Veteran completes biking charity problem as he celebrates his century

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A Second World Warfare veteran is celebrating his one hundredth birthday by finishing a lockdown biking problem to lift cash for blind service personnel.

Raymond Brooks has been driving his train bike for quarter-hour a day for the reason that begin of the primary lockdown in March final 12 months, at his residence in Winford on the Isle of Wight.

The widower positioned his bike by his window so he may replace passers-by on his progress and encourage them to donate to his fundraising campaigns for Blind Veterans UK and Macmillan Most cancers Help.

Mr Brooks, who turns 100 on Friday March 26, joined the Territorial Military in 1938 and was referred to as up 10 days earlier than the Second World Warfare, throughout which he served in Egypt and the Center East earlier than touchdown in Sicily on D-Day as a part of Operation Husky.

Raymond Brooks, aged 17, was a gunner during the Second World War (Family handout/PA)

Raymond Brooks, aged 17, was a gunner through the Second World Warfare (Household handout/PA)

Explaining his help for Blind Veterans UK, which he has been fundraising for since 1971, Mr Brooks, who served as a gunner, instructed PA: “I’m a veteran myself, I went proper via the warfare from starting to finish and to go blind for serving your nation have to be the worst factor that would occur.”

Describing his help for Macmillan Most cancers Help, he mentioned: “When my spouse died 18 years in the past, for the previous couple of days she was fortunate to be at residence and the Macmillan nurses had been completely good, they had been so sort and good.

“I assumed underneath the current circumstances with the Covid enterprise they want all the assistance they will get as they are going to be wanted greater than ever.”

Mr Brooks, who has twin daughters, three grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren, mentioned: “I used to do lots of biking, however lately I haven’t and when lockdown began my daughters mentioned ‘You’ve an train bike, why don’t you employ it?’ and one in every of my grandsons mentioned ‘You’re doing all this effort so somebody ought to profit’ so I made a decision to lift cash for these charities.”

Raymond Brooks is raising money for two charities (Family handout/PA)

Raymond Brooks is elevating cash for 2 charities (Household handout/PA)

When requested how he has remained match and wholesome to achieve 100, he mentioned: “I haven’t received a clue, it simply occurred, I’m very fortunate I’ve.”

Mr Brooks has raised £1,200 for Blind Veterans UK at justgiving.com/fundraising/raymond-brooks1 and greater than £1,400 for Macmillan Most cancers Help at justgiving.com/fundraising/raymond-brooks2.

Nicky Shaw, director of operations at Blind Veterans UK, mentioned Mr Brooks’ efforts will help its providers, which have tailored through the pandemic in methods to help its 5,000 beneficiaries, 90% of whom are aged over 70 and are at elevated threat from Covid-19.

She mentioned: “Residing in isolation, blind veterans want our assist proper now with each day duties, such because the purchasing, and fixed emotional help via this troublesome time.

“So we’re briefly altering our service and mobilising our workers to offer sensible, important help to assist essentially the most weak.

“There’s a lot that we will and should do to help blind veterans to assist them preserve bodily and emotional wellbeing, and to really feel protected, reassured and cared for throughout this disaster.”



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