Woman goes the extra mile for sight loss charity

A Northampton resident is currently training to run this year’s iconic London Marathon in order to raise funds for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.

Lisa Garrard, 51 and from East Hunsbury, has decided to take on the 26-mile challenge as she wishes to support a charity that provides critical support for the ex-military, particularly as we have just commemorated 100 years since the end of the First World War.

Woman goes the extra mile for sight loss charity
Lisa Garrard

Lisa has a close military connection as her uncle, Lance Bombardier Arthur Powell, served in the Second World War before being listed as a missing person in March 1942. It was later announced that he had become a Prisoner of War in one of the mining Omine Prisoner of War camps, two hours away from Hiroshima in Japan.

Lisa said:

“His life stories are some that I will never forget.”

Working as a Child Protection and Safeguarding Lead in a school, Lisa understands what it’s like to work with those that are highly vulnerable and how hard it is for some to pick themselves up after being knocked so many times.

Lisa added:

“We forget about those who are still carrying on with very little support after their lives have changed forever when they lose their sight.”

In order to raise as much money as possible, Lisa has organised several fundraising events including two-afternoon teas, a raffle and a number of tombolas.

Lisa continued:

“I have lost count of how many people are coming! My family and friends are my biggest supporters and I am so grateful for all their help.

“They give me great advice and keep pushing me beyond my limits.”

Lisa is training hard in preparation for the big day and is currently following the intermediate training plan available from the London Marathon website. In order to increase her stamina and motivation, she is also receiving support from Scottish Commonwealth Games road cyclist Gemma Neill, as well as the owner of her local spin class, Louise Tippleston.

Lisa encourages others to take on a challenge and she said: 

“I have a strong positive attitude and am looking forward to the experience. If I can finish by 4 and a half hours then I will certainly feel I have achieved well – but I’m secretly hoping for a faster time!

“Believe in yourself – do something amazing!”

Please visit https://www.blindveterans.org.uk/get-involved/events-calendar/ to find out more.

The marathon isn’t the only sporting event that Lisa has set her sights on this year though, as she plans to cycle to the Austrian Alps in September with her husband.

Even though she is beyond excited to run the marathon, she hopes that she can keep her nerves at bay on the day.

To support Lisa as she prepares to take on the London Marathon for Blind Veterans UK, please visit: justgiving.com/fundraising/lisa-garrard

Blind Veterans UK helps vision-impaired ex-Service men and women of every generation rebuild their lives after sight loss. Since 1915, the charity has provided rehabilitation, training, practical advice and emotional support to tens of thousands of blind veterans.

Blind Veterans UK currently supports more blind veterans than ever before in the charity’s history, but it knows there are many more who still need its support to rebuild their lives following their sight loss.