1. ITV Report

Cadets join blind veteran in fundraiser

Cumbria ACF cadets joined Darren Blanks, a former soldier, blind veteran and Olympic torch bearer in a gruelling 8 hour military activity in the Lake District.

They covered a distance of 13.1 miles, equivalent to half a marathon, with many exciting twists in between.

The cadets and Darren row in Ennerdale Credit: Blind Veterans UK

Mock shooting, canoeing up Ennerdale Lake, biking down the side of Ennerdale Lake and a 100metres walk blind folded with a guide were just a few.

The challenge was all to raise money for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for blind ex-service men and women.

Darren and the ACF Cumbria cadets proved they could push themselves to the limit by testing their stamina, fitness, strength, initiative and team work to complete the course of strenuous military activities.

Darren speaks about his experience of the event:

“The first cadet challenge in Cumbria was a great day and a massive success, I hope to get more of these challenges going to get young people involved in learning and raising money for Blind Veterans UK.”

– Darren Blank

Darren joined the King’s Royal Hussars August 2003 and did two tours in Iraq in 2005 and 2007. He was discharged as a Trooper in March 2008, but not due to his sight loss.

On 1 December 2010 Darren discovered he had brain tumour and suffered from sight loss at the same time – He had an operation and thankfully the tumour was taken off but unfortunately still had sight loss.

Blind Veterans UK offer support to any Blind Veteran regardless of when they served the country.