Skip to content

News Supporters' stories

Friendship with blind veteran inspires Kilimanjaro climb

Published on 6 Dec 2023

Motivated by his friendship with one of our blind veterans, supporter Ian will travel to Tanzania to take on Africa’s highest mountain on 18 January.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Ian, 57 and from Witney in Oxfordshire, became part of a local volunteer group which provided assistance to those who were isolating. During this time they met blind veteran Norman who is supported by our charity. 

“As we got to know Norman, it became apparent that the assistance he had received from Blind Veterans UK since being registered blind in 2013 had made an amazing difference in improving his quality of life."

It will take Ian seven days to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. He says:

"The slower you go up, the more chance you have of succeeding and not being affected by altitude sickness. I’ll be walking around six to eight hours a day and the final day will be 15 hours.
“The total height is 19,340ft. I was in the RAF for 33 years and have climbed a few mountains but this will be the tallest.”
Ian sat on his spin bike wearing his Blind Veterans UK t shirt and with the Blind Veterans UK banner on the wall behind.
Ian on his bike
A group shot of all those who took part in the challenge stood behind two spin bikes
Ian surrounded by those who took part including blind veteran Norman
Norman is sat on an exercise bike wearing a striped blazer jacket and tie
Blind veteran Norman joins in with the challenge

As part of Ian’s fundraising, he took on a 100km spin bike challenge on 29 November. He was joined by nine others who each completed 100km.

Blind veteran Norman, aged 92, came along to see how Ian was getting on and completed 1km on the bike. Ian said:

“It was a wonderful day and I was overwhelmed to have the support of those who jumped on a bike alongside me.
“To have Norman there meant a lot to me. I hope my efforts go someway to helping Norman, and his fellow blind veterans.”

Ian has already raised £2,832 of his £5,000 target. His employer, Babcock International, has donated £2,000 towards his fundraising.

Help Ian reach his fundraising target on JustGiving.

Go to Ian's JustGiving page

If, like Ian, you're inspired to take on a challenge for us, you'll find lots of ideas on our fundraising page.

Click here to find out more