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Stowmarket pensioner Colin Hawkins completes his Captain Tom-style walk and raises thousands for Blind Veterans UK




A Stowmarket pensioner who took on a challenge to raise charity funds and to mark his wedding anniversary has completed his effort – and touched many hearts along the way.

After Colin Hawkins, 82, was registered severely visually impaired in November his daughter Jill Sainsbury was worried her father was beginning to lose his spark.

She suggested he undertake a walking challenge like Captain Sir Tom Moore and, last month, Colin embarked on 63 laps of Stowmarket Recreation Ground, aiming to finish on Monday – the 63rd anniversary of his wedding to Jean on March 8.

Colin Hawkins, 84, walked 63 laps of the recreation ground for charity. Picture by Mecha Morton
Colin Hawkins, 84, walked 63 laps of the recreation ground for charity. Picture by Mecha Morton

So far, £4,200 has been raised with more donations expected.

The Army veteran said on Monday: “If you go back 14 months I was still going to the gym regularly and I was fit. During lockdown I lost some of that fitness. but when I was walking today people were remarking ‘doesn’t he walk fast’.

“My daughter Jill has achieved her objective in as far as she’s got her dad back, and I have raised money for the charity Blind Veterans UK, which is a fantastic cause.

Jill Sainsbury with her father Colin Hawkins. Picture by Mecha Morton
Jill Sainsbury with her father Colin Hawkins. Picture by Mecha Morton

“In a comment on social media, someone said ‘thank you for making us aware of this charity’ – obviously they hadn’t heard of it before.”

While Colin’s finish time was not publicised in an effort to avoid crowds gathering, some well-wishers did turn out at the recreation ground for his final laps. “Quite a number of people came and were clapping all the way round,” said Colin.

“It made me feel probably a foot taller than I am. I don’t consider what I’ve done amazing, but I am aware that there’s quite a lot of 84 year-olds wouldn’t attempt what I’ve done – but I am a youngster you see.”

To donate, go to: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jill-sainsbury

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