Blind amputee prepares for 100-kilometre charity walk

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A blind amputee is preparing to take part in a 100k walk to raise money for a charity committed to helping blinded ex-servicemen and women.

Clive Huntingford, a former Navy communicator who served in the Falklands, has set himself the challenge of completing Blind Veterans UK’s London to Brighton Walk.

The annual trek, which is the charity’s biggest fundraiser, will take place next summer.

Mr Huntingford, who is from Wellingborough, has been a member of Blind Veterans UK since 2012. He credits the support he has received from the charity as one of the main inspirations for taking up the challenge.

As well as suffering from blindness, Mr Huntingford is also diabetic. The condition meant he had to have one of his feet amputated last year.

The 58-year-old is now looking forward to the walk and is in training with his wife Anne.

He said: “It just seemed a good way to give back a tiny modicum of the support that I’ve received from Blind Veterans UK. They’ve been helping me through a traumatic time in my life in every conceivable way. Most importantly of all, they’ve made sure that my family gets the support they need, that my blindness doesn’t impact on them either.

“I’m a Royal Navy man and we tend to be very focused on achieving goals.

“I wasn’t going to let something small like blindness and an amputation stop me from completing the challenge I’ve set myself.”

Participants walk from south London, through countryside paths in Surrey, Sussex and the North and South Downs, and end at Blind Veterans UK’s centre in Ovingdean, Brighton. Walkers are challenged to complete the route in 24 hours.

The couple are now walking five miles a day in preparation for next summer. The couple aim to step up the routine to 15 miles per day by Christmas.

Mr Huntingford said: “We both feel that this is something anyone can do if they set their minds to it and we’re determined to prove that next year.”

The London To Brighton Walk takes place on June 21 and 22. Registration is discounted until October 31 when places will cost £75 for individuals and £100 for two-person relay teams, compared with full prices of £99 and £120 respectively.

To sign up for Blind Veterans UK’s London to Brighton walk, visit www.walk100.org.uk/sign-up.