Retired police officers to rev up and ride cross-county for Blind Veterans UK
1 April 2015 12:06
Two retired police officers from the East Midlands will be motorcycling from Gloucestershire to Sussex to raise money for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for blind ex-service men and women.
Ken Heydon, 55, and his wife Dianne Heydon, 54, both from Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, will be taking part in Ride for Life Beyond Sight Loss, the charity's annual motorcycling event.
They are among 15 riders from Blue Knights England, a law enforcement bike club with 20,000 members worldwide.
Ken says, "We decided to do our bit for blind veterans because Blue Knights has historical links to the military. Many ex-Service men and women migrate into the police as they're both uniformed disciplined organisations."
Ken's grandfather was in the Royal Marines and won a service medal in the First World War. His father served 24 years in the British Army as a bomb disposal expert, after being conscripted for National Service in 1949.
He says, "With my father being in the military, I understand how younger soldiers' lives can be changed by sight loss. Blind Veterans UK doesn't only help old soldiers - a veteran could be someone in their mid-twenties who's been to Iraq or Afghanistan."
Ken joined the police in 1981 and served in Nottinghamshire for 30 years, largely as a traffic officer, a police motorcyclist and a firearms specialist. He retired in 2011 with the rank of Chief Inspector. Dianne joined the police in 1982 and retired as a Detective Chief Inspector in 2012.
The pair will be riding 140 miles from the Fire Training College, Moreton-in-Marsh to the Blind Veterans UK centre in Ovingdean, Brighton, to support the charity in its centenary year.
Ken will be on his BMW 1200 GS motorcycle while Dianne will be riding her Harley-Davidson Sportster. They are looking forward to meeting veterans at the Brighton Centre, and hope to raise funds for the charity through a raffle, and a bucket collection on the day.
Places for Ride for Life Beyond Sight Loss on Saturday 15 August 2015 are currently available for a registration fee of £15 per rider. The event kicks off at Moreton-in-Marsh at 9am and end with a BBQ at the Brighton Centre later that day. There's one stop at Loomies Cafe in Petersfield to pick up riders for the finish.
To sign up for Ride for Life Beyond Sight Loss and read about Blind Veterans UK's work, go to www.blindveterans.org.uk/bikeride or call Rachel Chitty on 01273 391455.