West Sussex woman tackles 50k walk for military charity

1 April 2015 11:25

A woman from West Sussex is taking on a 50k walk from London to Brighton for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision impaired ex-Service men and women.

Nikki Bailey, 45 and from Burgess Hill, decided to take on the Blind Veterans UK 50k London to Brighton challenge in its centenary year after successfully completing the 100k last year.

Nikki says: "I enjoyed the event so much last year, I couldn't resist signing up again this year."

Nikki is determined to participate in the Blind Veterans UK 50k challenge even though she suffers from few health problems. Nikki has a cholesteotoma, a non cancer tumor, in her right ear for which she needs surgery every few years. Earlier this year she had her fourth invasive operation for which she is still recovering.

Nikki says: "It can be quite a challenge with my immune system acting up, being a mummy and doing every day stuff but I'm one of those people who keeps going no matter what happens.

"I especially wanted to be part of the Blind Veterans UK London to Brighton challenge in their centenary year, so I decided to do a more manageable 50k."

Nikki says: "The first thought I had about Blind Veterans UK was 'my gosh, they are wonderful'. I feel very strongly about supporting them because of the fabulous work they do. My grandfather was in the Army, the bomb disposal unit, and if things had been different he might have needed their support."

Nikki is excited to be part of the Blind Veterans UK London to Brighton challenge again. She is training hard so she can finish the walk in 12 hours.

Nikki says: "Last year the walk was incredible; the checkpoints, the people and the encouragements all make a big difference and made it a positive experience. Finishing gave me a great sense of achievement, especially with blind veterans congratulating you at the finish."

Registration for both the 50k and 100k routes, 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.

Nikki says: "I would hate for people not to sign up because they have no one to walk with. There are so many lovely people also participating and it is easy to hook up with other walkers. We're all in it together!"

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

To support Nikki as she tackles the Blind Veterans UK 50k London to Brighton challenge, please visit