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News | Veterans' stories

Blind veteran Andy to cycle London to Brighton

Published on 11 May 2022

One of our blind veterans is challenging himself to cycle 55 miles and raise money for our charity.

Andy, 47, is taking part in the annual 55-mile London to Brighton Cycle Ride in September. No stranger to taking on sporting challenges, Andy has previously run marathons, ultra-marathons, walked 100 miles and completed triathlons, all to raise money for us after we gave him back his confidence since losing his sight.

Keen to try something different, Andy signed up for the London to Brighton Cycle Ride and will be joined on his tandem by his 20-year-old son, Joseph. Click here to support Andy and donate to his Just Giving.

A photo of blind veteran Andy with his son Joe, taken in a stadium
Blind veteran Andy with his son Joseph
Photo of Joey, left, Angela, centre, and Andy, right holding their medals, wearing Blind Veterans UK vests after finishing the Great South Run in Portsmouth
Blind veteran Andy Leitch, right, joined by other finishers at the end of the Great South Run in Portsmouth
A photo of blind veteran Andrew, right, wearing his military badges
Blind veteran Andrew, right

Andy says:

“This is a completely new challenge for me and I’m finding that it’s all about confidence.

“When running and walking I follow my guide or have them by my side but on the tandem bike I will just be looking at my son’s back. Joseph will have full control of the brakes and the gears and I need to have complete trust in him.

“Anyone who knows me knows that I always start and I always finish the challenges that I set myself. It doesn’t matter if you’re super fit or a plodder like me. It’s about raising awareness, raising funds and having fun along the way.”
“When I first came to the charity I was feeling sorry for myself, but Blind Veterans UK made me realise what was possible and gave me the confidence to start doing physical activities again and get back to work. I love to get stuck into these personal challenges to give back to the charity that has supported me so much.”
Andy
Blind veteran

Andy says:

“The loan of the tandem bike by Blind Veterans UK has enabled me to take on this latest challenge. The charity has invested a lot of time over the years to help me rebuild my life when I’d lost all hope."

Andy joined the Army in 1992 and spent 19 years with the Royal Logistics Corps. It was at the age of 37 that retinitis pigmentosa caused a gradual decline in his sight which meant he was forced to retire early from the military.

Luckily in 2011 he discovered our charity and we have been supporting him ever since.

Join Andy at the London to Brighton Cycle Ride

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