Simon Mahoney's 50 mile Peak District trek
5 October 2016
Guided by his dog Becky and a group of cadets, blind veteran Simon hiked 50 miles across the Peak District in support of our charity.
The cadets from A Company Derbyshire Army Cadet Force helped Simon across the rough terrain from his hometown, through the Peak District, and all the way to Sheffield. Simon says: “The terrain was much tougher than I thought and it meant it was a real challenge for both me and the cadets. They guided me by describing the terrain and what was in front of me, which must have been tiring and quite an exercise for them but they did a great job.
We’ve supported Simon for the past three years and we are delighted that he decided to fundraise for us which helps us to continue supporting blind ex-Service men and women across the UK.
“I want to try and get the attention of veterans who are suffering from sight loss and their family and friends to let them know there’s a charity that can support them.
“Losing your sight is not the end of the world and only a small part of being blind. You can still do things and Blind Veterans UK can help. They teach you to improvise, adapt and overcome. This challenge proved my point that a blind man can do anything with decent guidance.”
Simon was supported by cadets from the Ashbourne, Matlock, New Mills and Glossop detachments of the Derbyshire Army Cadet Force. Captain Adrian Dobb says: “We got involved at Simon’s invitation. As part of our normal activities we look to give the cadets a strong sense of citizenship and supporting good causes, such as Blind Veterans UK, within the local community.
“From my perspective the event was a great success. The cadets and adults were really enthusiastic to get involved and they enjoyed the walk with Simon. I hope that the walk will have challenged their ideas about what blind people can achieve.”
Simon says: “As the terrain was quite dreadful and I underestimated the time we would need, we didn’t manage to do the entire route. I’ll be looking to complete the full walk next year but I’ll add a day or two so we can definitely complete it.”
Last year, Simon flew a 1940s Tiger Moth around the area together with a co-pilot as a wedding present from his wife Carol. Flying around the Ladybower Reservoir where Guy Gibson practiced low level runs over water inspired him to take this route which he calls “the Dambuster Yomp”.
If you would like to support our work and help blind veterans, by donating to us or doing your own challenge, visit: https://www.blindveterans.org.uk/support