24-hour walk bid to aid Blind Veterans charity

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A factory manager is hoping to walk through the pain barrier next month to raise money for the Blind Veterans and guide dog charities.

Eric Oakley, of Hampsthwaite who works at Wetherby-based steel sheet manufacturers GSM Valtech Industries, is aiming to walk 100km in 24 hours, setting out from Darley with other fundraisers on June 23.

The 58-year-old said: “The reason I am doing this ultra-challenge is that my youngest daughter Jessica is currently at Sandhurst Military College training to be an army officer.

“My father was in the RAF during the second world war (sadly he is no longer with us). So the connection to the military/veterans is the real link.

“I have always been fit and active and like challenging myself physically and mentally – and this event caught my eye – so I signed up for it.”

But training has not been sure footed as Eric developed a heel injury in his left foot as he reached 32 miles in training in March.

“I got plantar fasciitis in my left foot which I am still suffering from – but I have started walking training again with little discomfort while I’m walking.”

Eric’s sister-in-law Lynda Oakley is hoping to do the walk with Eric if she recovers from a chest infection.

Despite the pain Eric, who hopes his sister-in-law, asthma sufferer Lynda Oakley will recover from a chest infection to join him, has been cycling to work regularly.

“I will just have to push through the pain barrier regards my left foot on the day/night of the walk.”

Eric is to hold a fundraising coffee morning in Hampsthwaite Memorial Hall on Saturday May 26.