A nurse from the West Midlands is currently training to compete in a 100km walk from London to Brighton for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.
Alexandra Newton-Cox, 33 and from Halesowen, will be attempting the mammoth challenge for the second time, having first taken part in 2017. Despite not training, Alexandra still managed to walk an incredible 87km, while also raising over £600 for the charity. This year, she explains that she’s already started her training and is determined to finish. She says: “You really push your body to the limits. Even now, just the thought of doing it again makes me nervous. My hips are already aching and my stomach is doing flips. Don’t even get me started on the blisters!
“The good thing is that, this year, I’ll have a friend with me, so it’ll be a completely different experience. The training is well underway, I’ve got a new set of socks and we’re ready to go, full steam ahead! What’s really kept me motivated is the amount of money I was able to raise last year. Even in my darkest hours, as I was sobbing and shuffling along, I kept my friends updated on Facebook and people were still so generous with their donations. It really spurred me on and I look forward to raising as much money as possible this time.”
Alexandra has long been aware of the support that Blind Veterans UK provides veterans living with sight loss. She explains: “My husband’s grandparents both benefited from the charity’s support and spent a lot of time at its training and rehabilitation centre in Llandudno. It made a huge difference to their lives, so I’m desperate to do whatever I can to lend my support.
“My husband is also part of the Royal British Legion Riders, who fundraise for the charity as a thank you for the support they provided in his grandparents’ care. My father, mother, uncles and grandfather all served too, so it’s safe to say I come from a military background and have great deal of appreciation for the sacrifices made by those in the Armed Forces.”
For now, when Alexandra is not getting in the miles and breaking in her new socks, she’s keen to encourage as many other people as possible to take part. She says: “Blind Veterans UK is just a truly amazing charity and it provides crucial support to ex-Service men and women. The added bonus is that it’s a great personal challenge. The sense of achievement is unparalleled, even if you don’t finish it!
The 100k London to Brighton will take place from 7 – 8 July 2018. It will see participants start off at the Hammersmith and Fulham Rugby Club, before crossing the North Downs, walking via woodland and small villages to Sussex and through the South Downs.
Registration is currently open with a fee of £50 for individual and team entrants, and £100 for relay teams. There is a minimum sponsorship pledge of £300 for individuals, £1,250 for teams and £500 for relay teams. The all-inclusive entrance fee includes lunch, dinner and breakfast at numerous rest stops, snacks and refreshments along the route and a free event t-shirt.
To support Alexandra as she takes on the 100k for Blind Veterans UK, please visit: ustgiving.com/alex-newton-cox1.
To sign up for the Blind Veterans UK 100k, please visit blindveterans.org.uk/100k.
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
Notes to Editor
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.