High Sheriff raises over £8,000 for local military charity

The High Sheriff of Clwyd has raised over £8,000 for Blind Veterans UK, the military charity for blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.

Jim O’Toole donated the money after he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. The climb raised funds to purchase vehicles that would assist less-abled veterans visiting the charity’s training and rehabilitation centre in Llandudno to access its popular Woodland Walk.

Of the achievement, which was in fact the second time Jim has climbed Kilimanjaro, he says: “It was exhilarating and of course a fantastic experience. The elements were extremely tough; at night the temperatures at the summit were somewhere between minus 15C and minus 25C, while the oxygen level was only around 50% of that at sea level. We managed to trek eight hours each day, except for the final summit day, which took around 16 hours.”

He continues: “I’m just so grateful for the generosity of those who donated. Thanks to their kindness, those suffering with mobility issues will still be able to enjoy the fabulous Woodland Walk that’s situated at the Llandudno centre. They really are a fantastic charity and I’m thrilled to have been able assist in the support they provide to veterans hoping to regain their independence and confidence after sight loss.”

Since Jim completed the challenge in October 2016, his donations have grown considerably, surpassing his original target of £5,000 and reaching just over £8,000.

Victoria Beech, Regional Fundraiser says: “The new vehicles will allow all of our veterans to participate in walks and activities in the Woodland Walk and to join in on all of our trips and excursions regardless of any mobility issues they may have in addition to their sight loss.”

The vehicles cost £2,500, with the remaining funds being allocated to assist with the construction of a Woodland Cabin within the Woodland Walk, which will see an increase in the number of activities Blind Veterans UK can offer to those visiting the Llandudno centre.  Work is expected to begin on this project later in the year once further funds are secured.

If you would like more information about getting involved with fundraising for Blind Veterans UK please contact Victoria Beech, the charity’s Regional Fundraiser, on victoria.beech@blindveterans.org.uk or 01492 864574.

Blind Veterans UK was founded in 1915 and the charity’s initial purpose was to help and support soldiers blinded in the First World War. But the organisation has gone on to support more than 35,000 blind veterans and their families, spanning the Second World War to recent conflicts including Iraq and Afghanistan.

For more than a century, the charity has been providing vital free training, rehabilitation, equipment and emotional support to blind and vision-impaired veterans no matter when they served or how they lost their sight. Visit blindveterans.org.uk/support to learn more about the charity and how you can support its vital work today.

For all media enquiries please contact: Felix Arbenz-Caines, PR Assistant, Blind Veterans UK, 12 – 14 Harcourt Street, London, W1H 4HD, E: Felix.Arbenz-Caines@blindveterans.org.uk, T: 020 7616 7941

Blind Veterans UK

Blind Veterans UK is a national charity that believes that no-one who has served our country should have to battle blindness alone. Founded in 1915, the charity provides blind and vision impaired ex-Service men and women with lifelong support including welfare support, rehabilitation, training, residential and respite care.

Find out more at: blindveterans.org.uk, follow us on Facebook at: facebook.com/blindveteransuk and on Twitter at: twitter.com/blindveterans.

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