A Hemel Hempstead man will celebrating his birthday by cycling 100 miles for charity.
Paul Wood, aged 63, is taking on the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 in July for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-servicemen and women.
Paul, a lecturer at Oaklands College in St Albans, served in the Territorial Army (TA) for 35 years and feels strongly about giving back to veterans who have lost their eyesight.
Paul joined the TA in 1981, serving in The Queen’s Regiment and The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment as well as 167 Catering Support Regiment.
He retired at 60 as a Warrant Officer 2, the second-highest rank for non-commissioned officers. He is now a senior military instructor with the Army Cadets.
Paul said: “I always wanted to join the Army but as I travelled the world as a chef I was unable to in the years that I was in England. When I finally settled with my family, I decided to join the TA instead.”
Through the TA, Paul became aware of Blind Veterans UK and the work the charity does rehabilitating veterans who have lost their sight.
He said “The work they do is of great importance, specially the training and equipment the charity gives to veterans so they can live independently with their sight loss.”
Paul has taken part in the London-Surrey 100 before and this year he’s looking to better his time of six hours.
Paul said: “It is a fantastic event and the atmosphere is amazing. I can’t think of a better way of celebrating my birthday than hopefully finishing the challenge in five and half hours.”
To support Paul, see www.justgiving.com/Paul-Wood311952
Blind Veterans UK has places available for the London–Surrey 100. To secure a place, visit blindveterans.org.uk/ridelondon before May 27.