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Schoolboys awarded for 24-hour survival challenge

Published on 3 Nov 2023

Two schoolboys from West Sussex have been presented with a certificate by staff and veterans at our Centre of Wellbeing in Rustington in recognition of the 24-hour survival challenge they completed in the summer which raised £700 for our charity.

Sammy and Oakley, who are both ten and live in Burgess Hill, challenged themselves to walk for six miles along a coastal path in Suffolk carrying everything they needed to survive for 24 hours.

Sammy and Oakley in their Blind Veterans UK t shirts holding a white cane and tightly closing their eyes as they are guided along the corridor at the Rustington Centre
Sammy and Oakley learning how to use a cane
Sammy and Oakley knelt down behind the fire they have prepared but not yet lit
Sammy and Oakley lighting a fire during their challenge
Sammy and Oakley stood either side of Nancy linking arms and all smiling. Photo taken inside the Rustington Centre
Sammy and Oakley meeting blind veteran Nancy

During their expedition the boys, who have been best friends since they started primary school together, wild camped on the beach, scavenged for firewood and cooked their own food in true survival style. Oakley said:

“We walked for a total of six miles and also completed challenges along the way such as identifying plants and map reading. It was challenging but amazing.”
“Sleeping in the tent was a bit of a squash and we didn’t sleep well but we did see some bats. We ate energy bars as we walked and cooked hotdogs and tomato soup over a fire for dinner.”

On October 28, we invited the boys, along with their mums, to our Centre of Wellbeing in Rustington where they spent two hours meeting some of our blind veterans.

The boys enjoyed an afternoon tea, as requested by the centre’s residents who wanted to show their appreciation to them for their hard work. Over cakes and sandwiches, Sammy and Oakley answered questions from the veterans about their fundraising and asked the veterans questions of their own about their service and the charity.

The boys were shown braille and, tried on simulation spectacles which enable people to experience how different sight loss conditions affect vision. They also closed their eyes tightly and were led by a guide dog, and saw some of the equipment used by blind veterans to help them complete everyday tasks such as a liquid level indicator for pouring drinks safely.

To complete their visit, blind veteran and President of the charity, Colin, presented Sammy and Oakley with a framed certificate in recognition of their fundraising achievement.

“We feel so happy and proud to have raised so much money for Blind Veterans UK.”

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