TWO schoolboys from West Sussex have been presented with a certificate by staff and veterans at Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-Service men and women, in recognition of the 24-hour survival fundraising challenge they completed in the summer which raised £700 for the charity.
Sammy Langley and Oakley Connor, 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.
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.
“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, Blind Veterans UK invited the boys, along with their mums, to their Centre of Wellbeing in Rustington where they spent two hours meeting some of the blind veterans supported by the charity.
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.
They 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 the 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 Member Engagement Lead for Blind Veterans UK, Colin Williamson, 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.”
If you would like to find out more about taking on a challenge 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, then please get in touch. Call 0800 389 7979 or visit blindveterans.org.uk/gethelp.