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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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Ahead of this weekend's The Emirates FA Cup final between Arsenal and Chelsea Football Club we look back into our history with both teams.

In the 1920s our blind veterans played matches with and against the likes of Chelsea’s Jim Molyneux and George Dale and Arsenal's Ernest Williamson.

This #ThrowbackThursday delve into the world of football in our most recent Historical Photography Project at:
blindveterans.org.uk/articles/arsenal-v-chelsea-blind-veterans-playing-football/ http://ow.ly/i/v4Bff
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Last week we celebrated 100 years of the Wrens throughout Women’s Military Week at our #Brighton centre.

We currently support around 130 former Wrens, but there could be as many as 2,500 vision-impaired Wrens who are eligible for our support that we are keen to reach out to.

To launch the research, we also welcomed females currently serving in the Royal Navy, who've cut quite a dash in this photo! They joined us for a lovely lunch with the ladies on Women’s Military Week, sharing experiences and the camaraderie that our veterans tell us is so important to them.

We’re sure you’ll agree that our Wrens did a great job of decorating the numbers with the help from The Crafty Beggars’s Nigel May!

Read more about our Women’s Military Week and how we can support more Wrens or other veterans that you many know by visiting blindveterans.org.uk/wren
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Born in time to witness the Battle of Britain, Peter joined the Royal Navy on his sixteenth birthday. He served in Malta and Naples and completed Gunnery training. In 1955 Peter was hit with an explosive device while on patrol in Cyprus. Despite his injuries he returned to naval service until leaving in 1962.

Thereafter Peter moved to the States with his wife Virginia but she passed away in 2008. Having no living family or next of kin, Peter, now aged 85, is staying with us temporarily at our Brighton centre while we assist him in finding the right housing and carer support in a local community.


Peter has no sight in his left eye and macular degeneration in his right. He gets around with a white cane and enjoys listening to audio books. He’s newest triumph is embracing more technology.

This week one of our IT instructors talked Peter through the basic uses of a Synapptic tablet.

Peter says: “I am so keen to have a 'play' with the tablet. I’m chuffed by the opportunity to find out what it can do”.

He’s even managed to find and watch a speech he gave last year at the Pearson Air Museum in the United States. It’s about his experiences as a child in the Blitz - it's the first time he's seen it! You can listen yourself at: https://youtu.be/MyzXFMRNz1c?t=2m13s
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Last weekend our incredible supporter and currently serving #Army Captain Rebecca Pogson-Hughes-Emanuel and her team of merry #climbers took on not one but ten climbs in 24 hours of Pen-Y-Fan!

It's the highest mountain in South #Wales. Four members of the team managed all ten climbs - that's 40 miles in distance and the equivalent of climbing the height of Mount Everest.

This involved climbing through the night, which also happened to Rebecca's birthday!

Rebecca says, “I've managed to drag some other poor buggers (family, friends & work colleagues......sorry to you all) into it”.

“We all attempted to complete the ten climbs within 24 hours and four of us even managed to do it! It was a great challenge to keep me ticking over until the charity's 100K event in July”.

To read more about this amazing challenge, visit: https://www.blindveterans.org.uk/articles/volunteer-rebecca-pogson-climbs-south-wales-highest-mountain-in-24-hours/

To give congratulations and show your support to volunteer Rebecca and her team, please go to: justgiving.com/fundraising/BecksPHETenyfan?utm_id=55

Thank you Rebecca! Well done team! 👍🏃👣👌 http://ow.ly/i/uW7Y4
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Our Women's Military Week at the Brighton centre is all about celebrating women who served in the Armed Forces and bringing veterans together.

This week we chatted to former Wren, Lorna about her experiences in the Women’s Royal Naval Service and how we have supported her.

91-year-old Lorna was one of 600 Wrens who served as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park during the Second World War. She lost her sight years later to macular degeneration.

Lorna said: “I couldn’t fault Blind Veterans UK for anything. They have given me so much help and given me so much equipment. It’s amazing.”

The Women's Royal Naval Service commemorates 100 years. Though we are able to bring these brave women together, we can't do so unless they know about us.

Do you know a Wren like Lorna? Please refer her to us today. No one who has served our country should have to battle blindness alone.

