Nottingham soldier to tackle 1000 km in 24 hours for Blind Veterans UK

1 May 2015 14:00

A local soldier is challenging himself to cycle 1000 km on a stationary bicycle for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision impaired ex-Service men and women.

Steve Tonking, aged 34 and from Nottingham, enjoys tackling fitness challenges and will be running the London Marathon for Blind Veterans UK later this year. He is now set to raise the bar and cycle a distance of 1000 km which is equal to cycling from Beeston to John O'Groats.

Steve said "I wanted to challenge myself physically whilst raising as much money as possible for Blind Veterans UK at the same time. My grandfather was in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers during the Second World War and received support from Blind Veterans UK after he lost his sight."

Originally founded in 1915 and known as St Dunstan's, the charity helped war-blinded World War I veterans. Today, Blind Veterans UK continues to provide blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women with the training, support and help they need to lead as independent and fulfilling lives as possible.

Steve joined the Army in 2000 and became part of the Royal Engineers. He is a Warrant Officer Class II, which is the second highest rank for a non-commissioned officer. With the Army he has been stationed in Germany and the United Kingdom and has completed multiple operational tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Steve's Army colleagues will support him during the 24 hours by each cycling for two hours alongside him.

He said "I'm passionate about keeping fit so taking on fitness challenges to raise money for Blind Veterans UK is a great motivator for me. I'll have to dig deep and drink a lot of caffeine to stay awake and reach my target, so it's great to have some support and company during the 24 hours."

If you would like to see Steve in action you can visit Tesco's in Beeston where he will be riding an exercise bike in the entrance from midday on 6 February 2015. To sponsor Steve as he tackles his 24 hour cycle for Blind Veterans UK, please visit