A BLIND Second World War veteran is urging people to put their best foot forward and sign up to a ten mile walk to help support his comrades.

The guided walk through Colchester will take place next month in aid of Blind Veterans UK.

Lionel Chivers, 93, is urging people to put on their walking shoes and support the hundreds of veterans who have suffered sight loss in the UK.

Mr Chivers, from Colchester, was conscripted to the Army in April 1943.

He served as a radio technician for the Royal Signals in Nigeria and Cameroon during the Second World War.

It was later in life at the age of 87 that macular degeneration stole Lionel’s sight and he was registered blind.

Luckily, Lionel found out about Blind Veterans UK, who have been supporting him since his diagnosis.


The charity has dedicated the month of March to veterans with a series of fundraising challenges including the Colchester walk.

Mr Chivers said: “Every step you take on this walk will raise vital funds to support blind veterans like myself in Essex and beyond.

“I know I speak for many of my fellow blind veterans in saying that we would really appreciate it.”

Lionel is fast becoming a well-known face in Colchester, and last Christmas, he was given the honour of turning on of the Christmas lights at Lion Walk Shopping Centre alongside X-Factor Celebrity winner, Megan McKenna.

Mr Chivers added: “Blind Veterans UK have enriched my life in an amazing way.

“On top of the adaptations which have meant I can live independently, I am a founding member of the blind veterans’ choir, Vision in Song.

“Being part of the choir has given me something to live for and as a result I’m looking forward to many more years.”

The March for Veterans Colchester kicks off at 10.30am on March 22 with the route winding through the streets of Colchester before heading out towards Abbey Fields.

For more information and to sign up, visit blindveterans.org.uk/march/colchester.