Somerset man takes on London Marathon for military charity

1 April 2015 11:45

A man from Bridgwater is set to run the London Marathon this Sunday (26/4) for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision impaired ex-Service men and women.

Antonio de la Mata Chico, 23 years old and living in Westonzoyland, decided to take on the London Marathon to raise awareness and vital funds for Blind Veterans UK.

Antonio feels strongly about fundraising for Blind Veterans UK. Antonio was born and grew up in Spain, where National Service was only abolished in 2001. All of Antonio's male family members served in the Spanish Armed Forces.

He says: "I work as a Graduate Engineer at AgustaWestland and when the AgustaWestland Apprentice and Student Association (AWASA) approached me to take on this amazing challenge for Blind Veterans UK, I didn't have to think twice about it.

AgustaWestland, the Somerset based helicopter manufacturer, is celebrating the centenary of Westland  through a charity partnership with Blind Veterans UK throughout this year. 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the formation of Westland, now part of AgustaWestland - as well as the founding of Blind Veterans UK, the charity for blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.

Antonio says: "It wasn't until they pointed out Blind Veterans UK that I realised vision impaired ex-Service men and women can receive vital support. I want to make more people aware of the charity as there are still a lot of people that aren't aware of what Blind Veterans UK does."

This will be the first marathon Antonio will be participating in and finishing will be a great achievement for him.

Antonio says: "I have done some amazing things in my life but I've never had the chance to give something back in this way. It was a long-term commitment to both train and raise money for some of the most vulnerable people in society."

Antonio is looking forward to this Sunday. He says: "With less than a week to go, having completed all the hard work, I'm extremely excited for what an amazing day it will be."

To find out more about Blind Veterans UK, please visit

To support Antonio as he tackles the London Marathon for Blind Veterans UK, please visit