THE son of a previous President of Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-Service men and women, has cycled 980 miles from Lands End to John O’Groats to raise money for the charity that supports his father.
Jon Hazan, who is 48 years old and lives in South West London, took part in the Ride Across Britain challenge in September with a friend.
Over the course of nine days, the pair cycled a total of 77 hours and raised an incredible £3,300 for Blind Veterans UK.
“It was incredible, and at times, challenging experience, but a privilege to raise money in support of my father and the charity that has done so much to assist him.”
Jon’s father, Ray, has been supported by Blind Veterans UK since he was injured in 1973 while serving with the Second Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment. Ray was on his second tour of duty in Northern Ireland when an IRA parcel bomb exploded in his hands. He was left totally blind, suffered severe hearing loss and lost his right hand.
Ray worked for Blind Veterans UK for 40 years and was the charity’s President from 2004 to 2017. Ray now has advanced Alzheimer’s disease and resides at the charity’s Centre of Wellbeing in Brighton.
“As a family, we’re indebted to Blind Veterans UK for their continued care and affection for Pa. Raising funds through this event is a small way of saying thanks to the charity.
“They are always there for blind veterans and their families giving them the training they require to cope with life after sight loss as well as the warmth, understanding and compassion needed as they enter old age.”
Reflecting on his amazing achievement, Jon said:
“I haven’t yet been able to look at my bike without gently weeping. The section of the ride from Hopetoun to Bellabeg in Scotland was the most brutal, 120 miles and close to 7,600 feet of climbing against vicious headwinds the whole way. I never once wanted to give up though, I had an amazing support team, and I would never have wanted to let them or the charity down.”
So far Jon has raised £3,300 for Blind Veterans UK. If you would like to support him in raising even more, please visit his JustGiving page.
If you are inspired by Jon and would like to take on your own challenge to raise money for Blind Veterans UK, visit the charity’s website: blindveterans.org.uk/fundraise.
Blind Veterans UK supports thousands of blind veterans across the country but knows there are many thousands more who still need its support to rebuild their lives after sight loss.
If you, or someone you know, served in the Armed Forces, including National Service, and are now struggling with sight loss, please get in touch. Call 0800 389 7979 or visit blindveterans.org.uk/support.