A man from Sunderland is preparing to tackle the Great North Run in order to raise money for Blind Veterans UK, the sight loss charity who have been supporting his grandad for the past three years…

Craig Smith, 31 from Houghton le Spring, will be completing the iconic 13.1 mile route around South Shields in September. Craig said: “I wanted to give something back for everything the charity has done for my grandad”.

Craig’s grandfather, Kenneth who is 92, served in the Royal Navy as Stoker until he was discharged in 1948. Craig commented: “My grandad is an old fashioned gentleman and when I was growing up he would always take me and my friends to the metro centre or to watch the football. It’s amazing to see the support he is being given because he truly deserves it.

“They have provided him with equipment to make his life easier – for example a talking watch so he can tell the time and a white cane which is all free of charge. He recently lost his driving license so they pick him and my gran up from their house and take him to their training and rehabilitation centre in Llandudno for holidays”.

Craig completed the Great North Run for the first time last year but he still feels slightly nervous ahead of the big day. He said: “Even though I have run the route before, I still feel nervous but very excited. Once you are there, the adrenaline is absolutely amazing – there’s nothing like it. It doesn’t matter how fit you are or how fast you are because the atmosphere keeps you going.”

Craig does not have a specific finishing time in mind as he will be running alongside his partner: “This will be my partner’s first half marathon so we will run together and hopefully raises a lot of money for charity!”