Llandudno friends cycle 200km and raise £3,600 for Blind Veterans UK

THREE friends from Llandudno cycled 200km around Anglesey and raised over £3,600 for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-Service men and women. 

James Singleton, Aled Parry and Tom Hutin saddled up for their challenge in May. They set off at 6am from their place of work, Gwynedd Forklifts in Mochdre, and cycled for ten hours before staying the night in Holyhead. 

The following morning, they jumped straight back on their bikes at 6am and finished the loop around Anglesey ending back where they started after another ten hours on their bikes. 

Tom Hutin said:

The three of us had spoken about doing this challenge for a while. For me, I was looking to push myself out of my comfort zone while supporting a fantastic local charity. I definitely did push myself out of my comfort zone, the cycle was extremely difficult.

“The second day was the hardest, with the pain catching up from the previous day. But with each peddle, we were a peddle closer to the finish. We arrived back at our Mochdre depot to find our colleagues had set up a surprise finish line, banners and a cake. It was incredible to see their support for us and also their support for a charity close to our hearts.

“Having the support of James, Aled, and everyone else is what motivated me to finish.

“We had fun and created amazing memories while raising an incredible amount of money for Blind Veterans UK which was extremely rewarding and fulfilling. We hope that we can motivate others to go a little bit out of their comfort zones to do a challenge and raise money for Blind Veterans UK.”

James is no stranger to fundraising for Blind Veterans UK. In 2022, James walked 140 miles around the Anglesey Coastline and raised £3,400 for the charity. 

James said:

“In 2022, I was sitting in a local pub with my dad and there was a blind veteran sat beside us who was staying at the charity’s Llandudno centre. He told Dad and I his story, what he had been through, and how Blind Veterans UK had helped him. 

“I was mesmerised and knew right then that I would take on a challenge to raise money for the charity, to show them my support, and to help them provide rehabilitation to even more veterans.  

James was keen to explore the island again. He said:

“Life can often get in the way so saddling up to fundraise for Blind Veterans UK gave me ‘permission’ to revisit some of the places I’d discovered, so here I am in 2024, having taken on my second challenge for Blind Veterans UK but this time with Aled and Tom by my side. 

“None of us are cyclists so this was a huge challenge for us, getting back on the bikes on day two was difficult!” 

James, Aled and Tom work for Gwynedd Forklifts who match funded the money raised by James for his previous challenge and have done the same again. 

The group has raised £3,668 for Blind Veterans UK. There is still time to support them and boost their total. Please visit their JustGiving page.

If you are inspired to take on your own challenge in June for Armed Forces Month please visit the Blind Veterans UK website for details on how you can get involved: blindveterans.org.uk/armedforcesmonth.

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.