West Sussex Police Officer calls on others to join him in 100k walk for military charity

Date
1 April 2015 11:33

A Sussex Police Officer is tackling 100k London to Brighton challenge for Blind Veterans UK and is calling on others to sign up and join him.

Steve Vass, 30 and from Crawley, successfully completed the Blind Veterans UK 100k challenge last year with his friends. This year he signed up again to beat his time and is aiming to complete the "ultra" walk in 18 hours.

Steve says: "I loved the event last year. It was tough. I have good experience in long distance walking and endurance events and even with good training I found it challenging.

Steve served in the Royal Marines from 2002 to 2006 where he was a General Duties Marine. Unfortunately, due to a knee injury he was never deployed. Now, Steve works as a Response Officer for Sussex Police, working from Crawley Police Station.

Steve says: "I have had good friends who have deployed on operations that have not returned or have been affected by combat. I also have members of my family who have served in the Armed forces, so I feel that this is a small way of saying thank to them for their sacrifice, by raising money for Blind Veterans UK."

Blind Veterans UK provides free services and help to veterans no matter when they served or how they lost their sight, be it due to accident, illness, or medical condition. The charity currently provides rehabilitation, training, care and recreational activities via its three centres (in Brighton, Llandudno and Sheffield) and a network of welfare staff spanning the UK supporting more than 4000 blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.

Steve adds: "I knew of Blind Veterans UK but I did not truly realise the extent of what the charity does to help our veterans. I feel very humbled knowing that doing this 100k will raise money to help our wounded soldiers lead a better life."

Steve will be walking the 100k together with his friends who share his love for taking on a challenge.

He says: "I feel excited about doing the event again but find myself getting a bit nervous as time gets closer simply because I know what's coming!"

Registration for the 100k, which will kick off in Putney on Saturday 6th June, is currently open with a registration fee of £50 per participant for the 50km or £75 for the 100km. Teams taking part in the relay have a registration fee of £120. The all-inclusive entrance fee for participants includes hot food at three rest stops, snacks and refreshments along the route and a free event t-shirt.

The event is Blind Veterans UK's biggest annual fundraiser and takes walkers from a starting point in south London, along the banks of the Thames, through countryside paths in Surrey, Sussex and the North and South Downs to the charity's centre in Ovingdean, Brighton.

Steve says: "It's an amazing feeling completing the 100k. I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a challenge. Yes, it's a long way but the encouragement and support you receive on the route and the sense of achievement makes it worth it."

Blind Veterans UK needs 500 people to take part in the 100k, which will help the charity to continue to provide a lifetime's practical and emotional support to over 4,000 veterans, regardless of when they served and how they lost their sight.

To find out more about Blind Veterans UK's 100k challenge, and to sign up for the event, visit www.blindveterans.org.uk/100k.