Wrexham blind veteran Shaun Stocker is preparing for the final stage of his 100k Walking Challenge, to take place 16 July along the North Wales Coastal Path, and is encouraging others to join him this Saturday.
This walk will be the last in a series that have seen Shaun raise funds and awareness of Blind Veterans UK, the charity that have supported him with vital rehabilitation and training since he became a blind double amputee six years ago at the age of just 19.
Shaun and his team will be setting off on the 34 kilometre route from Barkby Beach in Prestatyn on Saturday (16/07) at 9:30am and will be picking up people along the way at the Old Colwyn Promenade and the North Shore Promenade in Llandudno.
The walks have given Shaun, who recently received an award from David Cameron for his fundraising efforts, a focus for his rehabilitation following pioneering surgery received last year. Shaun underwent ‘Osseointegration’, an operation to implant titanium rods into his stumps, allowing him to walk on his prosthetic limbs without the use of the hard carbon fibre sockets that cause a great deal of pain.
Describing the reasons why he wanted to take on the challenge supporting Blind Veterans UK Shaun says:
“I can personally say losing my limbs is hard to live with but losing my sight is harder. Blind Veterans UK have helped me overcome the challenges I’ve faced and I want to ensure other Blind Veterans get the same support I have benefited from.”
“Being able to walk without pain will open new doors for me but the rehabilitation has not been easy – this challenge has helped to keep me focused.”
Shaun is aiming to raise £50,000 for the charity by the end of 2016 and has already achieved half of his target. More money will be raised at this event via a bucket collection on route and activities taking place at the finish point on Llandudno Prom.
Shaun wants to encourage as many people as possible to join him on the final stage of his walking challenge.
He says: “The last section I walked was by far the toughest I’ve done and this will be the furthest I’ve ever walked on my new legs. I’ll really need all the support I can get from people coming along and hopefully the weather will be lovely too!
“I hope that as many people as possible will be able to come out and support the day so we can raise as much as we can for Blind Veterans UK.”
Those wishing to join Shaun should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 01492 864574 for details regarding meeting points along the route. All those registering on the day will be awarded a medal and a refreshing ice-cream in the speech ceremony at the Llandudno Cenotaph once all walkers have returned by 5:30pm.
You don’t have to pre-register to take part and can also join the group en-route. All walkers must arrive at the meeting points at least 20 minutes ahead of the scheduled arrival time for a safety briefing and to pay their registration of £5 per person.
To make a donation to assist Shaun in meeting his fundraising target visit justgiving.com/shaunstocker. All funds raised will be used by the Blind Veterans UK centre in Llandudno to provide vital rehabilitation and training to blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.
To find out more about these events or other ways in which you can assist Shaun please visit blindveterans.org.uk/stockerstrides.