Following their support when one of his friends lost his sight, a former soldier is to undertake a 100 kilometre walk from London to Brighton in order to raise funds for a charity.
Blind Veterans UK provide vital assistance for ex-servicemen who have lost their vision during their spell in the armed forces, and Steve Tranter has seen first hand the huge effect that their work can have despite working with relatively scant resources. Having joined the army himself in 1975 as a 16 year old, he became part of the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment and worked in Northern Ireland, the Falklands and Bosnia before leaving the forces in 2000. He retrained to become an IT specialist and currently works as a project manager at Hewlett-Packard.
100k or 50k
The walk is Blind Veterans UK’s largest fundraising event. Planned for June 6, there are 100k and 50k versions of the walk in order to accommodate for people of different fitness levels and needs – with entry priced at £50 for the shorter walk and £75 for the full 100k, or £120 for teams of walkers. This entrance fee includes snacks, refreshments, hot foods at three rest stops along the route and a free t-shirt.
Speaking about the event, Trantor said, “As I’m ex-forces I wanted to do something for a military charity. When I read Blind Veterans UK were organising a 100k walk I signed up immediately. The charity does incredible work supporting blind veterans with vision impairment. I know this first hand through my friend and former colleague. It’s great to give something back to Blind Veterans UK for all the help they have given him.”
The route of the walk takes those who enter from a starting point in South London down the banks of the River Thames, then onwards to the countryside paths of Sussex, Surrey and the Downs, before finishing at Blind Veterans UK’s headquarters in the Ovingdon district of Brighton. Ideally, the charity would like 500 people to enter – allowing them to provide ongoing support to 4,000 veterans, both emotionally and physically.
The event is Blind Veterans UK’s largest fundraiser and takes walkers from a starting point in south London along the banks of the Thames, through countryside paths in Surrey, Sussex and the North and South Downs to the charity’s centre in Ovingdean, Brighton.