A teenager from Rugby in Warwickshire is preparing to take on her first marathon to raise funds for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.
Evie Headland, who is 19, will be running the London Marathon on 2 October having begun to take running more seriously during the first Covid-19 lockdown.
“I found running helped me both mentally and physically at that time. The marathon will be a challenge for me as I’ve never run that far before.
“I’ve been thinking about doing a marathon for a while and I’m a very determined person. I aim to achieve my absolute best.
“I’m very proud that I’m running for Blind Veterans UK, my Auntie Anne works for Blind Veterans UK so I see how much amazing work the charity does.
“They provide lifelong and life changing support to veterans, no matter what the cause of their sight loss.
“My family also has a proud service history during both the First World War and the Second World War so the charity is close to my heart.”
Evie is currently on a gap year before she starts university where she hopes to study forensic investigation with cyber security and eventually join the police.
“During my gap year, I enjoyed a month-long trip to Mexico where I attempted to keep my marathon training going by going for a couple of runs but it was far too hot.
“The marathon will be a huge personal achievement but being able to raise money for such an incredible charity while doing it is so important to me. I’ve had a life-size cardboard cut-out of myself made to help me reach my fundraising target.
“My cut-out joined me recently at Rugby Bikefest where I helped my auntie on her Blind Veterans UK stall and it’ll also be guest of honour at a fundraising party I’m holding for family and friends in the summer.
“I’ve not decided what I’ll do with my cardboard self after the marathon but I’m thinking I’ll keep it as a memory and maybe in case I take on any further challenges for the charity.”
Evie’s auntie, Anne Carpenter, a Community Support Worker for Blind Veterans UK, said:
“I’m always so proud of Evie. At the start of the lockdown, when she was only 17, she gave CPR to her neighbour’s young daughter which paramedics say probably saved her life.
“Earlier this year she received a commendation from the chief constable of Warwickshire Police for her actions that day.
“Evie is so community spirited and by taking part in the marathon she is continuing this approach to her life.”
If you would like to help Evie reach her £2,500 fundraising target visit her Just Giving page: justgiving.com/fundraising/evie-headland
If you are inspired by Evie and would like to take on a challenge for Blind Veterans UK visit our website for details of challenge event places or to sign up for virtual challenge information: blindveterans.org.uk/get-involved/ways-to-get-involved
Blind Veterans UK supports thousands of blind veterans across the country, but knows there are up to 50,000 more who still need its support to rebuild their lives after sight loss.
If you, or someone you know, served in the Armed Forces, including National Service, and are now struggling with sight loss, then please get in touch. Call 0800 389 7979 or visit blindveterans.org.uk/support