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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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COME CELEBRATE ARMED FORCES DAY WITH US!

We’re hosting an Armed Forces Day celebration today at our Brighton centre.

The event is bringing together Service charities and organisations in the area giving a platform to showcase the work we all do within the community.

We are being supported by some fantastic local talent including DJ and compère Mark Wintle as well as celebrity guests Johnny Ball and Chris Ellison.

There will be plenty of stalls, activities and challenges including; a British Military Fitness assault course, a full military marching band with a guest bugler, and a fashion show and dance displays. You can also have a go at archery or browse some craft stalls.

The Cadets will be out in force with a Field Gun display and the tri-Service Cadet Kitkar Challenge is not to be missed.

Taking top billing (weather permitting) the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment parachute display team will be parachuting in at lunch time.

Doors open at 10:30 and all the activities will run until 16:00.

There is free entry and free parking but this may become limited so visitors are encouraged to get there early.

See you soon!
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Blind Veterans UK was hosted by London & Regional Properties at number 55 Baker Street London for Armed Forces Week.

We were raising awareness of our No One Alone campaign calling out for more people to refer, for support, vision-impaired Armed Forces and National Service veterans to us. We also collected items to be recycled in aid of Blind Veterans UK from local businesses in the Baker Street area.

Blind veteran Billy Drinkwater was also there to chat to employees with us and we also held a wristband guessing game with the incredible chance to win a donated flight prize from Monarch . A massive thank you to London & Regional for hosting us!

If your employer is interested in recycling in aid of Blind Veterans UK or taking part in payroll giving please do get in touch by emailing us at: partnerships@blindveterans.org.uk
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Today we are celebrating Armed Forces Day and the service of our Armed Forces past and present. This year’s national event is in Liverpool, and we are very proud to be there along with some of our veterans.

Jason Scott, our Member Support Worker in Liverpool, will be on our stand and is looking forward to recognising the efforts of men and women who bravely served our country and also raise awareness about how they can be supported by our charity.

He said: “Armed Forces Day is a great time to come together as a military community and celebrate everything we have achieved. It’s also a good time to reassure veterans we are here for them. We currently support 36 veterans in Liverpool, but we estimate there could be more than 300 vision-impaired ex-Service personnel in the city who would be eligible for Blind Veterans UK free services. So we invite everyone to come to our stand and find out how we can help you or someone you know.”

If you are in Liverpool today, come and say hello to our team and don’t miss Brian Eldridge, 70, former Royal Army Veterinary Corps and vision-impaired, who will be carrying Blind Veterans UK standard at the main parade!
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This week is Royal Ascot!

An event where you'll find elegant frocks and extravagant hats galore, along with some of the world's finest racehorses.

So when did Royal Ascot first begin?

It all started back in 1711 when Queen Anne noticed the potential for a race course at Ascot Heath. The first race meeting was held that August and racing has continued there for over 300 years since.

Many of our blind veterans have too enjoyed horse riding, like Ernest ‘Jockey’ Woods and William “Billy” Wyndham Watson who are pictured here.

While Jockey worked at horse racing stables before enlisting, Billy was the son of a farmer and lived his early life at Farglow Farm, near Carlisle.

Read more here: blindveterans.org.uk/royalascot http://ow.ly/i/w5ul4
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Help WWII blind veteran Alfred find his lost medals!!

One of our blind veterans, who stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, is appealing for the return of his medals which have been recently lost.
Alfred Barlow, 95 and from Stockport, is hoping that by releasing images of the lost medals, someone who has potentially found them would be able to return them to him.

Alfred took part in a 6 June pilgrimage to Normandy with the Stockport Normandy Veterans and Friends returning to the very beaches he had fought on more than 70 years ago. Alfred, who served with 3rd Recce, 3rd Division, landed on Sword beach at 10.00 in the morning on 6 June 1944 – D-Day.

Sadly the recent pilgrimage ended in disaster as far as Alfred is concerned. Stopping at the Walsall Services on the M6 on Thursday 8 June, and following a visit to the gents’ toilets, his wife and his grandson carer noticed that the medals he had been awarded for his Service in the Second World War were missing.
Because Alfred is blind, he would not have seen them if they had fallen on the floor. His grandson immediately retraced their steps, asked at all outlets and the designated lost property depot, but they were nowhere to be seen.

The four medals lost are; the 1939 – 1945 Star, the France & Germany Star, the 1939 – 1945 War Medal and the Palestine Medal.

Alfred, who turns 96 on 25 June says: “I have found it all very distressing. These medals are worth very little to sell but to me they are priceless. I had intended to pass all of my medals on to my grandson which makes it even more upsetting."
“My grandson and friends in the local Normandy Veterans Association have been fantastic in making contact with all possible options to see if they’ve turned up but so far we’ve had nothing."

