Oxfordshire friends to cycle 100 miles for military charity
25 April 2016 16:12
Two friends from Oxfordshire will be taking on the Prudential RideLondon - Surrey 100 together this July for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.
Nick Jackson, 51 and from Banbury, and his friend Cliff Burnett, 46 and from Woodford Halse, are both keen cyclists and decided to tackle the 100 mile cycle together while raising money and awareness for Blind Veterans UK.
Nick, who owns his own business called Four Shires Home Improvement, says: "Cliff suggested fundraising for Blind Veterans UK as he served in the Army for 22 years. I thought it was a great idea to give back to veterans who served our country but have now lost their sight."
Cliff joined the Army in 1987 where he served in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. He was stationed in the United Kingdom and Germany and went on operational tours to Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. He left the Army in 2009 as a Warrant Officer Class I, which is the highest rank for a non-commissioned officer.
Cliff, who is now a contractor in IT and logistics, says: "I feel passionate about raising money for military charities and I want to support the great work Blind Veterans UK does."
Blind Veterans UK was founded in 1915 and the charity's initial purpose was to help and support soldiers blinded in the First World War. But the organisation has gone on to support more than 35,000 blind veterans and their families, spanning the Second World War to recent conflicts including Iraq and Afghanistan.
For more than a century, the charity has been providing vital free training, rehabilitation, equipment and emotional support to blind and vision-impaired veterans no matter when they served or how they lost their sight.
Nick says: "I am in the building industry and I rely on my eyes a lot, I wouldn't know how to cope if I lost my sight. It's why I want to support Blind Veterans UK, they provide emotional and practical support to veterans so that they can live independently with sight loss."
Both Cliff and Nick are looking forward to the Prudential RideLondon - Surrey 100 and it will be the first time they will be participating in the event.
Nick says: "We recently went on a skiing trip which was great training for my legs but now I need to keep that up with a bit more cycling.
"It'll be great to get round the whole course in a good time but mostly I want to enjoy the experience."
Cliff says: "I know I can do the distance as I've done challenges and training previously of about the same distance. Much like Nick, I want to enjoy the day and finish together with my friend."
Blind Veterans UK has guaranteed places available for the Prudential RideLondon - Surrey 100, which will take place on 31 July 2016. To join the team they ask for a registration fee of £25 and a sponsorship pledge of £450. If you secured a place through the ballot, Blind Veterans UK would love you to join their team. All cyclists receive a free exclusive Blind Veterans UK cycling jersey to wear during the ride.
Please visit blindveterans.org.uk/ridelondon to secure your place before 27 May 2016.
To support Nick and Cliff as they cycle 100 miles for Blind Veterans UK, please visit www.justgiving.com/Cliff-Burnett1.