models.

He added: “Sean’s ability to assemble these very intricate and complex models is phenomenal - there’s a reason why we call him a ‘K’nexpert’.”

“He is a testament to the staff here and to the ethos of BBMC which recongises that even when individuals are faced with workplace barriers, such as disabilities, they can still achieve truly amazing things.”