RAF pair take on London Marathon to support wounded veterans

Blesma1Two RAF personnel are taking on the London Marathon to support Military Charity, Blesma, the Limbless Veterans.

Sergeant Dai Smoldon, 44, from Watton, Norfolk and Corporal Dickie Baker, 28, from Upton, Norfolk are taking on the 26.2 mile challenge after hearing about Blesma’s work through a friend who has benefited from their support.

“I served with Hannah Campbell in Iraq just before she was injured by a mortar bomb and lost her leg,” said Dai, who works with Dickie at the RAF Armed Forces Careers Office in Norwich. “We stayed in touch and when I saw her on Bear Grylls, I wanted us to support a small Military Charity. I asked Hannah about Blesma and she recommended them.”

Blesma, The Limbless Veterans is the national charity for all limbless service men and women, their widows and dependants. It was formed in the years following the First World War and became a national charity in 1932.

In 2007, Hannah was serving in Iraq with 19 Tank Transporter Squadron when a mortar bomb hit the building she was guarding. Hannah’s left leg was shattered, left hand was split in two and she was blinded in one eye. Shrapnel also caused injuries to her face and body.

Blesma have supported Hannah in a number of ways since she was injured in 2007. They have supported her with grants, and played a key role in her recovery at Headley Court and in her rehabilitation.

This will be the duo’s first marathon and the finish line of the Marathon will mark the end of their 1000 mile running challenge for Blesma.

“Our challenge was to run the distance from our office to every other Armed Forces careers office in the country which is 2000 miles. We split that between us so the finishing line marks 1000 miles each.”

In preparation for their first marathon, they have taken on a challenge every month since June including a 24 hour runathon, which Norwich City FC footballer Iwan Roberts supported, and several 10k and half marathon challenges.

“I’m looking forward to the Marathon but I am nervous.”

To support the duo, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/companyteams/Miles4blesma


Notes to Editor

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About Blesma, The Limbless Veterans

Blesma, The Limbless Veterans is the national charity for all limbless serving and ex-service men and women, their widows and dependants.  It is a membership organisation which helps wounded service men and women rebuild their lives by providing rehabilitation activities and welfare support. Their membership includes those who have lost the use of a limb, an eye or the sight of an eye.

Blesma was formed in the years following the First World War and became a national charity in 1932.  Blesma today has over 4000 Members and widows. The membership consists of men and women who have served during the Second World War and the many subsequent conflicts and peacekeeping operations since, including the Falklands, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Follow us on Twitter @Blesma and Instagram @Blesma

For further information on Blesma, The Limbless Veterans, contact, Jessica Mackinnon, In-house journalist, E: ihj@blesma.orgT: 020 8590 1124, W: www.blesma.org

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