A Freemason from Lincoln will take on a 100km walk at Kielder Water in Northumberland this September, to raise money for the military charity that he’s seen greatly improve the life of one of his lodgemates.
57-year-old Nigel Herbert is due to set off on September 28 and will spread the walk out over four days. By walking 100km around the largest man made reservoir in Europe he hopes to raise over £750 for the charity that supports blind and partially sighted veterans, Blind Veterans UK.
“I walk two hours with the dog everyday but despite that I’m still fairly out of shape. I’ve also got some old niggles from my sporting days affecting my knees and back so it’s going to be tough.”
Nigel was inspired to fundraise for the charity after meeting lodgemate and blind veteran, 88-year-old George Blake, and hearing about how the charity had supported him since he lost his sight. He says:
“George became a widower last year after 66 years of marriage to his beloved wife Irene. Being elderly and visually impaired, there were a number of challenges that he needed to overcome as he adapted to living by himself.
“Luckily he wasn’t alone and Blind Veterans UK have done a great job supporting him on his journey. He went for an introductory week at their training and rehabilitation centre in Llandudno and it did him the world of good. The facility was set up perfectly for someone like George not only to learn ways to adapt to life with sight loss but also enjoy time with other blind veterans in the same position as himself.
“I started to think about what I could do to make a contribution to the charity. Something active that would be challenging but achievable. So I’ll be setting off on my 100km walk at the end of September. If anyone would like to support me please visit my Just Giving page. I know the charity would really appreciate it during this time when they need support more than ever before.”
Nigel’s Just Giving page is at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Kielder-100k
Blind Veterans UK has adapted its service to support its 5,000 beneficiaries, 90% of whom are over 70 and at an increased risk from Covid-19. The National Support Service will help blind veterans through this period of social isolation.
Nicky Shaw, Blind Veterans UK Director of Operations said:
“Living in isolation, blind veterans need our help right now with daily tasks, such as the shopping, and constant emotional support through this difficult time. So we are temporarily changing our service and mobilising our staff to provide practical, essential support to help the most vulnerable.
“There is so much that we can and must do to support blind veterans to help them maintain physical and emotional wellbeing, and to feel safe, reassured and cared for during this crisis.”
You can keep updated on Blind Veterans UK’s response to Covid-19 at blindveterans.org.uk/coronavirus where you can also find out more about supporting the charity to make this new service possible.