Iraq veterans to rev up and bike 340 miles for Blind Veterans UK

5 June 2014 10:15

Two Iraq War veterans from the North-West will be motorcycling over 300 miles to raise money for blind ex-Service personnel.

27-year-old Darren Evans, from Bebbington, Cheshire, and Tom Kiggin, 29 and from Oldham, Lancashire, will be biking 340 miles to raise money for Blind Veterans UK.

Darren and Tom met in the Army, where they both served in the King's Regiment. Tom says: "My father had been in the same regiment and my grandfather had been a paratrooper, so joining the Army had always been something I wanted to do.

"During my time in the King's, I did a tour of Kosovo and two of Iraq - and I loved every minute of it."

The two veterans will be taking part in Ride for Life Beyond Sight Loss, our first ever motorcycling event. Darren says: "My family pretty much grew up on motorbikes and it was only a matter of time before I got a bike.

"There's a big riding community in the Army and it was while I was in Iraq that I decided I was going to get my license. I've been riding for a couple of years now and this will be my first big long-distance route."

Darren and Tom were inspired to raise money for Blind Veterans UK by Craig Lundberg and Simon Brown, two of the blind veterans supported by the charity. Darren says: "Craig was in our regiment and was blinded by a rocket-propelled grenade; I remember hearing about Simon when I was in Iraq, after he was hit in the head by a sniper bullet.

"Since then, both of them have done a lot of work for veterans to make sure that they have the support they need. Knowing that the money we raise will go towards supporting veterans like Craig and Simon is a real spur for us."

The pair, both of whom have now left the Army, plan to tour France by motorcycle and are gearing up for it by taking part in Ride for Life Beyond Sight Loss. Tom will be completing the event on a Triumph Daytona 675 and Darren will be riding his Kawasaki ZX-10R.

Places for Ride for Life Beyond Sight Loss are currently available for a registration fee of £15 per rider. The event kicks off in Llandudno, North Wales, on Saturday 26th July and ends with live music and a hog roast or vegetarian dinner at Blind Veterans UK's centre in Brighton later that evening.

If you don't want to ride alone a second participant can ride pillion for an extra £15 registration fee. Unable to do the whole journey? Riders can join the team at one of the stop-points at Llandrindod Wells, Swindon or Petersfield.

To support Darren and Tom's fundraising for Blind Veterans UK, please visit their just giving page.

If you would like to join them and sign up for Ride for Life Beyond Sight Loss and read about Blind Veterans UK's work, please visit our website or call Rachel Chitty on 01273 391455.