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Army veteran Colin Hawkins, 84, is walking laps of Stowmarket Recreation Ground to raise funds for Blind Veterans UK after losing his sight




When a Stowmarket pensioner lost his sight and started to lose his spark, he decided to get walking to raise funds for charity and to celebrate his own love story.

After years of deteriorating eyesight Colin Hawkins, 84, was registered severely visually impaired in November.

Seeing her father beginning to lose his spark, Jill Sainsbury suggested he undertake a walking challenge like Captain Sir Tom Moore.

Colin Hawkins, 84, who is registered blind, is walking 63 laps of the recreation ground for charity between now and his 63rd wedding anniversary in March....Picture by Mecha Morton .. (44417288)
Colin Hawkins, 84, who is registered blind, is walking 63 laps of the recreation ground for charity between now and his 63rd wedding anniversary in March....Picture by Mecha Morton .. (44417288)

So Army veteran Colin set himself the task of completing 63 laps of Stowmarket Recreation Ground in the month before his 63rd anniversary of his wedding to Jean on March 8.

He has already completed 23 laps and raised more than £1,600 for Blind Veterans UK, while messages of encouragement have flooded in, giving Colin a much-needed boost.

“After losing his sight, the only way I can put it is he was grieving for it,” said Jill.

Colin Hawkins, 84, who is registered blind, is walking 63 laps of the recreation ground for charity between now and his 63rd wedding anniversary in March..PICTURED: Daughter Jill Sainsbury and Colin Hawkins ...Picture by Mecha Morton .. (44417285)
Colin Hawkins, 84, who is registered blind, is walking 63 laps of the recreation ground for charity between now and his 63rd wedding anniversary in March..PICTURED: Daughter Jill Sainsbury and Colin Hawkins ...Picture by Mecha Morton .. (44417285)

“I could see him getting down and thought I have got to do something about it. Within days of taking on this challenge he is a changed man. He still gets frustrated but it has been an inspiration to him, it’s such a boost.”

Colin said: “A young nine-year-old boy has donated and that really touched me. His parents must be so proud. He deserves his own thank you as he might have used some of his spending money.

“I am really grateful to everyone who’s donated and everyone who’s yet to donate. At the end of the day it’s towards what I feel is a good cause, to help blind veterans like myself.”

Colin Hawkins, 84, who is registered blind, is walking 63 laps of the recreation ground for charity between now and his 63rd wedding anniversary in March..PICTURED: Daughter Jill Sainsbury and Colin Hawkins ...Picture by Mecha Morton .. (44417283)
Colin Hawkins, 84, who is registered blind, is walking 63 laps of the recreation ground for charity between now and his 63rd wedding anniversary in March..PICTURED: Daughter Jill Sainsbury and Colin Hawkins ...Picture by Mecha Morton .. (44417283)

The snow and freezing temperatures last week meant Colin – former chairman of the Royal British Legion in Suffolk – could not walk at the recreation ground, but instead stepped up his efforts on a treadmill at home.

“He is determined and has been doing more than ever,” said Jill.

Sponsor Colin at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jill-sainsbury

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