We did it!

Our campaign is now complete. 274 supporters helped us raise £10,303.00

Visit the charity's profile
Closed 04/07/2020
Care for Veterans

Len's D Day Challenge

Normandy Veteran, Len Gibbon, 96, will cycle 104 miles (distance from Portsmouth to Gold Beach) on a static bike to raise vital funds for Care for Veterans.
raised of £7,000 target
by 274 supporters
Donations cannot currently be made to this page
Closed on 04/07/2020
RCN 1072334

Be a fundraiser

The campaign has now expired but it's not too late to support this charity.

Visit the charity's profile


* Len's original target was for £500. He exceeded that so quickly, he increased his target to £3,000, then to £5,000, then £6,000. Thanks to your support, he and Peter have beaten this too! Now, they're going for £7,000.

Normandy Veteran, Len Gibbon, 96, has decided to recreate his historic journey across the Channel by cycling the distance from Portsmouth to Gold Beach on a static bike in aid of Care for Veterans.

Len aims to complete the 104-mile distance by 6th June, which will mark the 76th anniversary of the first Normandy landings.

Fellow resident and Normandy veteran, Peter, is supporting Len with his challenge by cycling his own 104-miles. Peter also landed at Gold Beach, a few days after the invasion started. The men are cycling on separate occasions, of course, to ensure they keep their distance.

Originally from Elephant and Castle in London, Len joined the Royal Army Service Corps as a Despatch Rider when he was just 20 years old. In early June 1944, Len got married and then four days later he was posted to Normandy. He arrived there on the 14th June, eight days into the operation.

Len was in Normandy through to the end of the invasion, then went to the Netherlands via Brussels, and was part of Operation Market Garden in September of 1944. From there, he was posted in Germany, which is where he was when the War ended.

Len came to live at Care for Veterans in December 2019. He realised he needed extra help after having several falls at home and his walking had become unbalanced. He loves dancing and so the physiotherapists at the charity incorporate this into his sessions; he loves to do the Cha Cha. He said:

Although Im 96, I still like to be doing something. I like to have a dance at the concerts they have sometimes. I have physio as well, which I really enjoy. Im doing this challenge to help raise money for Care for Veterans because its a wonderful place. Its going really well so far, hopefully Ill finish on time!

Based in Worthing, West Sussex, Care for Veterans has provided care and rehabilitation to physically disabled ex-Service personnel and their families since 1919. The charity receives no regular government funding and must raise £1.9 million this year to provide its award-winning care to the veterans who live there.

Len and Peter's challenge comes at a time when the charity needs it most. Due to the current situation, many of the events and initiatives that Care for Veterans had organised to raise vital funds have been postponed or cancelled. As a result, we must raise an additional £110,000 in lost income to fund our vital services. The gentlemen hope to raise as much as they can to support the charity that cares for them.

Forces sweetheart and Patron of Care for Veterans, Dame Vera Lynn, sent this message to Len and Peter:

Hello everyone. How wonderful of Len and Peter to do this for us. All charities, including our own Children's Charity, are in trouble and it's really heart-warming to know that there are lovely people who are willing to, literally, go the extra mile! Please pass on my warmest wishes to all of you at Care for Veterans. I well remember the lovely times when Virginia and I used to come to your garden party and chat with everyone. - Dame Vera.

This is Peter who is supporting Len with his challenge by cycling the same 104 miles:

Len in the Army in 1944:

Len and Peter's progress (updated 6 June 2020) - they completed their epic cycling challenge on Saturday 6 June - the 76th anniversary of D Day:

About the charity

Care for Veterans

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1072334
'A remarkable charity caring for remarkable people' Care for Veterans (formerly The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home) is a national charity, providing high quality, nursing care and rehabilitation for disabled ex-Service personnel in an environment they can think of as their home.

Donation summary

Total raised
+ £1,681.75 Gift Aid
Online donations
Offline donations
Direct donations
Donations via fundraisers

* Charities pay a small fee for our service. Find out how much it is and what we do for it.