75 miles for 75 years: blind veterans trek to celebrate birthday of cherished support centre

11 October 2013 16:00

The four veterans walked alongside staff members who acted as their walking guides for the event.

Our Brighton centre is celebrating its 75th birthday this year.  A group of blind veterans joined in the celebrations by walking 75 miles between Winchester and Eastbourne.  They all believe that our training and rehabilitation centre has helped them to transform their lives.

The four blind veterans belong to our Ovingdean (Brighton) centre.  They are all blind or visually-impaired.  The formidable four trekked an average of 16 miles a day for 5 days.

All veterans have received support, training and rehabilitation at the Brighton centre.  Blind veterans who attend the
centres receive help to readjust to their sight loss and regain their independence.The four veterans walked alongside staff members who acted as their walking guides for the event.

David Cranson from County Durham was one of the trekkers.  David served with the Royal Artillery in the 1970s.  Later on in life, David lost his sight due to bilateral optic atrophy and joined Blind Veterans UK in 2007.

Though David got off to a bumpy start due to foot problems, he completed the trek and said that the feeling of doing so was amazing.

"The support we received from staff and members was fantastic. When we got to the finish line and we saw members of staff and other blind veterans cheering us on, I had a tear in my eye."

David especially wanted to thank Craig, one of the Blind Veterans UK staff members, who motivated him along the way.

This walk was not the only one David has completed.  He has walked 11 other events in aid of Blind Veterans UK, which he says completely rescued him when he was battling with sight problems.

"I will always say I didn't have a life before I joined the charity on the 13th of June 2007. I can't thank each member of staff who has been involved with me enough since that day. All the supervision and advice they have given me is priceless. I lead a very good life these days and there is more to come from me."