ANDOVER resident Paula Smith has chosen a unique way to celebrate her 50th birthday in a bid to raise money for Blind Veterans UK on the 15 December.

Paula is to undertake 50 challenges in 50 hours over the weekend of her 50th birthday and is also running a raffle to raise money for the charity which helps blind ex-service men and women lead independent and fulfiling lives.

Her challenges will include swimming, seeing Father Christmas, a teddy bear’s picnic, getting a tattoo, a 50-minute silence and many more.

Paula will also be launching a helium balloon message from St Dunstan’s in Brighton, where she grew up with her family and where her father benefited from the work of BVUK.

Paula explained: “I said I would stay awake from midnight to midnight so I could savour each moment.

“I wanted to drive down to Brighton and visit different places on the way back through to Andover – cathedrals, the countryside, go for a pub lunch, visit Stonehenge, go for a horse ride, get my tattoo I always wanted, just do lots of daft things really.

“Someone suggested I get sponsored for charity while I was having fun, the idea took hold and here I am.”

To sponsor Paula’s challenges visit her website at and to purchase raffle tickets contact her directly on 07841487581or via her email at

Raffle prizes include a trial lesson in a glider, massages and vouchers at various local businesses.

To aid with her fundraising efforts Paula is also calling for any help with catering during the afternoon and evening on December 15.

For more information regarding the Blind Veterans UK charity visit their website at