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News Supporters' stories

Army veteran raises over £4,000

Published on 5 Dec 2023

Army veteran Colin decided to take on a 500 mile cycling challenge for us as he previously served alongside blind veteran Billy who we support.

Over a period of seven days, Colin, and a group of 43 others raising money for their own charities, cycled from Vietnam to Cambodia. 

Colin stood between two of the guides that led the challenge.  All in cycling shorts and cycling tops
Colin completes his 500 mile challenge
Group of cyclists stopped to admire and take pictures of large temple in Cambodia
Viewing the sights along the way
Group of cyclists passing a herd of cows on a red dusty track
Colin and the group during the ride

On 19 November, Colin travelled to Vietnam and embarked on long days of cycling. He says:

"It was harder than I anticipated, our bags had to be packed and down in the hotel reception by 6am ready to start for the day and we wouldn't finish until 10pm.
"I trained as much as I could but I couldn't train for the heat, 40 degrees, it was very hot.
"I enjoyed every day of the trip, we cycled through lots of different scenery, along main roads, bridges, and single track lanes. It was very varied."
Billy and Colin stood in front of the Victory over Blindness statue at the Llandudno Centre
Blind veteran Billy with supporter Colin

Colin, who is 61, lives close to our Centre of Wellbeing in Llandudno and previously served alongside blind veteran Billy.

Billy receives support from us following the loss of his sight during active service in Bosnia, where both men served with the 1st Royal Horse Guard Artillery. Colin’s father has also recently been registered blind. Colin says:

“I got in touch with Blind Veterans UK and found out that Billy also works for the charity at your centre in Llandudno and it felt even more pertinent that I should support you with my challenge.

“Before I set off, it was arranged for me to meet Billy and we laughed and shared stories from our time in the military."

“I hadn’t realised how much Billy had struggled with his sight loss; he explained that if it wasn’t for Blind Veterans UK he’d be in a very bad place. I spent three hours with him at the Llandudno Centre and there was no doom and gloom, not from Billy nor from any of the other veterans I met. It is such a positive place and I’m honoured to have raised money to support blind veterans.”

Colin has exceeded his £4,000 fundraising target and his current total stands at £4,330. He says:

"It feels amazing to have raised such an incredible amount of money for this amazing charity. My fundraising was given a big boost by my employer, Siemens Energy, who committed to match fund up to £1,500. 
"As an Army veteran myself, I know how vital military charities are to those who have fought for our country." 

Would you like to take on your own challenge for our charity?

Get some ideas here