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Blind Veterans UK
We help blind and vision-impaired ex-military personnel
We help blind and vision-impaired ex-military personnel
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Will you be visiting the Ideal Home Show when it opens tomorrow at the Sportcentre Olympia? Originally called the Ideal Home Exhibition, it was organised by the Daily Mail and began back in 1908.

Almost 100 years ago we used the show as a crucial platform to sell handmade products by our blind veterans. Find out more about our stall and the products that were sold at blindveterans.org.uk/articles/blind-veterans-uk-at-the-ideal-home-show/

This photo was discovered during our Historical Photography Project which runs every week as part of #ThrowbackThursday. Make sure to check back each week to discover more.
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Give a gift that gives back!
This Mother’s Day treat your mum to a handmade product made by a blind veteran in our workshop.
Or why not take a look at our Spring Sale? Our star buy this week is the pack of two tea towels for just £2.35!
And remember… when you purchase a gift from the Blind Veterans UK shop you are supporting the incredible blind veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country.

#mothersday #mums #giftsforher #onlineshop #supportus #agiftthatgivesback
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We have been updating you about the veterans we support who have been nominated for prestigious Soldiering On Awards. As well as individuals being nominated, a project that Blind Veterans UK was instrumental in setting up is also up for the International Award.

Project Gemini was set up in May 2011 for British and American former Service personnel who were have lost their sight. Its objective is to share knowledge of rehabilitation and training for veterans with sight loss and to strengthen relations between Blind Veterans UK and Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) as well as the veterans they support.

Every year since 2011 veterans meet for a week in both the United Kingdom and America to take part in local activities and share stories.

The veterans attending come from all areas of the Armed Forces with an array of different experiences, yet instantly bond. Through their shared background new friendships are made through activities, sharing their stories and supporting one another. The project also brings together military medical professionals from the UK and USA to share knowledge, expertise and research into sight loss.
Due to its unprecedented success, from 2014 Project Gemini extended to include South African blind veterans.

British blind veteran Colin Williamson, who has led the project from the beginning says: “We wanted to initiate the project based around the idea of extending the cooperation we show on the battlefield. We fight together and it’s only right that we should heal together.”

The awards ceremony is this Friday and we wish Colin and all the Project Gemini team the best of luck!

#awardceremony #recognition #veterans #service #exService #training #rehabilitation #lifebeyondsightloss #armyforces #military #projectgemini
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Last week we held our prestigious Dinner in the Dark at the Honorable Artillery Company, kindly sponsored by Specsavers. The evening raised an incredible £26,500 to support blind veterans across the UK.

Guests enjoyed a delicious three course dinner with entertainment by the incredibly talented welsh soprano singer Gwawr Edwards and magician Etienne Pradier. A huge thank you to Vicki Michelle MBE for being an incredible host on the evening.

We would also like to thank everyone who attended the wonderful evening, especially to those that wore blind folds to experience dining with sight loss. Many thanks to everyone who bid generously in the silent auction and brought raffle tickets on the evening.

Thanks also to our wonderful committee for making this event a huge success.
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Last week we celebrated the life of a very special man. Norman Perry has been supported by our charity for exactly 75 years, more than any other blind veteran we currently support.

Norman lost is sight in the Sahara when Nazi's attacked with trench mortars. He remembers directing a gun teller, when he got one piece of metal in each eye at the same time.

Norman now 97, lives at our training and rehabilitation centre in Brighton.
On Friday he was presented with a plaque and silver salver to mark the achievement at a special ceremony this afternoon.

Speaking about reaching the milestone Norman says: “It makes me feel very old! I am proud because St Dunstan’s has been a hugely important part of my life, it’s very nice of them to do this.”

From the young man in his twenties learning physiotherapy with us, to his through-life enthusiasm for joining our sporting teams and craft programmes, Norman has remained an inspiration to his fellow blind veterans, our staff and volunteers.