Call us on 0800 389 7979.

blindveteran.org.uk/wren #Wren100 #NoOneAlone
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With so many men being sent to fight on the front lines in WWI, women’s roles changed dramatically. Many were required to work in factories producing military resources such as weaponry, ammunition and explosives.

These women were called “munitionettes” and it is estimated that over 890,000 women did this type of work.

It was a very dangerous occupation and there were frequent accidents. While ‘minding the fort’ on the home front, many factory workers were injured and some even blinded.

This resulted in us receiving our very first female blind veterans. One such woman was Peggy Peters. In December 1917, while at the Royal Arsenal,18 year old Peggy leaned over a tray of liquid chemicals when an explosion occurred.
Blinded for life, she spent time at our centre in Brighton where she learnt how to make shopping bags and wool rugs.

Read more about Peggy and other WWI female blind veterans this #ThrowbackThursday in our latest Historical Photography Project post at: blindveterans.org.uk/…/women-blinded-while-minding-the-for…/

#HPP #history #photography #blackandwhite #WWI #munitions #royalarsenal #sightloss #girlpower
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This week it’s all about the ladies at our Brighton centre! It’s Women’s Military Week, which is when we treat our female veterans to many fun activities celebrating their time serving in the Armed Forces.

The week has brought together women who served in the Women’s Royal Naval Service (Wrens), Women’s Royal Army Corps and Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. So far our blind veterans have been on special excursions to Tangmere Military Aviation Museum and Newhaven Fort, as well as being treated to a performance from the Royal Logistic Corps Band.

They’ve also been taking part in a very special art and craft project with Nigel May which we will reveal to you later on in the week!

Women’s Military Week this year ties in with events that are happening all over the country to celebrate 100 years of the Wrens. You can read more about the support we give to Wrens here: blindveterans.org.uk/wren

#Wrens100 #NoOneAlone
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Wood Week has begun at our Llandudno centre and so far, it’s been a huge success. North Wales Carvers, Veterans Woodcraft and our incredible volunteer Woody have all kindly given up their time to help create varied and memorable experiences for our blind veterans.

Our first day kicked off with everyone having a go on the lathe with Woody. By the afternoon they were trying their hand at carving with North Wales Carvers. Our blind veterans are already feeling positive and benefiting from the confidence boost of learning new skills and getting creative in new ways. Some are already even talking about ways to carry on with wood work in their own homes.

We’re delighted for our beneficiaries and look forward to witnessing their abilities and satisfaction grow.
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For the final few years of his life, our charity supported David Barten as he adjusted to sight loss.

Now, his granddaughter Hana would like to give something back.

She says: “I really wanted to do some fundraising for Blind Veterans UK in memory of my beloved grandfather.

They really helped him towards the end of his life, so after taking a look at their website, I decided that the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon would be a good one to do!”

David, known affectionately by friends and family as Tiger, served as a Desert Rat in the Second World War. Once his sight began to deteriorate, the charity provided him and his wife with invaluable support.

Hana says: “They helped him in so many ways. They sent him glasses and a magnifier, and even provided him and my grandmother with a weeks’ holiday at their Brighton centre.

“I really cannot express just how brilliant Tiger was. I could literally fill a book with funny stories about him. He was the best.”

To support Hana as she prepares to take on the Royal Parks Half Marathon, please visit: justgiving.com/Hana-Barten

If reading about Hana’s story has inspired you to take part, you can sign up here: http://bit.ly/2aiJqK6.

#royalparkshalfmarathon #marathon #halfmarathon #london #challenge #sightloss #fundraise #support #blind #veterans
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It’s National Walking Month!

This #ThrowbackThursday learn about our blind veterans who were in at the start of the sport of racewalking as far back as 1922.

Walking independently was, and remains, a valuable skill for blind veterans giving them both confidence and independence. They were encouraged to compete in race walks and practised regularly in Regents Park.

Our first official walk from London to Brighton was held soon thereafter. A gruelling challenge where just eight men finished the 52 mile course.

Learn more about our active First World War veterans here: http://ow.ly/Vtaj30bCVIr

Nowadays the 100K remains an important event for our charity, for fundraising and blind veteran achievement alike. This year’s events are only just around the corner.

Catch our ‘Walking Fever’! Read more about our 100K events here: https://www.blindveterans.org.uk/100k

#history #blind #veterans #racewalking #archives #sports #charity http://ow.ly/i/uHOdc
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