“That’s why I want to get the message out to anyone who may have found or seen them. It would be the best birthday gift if I was able to have them back again.”

Can you help Alfred to be reunited with his medals?
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This Saturday is National Armed Forces Day – a special time when we celebrate the work of the Service men and women of our Armed Forces.

Blind Veterans UK will be at events all over the country this weekend, including the national celebrations in Liverpool. Come and see us at our Brighton centre, in Scarborough, Plymouth, Cromer, Bognor Regis, and at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

We are keen to reach out to all of the blind veterans in these areas who are eligible for our support but aren’t receiving it. In Staffordshire we currently support 48 blind veterans but we estimate there could be as many as 846 potential blind veterans eligible for our support in the area who aren’t receiving it. We support only 29 veterans in North Yorkshire and estimate there could be more than 900 eligible for our support.

It is the challenge of our new community teams to reach out to these blind veterans who don’t know about us.

If you know a blind veteran who is not receiving our support, give our friendly team a call on 0800 389 7979 or visit blindveterans.org.uk/noonealone

Here are some photos of our blind veterans at Armed Forces Day last year. http://ow.ly/i/w12sM
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We’re proud to be part of the new Veterans' Gateway service which promises to be the first point of contact for veterans and their families seeking support.

The service has a network of over 30 expert partners, including Blind Veterans UK, coming from across the military and non-military not for profit sector.

Independent research commissioned by Veterans’ Gateway shows that one fifth of veterans have been referred to between three and ten charities before eventually finding support.

They aim to make this process easier by assessing needs at the first point of contact and connecting people with the right help when they need it, wherever they are.

We are looking forward to having more vision-impaired veterans referred by Veterans’ Gateway to our lifelong support, so we can help them have independent lives despite the sight loss.

Read more about Veterans’ Gateway here: https://www.blindveterans.org.uk/veteransgateway

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxefKqnCt58&t=1s 

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Last week, our Llandudno centre played host to a number of our blind veterans as they took the time to reflect and set goals for their futures, as well as enjoy the sun with some outdoor activities.


During a RESET week, working-age blind veterans are given their own individual programme to help them achieve a personalised goal. This can be anything from developing their CV and gaining work experience to improving their IT skills.


Katie, our Rehab & Training Manager at the Llandudno centre, says: “While we had a number of veterans who were used to a more traditional approach, we were keen to adopt a slightly different method this year; one that included more reflection and peer support as opposed to being purely a skills based exercise.


“It was a really positive week as all the veterans fully engaged with the physical activities and group discussions, including group meal planning. They spent time canoeing on the lake as a team! The overwhelmingly positive outcome was the amount of time taken by each veteran to support one another as they continue in their journey after sight loss.”
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Today marks the 35th anniversary of the end of the Falklands War.

On 5 April 1982 a British Task Force, made up of over 100 ships, set off on the 7,500 mile journey to the Falklands. After several bloody land and sea battles, Argentina surrendered on 14 June.

The war lasted just 74 days but in that time 255 British servicemen lost their lives and many more were injured. One of those was 72-year-old blind veteran, and ex-Chief Petty Officer, Terry Bullingham.

Terry joined the Royal Navy in 1960 and was serving on HMS Antrim when he was hit by a cannon shell from an attacking Mirage Jet. This left him totally blind.
In 1982 Terry was referred to Blind Veterans UK.

He says: “Whilst at Blind Veterans UK I learnt about the three A’s – acceptance, adjustment and achievement. I’ve become a speaker for the charity because I wanted to share my experiences of this wonderful organisation and their commitment to providing lifelong support to so many.”

“On this anniversary I remember those who perished during the Falklands War and especially former Fleet Air Arm friends and colleagues who failed to return, and their surviving families.”

Read more about Terry’s experience at: http://bit.ly/2rq28b5

#OnthisDay #FalklandsWar
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“Looking after Bob is pretty much a full-time job,” says 81-year-old Barbara, who cares for her husband. “We keep busy and I try to take Bob outside every day.

When you’re blind, you can’t sit in the same room all day. It’s like living in a box.”
Barbara’s husband Bob, was called up for National Service in 1957 and served in the RAF as a fire engine driver for five years. Then one day in 2009, Bob woke up completely blind and their lives suddenly changed.

Barbara says: “Support from Blind Veterans UK has been amazing for both of us. Bob has been for cooking lessons at the Brighton centre and he loves it. Just last week he brought home six Battenberg cakes. He’s also got involved in crafts and made me a beautiful jewellery box.

“When he goes to the centre I get a little break. I like to spend time in the garden. I’m out there every minute I can get! I’m so grateful for everything the charity has done for us.”

It’s Carers Week and we’re celebrating the hard work of carers – read more about our support here: http://bit.ly/2gmOQlJ http://ow.ly/i/vCAUm
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