Congratulations on being part of our charity family for 75 years Norman!
🎉🎈🎉
You can read more about Norman’s incredible story here: http://ow.ly/MGL4309LYwz
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Last week, nine of our blind veterans enjoyed a day at Sandown Park race track for The Grand Military Gold Cup. They were invited along by the lovely folks at The Military Mutual as the first engagement activity of our upcoming partnership.

The Princess Royal was in attendance and several of our blind veterans managed to meet HRH as well. It was a lovely surprise for them, and definitely a highlight of the day.

Deena, one of our staff from the Brighton centre, said: “It was a fun day. Military Mutual were very kind and hospitable, and having the opportunity to meet Princess Anne was fantastic”.

Thank you to Military Mutual for making the day possible. We look forward to working together in the future.
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It’s the middle of the 1940’s – Britain is at war. When the body of notorious Spiv ‘Richard Head’ is discovered in the graveyard of a church where a small town is throwing a leaving party for their brave soldiers, accusations are made and suspects are aplenty.

Help to solve this mystery and work out whodunit.

Written exclusively for Blind Veterans UK, you and your fellow diners will attempt to crack this case while enjoying a delicious 3 course meal followed by tea, coffee and mints.

7pm April 1 at St George's Hotel Llandudno, tickets are £40 per person. Fancy dress is optional, but there will be a prize for the best dressed.

To interact about the event view our facebook event. To learn more about the menu or to buy tickets now, visit: http://ow.ly/gEWn309aaKO

#WWII #charityevent #murdermystery #Llandudno #crackthecase
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Read about the wonderful story of 27 High Street, Eton this #throwbackthursday!
When you pass a shop do you ever stop to think… who lived there? What was their story? Who has passed through that very front door?

We discovered several photographs of 27 High Street, Eton in our archives and decided to delve into its incredibly colourful life! You can read all about it at http://bit.ly/EtonShop.

From 1954 its #history is lost to us. Do you know what shop came next or how it ended up in disrepair? Get in touch!

#Eton #archives #localshop #townhistory #photographs #discovery #pictureframing http://ow.ly/i/sOTZl http://ow.ly/i/sOTZD
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No more ‘drawbacks’ for 78 year-old blind veteran archer Derek! Derek has had an extremely successful week at our Blind Veterans UK archery week.

Derek, who had never tried archery before visiting our Brighton centre, claimed several prizes whilst competing against both sighted and non-sighted archers. The week was organised by the club; Blind Veterans UK Bowmen which has been running for four years. The club involves around 25 blind veterans and hosts both outdoor and indoor archery weeks at our Brighton centre.

“I had never played archery before. I was at my induction week when I was offered the chance to try it. I really enjoyed it and I have been on the archery team ever since” says Derek.
“Before I lost my sight I adored sport. I enjoyed motorsports and sailing but felt I had to give them all up.”

Derek doesn't just compete at our Brighton centre. Since joining the club he has entered and won other in archery competitions including the Scottish Visually Impaired Championships last year. He will be heading to the British Blind Sports Archery Indoor Championships in Lilleshall.

“I don’t think I’m doing too bad for a 78 year old!” adds Derek. “I am so happy I joined the Blind Veterans UK Bowmen, it really is the whole package. I get to reunite with old friends, make new ones and overall have a really fantastic week!”
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For the second year in a row, blind veteran Colin will be competing in the 100k walking challenge from London to Brighton.

Colin will again be walking with his guide Russell, with whom he managed to conquer the ultra-challenge in an incredible 24 hours and 29 minutes last year.

This year, they have their sights set on not only beating their previous time, but on also making sure certain traditions are honoured. He says: “If all goes to plan, we’ll shave a good few hours off our previous time. We’re also looking forward to continuing our tradition of belting out some Elvis Presley classics in the early hours of the morning to keep up morale!”

To support Colin as he prepares to take on the challenge, please visit justgiving.com/fundraising/ColinPenaluna.

If reading about Colin’s story has left you feeling inspired to take part yourself, you can sign up at blindveterans.org.uk/100k.

#London #Brighton #100k #endurance #challengeyourself #walking #StepUpStepOut #Elvis #moralebooster #PB #ultrachallenge #walk100k
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