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Blind Veterans UK

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When Bill left school at 15 he joined the Royal Navy and served as a radar operator, a diver and in SAR until 1974. He then served in the SAS until 1983. Bill went on to join the Fire Service, then became a police officer. During this time he also undertook a UN secondment to Kosovo and Bosnia.

Though an active and energetic, when Bill developed glaucoma he found it hard to adjust. Since receiving equipment and training from us, Bill has also been able to discover a new love – painting. Despite having not painted since school, he was encouraged him to pick up a paintbrush at one of our centres, and he hasn’t looked back since.

“The art bug has definitely bitten. I have carried my easel up the Malvern Hills just to sit there and paint. I often find myself getting carried away and painting on A4 paper into the early hours of the morning. Seeking Blind Veterans UK’s support has been the best thing that could have happened to me. The Llandudno centre staff are very positive and friendly and their can-do attitude is infectious.”

Bill’s work has featured in exhibitions in many locations including Westminster Abbey with the Army Arts Council and in the British Embassy in Kosovo. You can view some of his pieces this week at St George’s Hall Liverpool. On from 10am – 4pm from Wednesday til this Sunday.

To view our exhibition catalogue, bid on one of Bill’s incredible pieces or learn about the other blind veterans involved, please visit: http://ow.ly/RHTD308gJIg.

#motivationmonday #LifebeyondSightLoss #artexhibition
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Blind Veterans UK

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This week we unveiled a new anti-gravity treadmill in our training and rehabilitation centre in Llandudno.

It was purchased from funds raised from two teams in our 2016 100k Yorkshire walking challenge. The teams were made up of some of our trustees as well as blind veteran Paul Jacobs and his guides. Together they raised over £15,000.
Also there to witness the unveiling was Colonel Mike Brooke OBE - one of our Trustees as well as one of the guides who assisted Paul along the 100k route. He said: “I, and the rest of ‘Paul’s People’ were hugely proud to just work alongside Paul on the day. He is an excellent example of the great things our blind veterans can achieve.”

The anti-gravity treadmill will be used by vision-impaired ex-Service men and women with specialist training needs. Mark Hollis, an Activities Team Leader has described how excited the staff are to get going training veterans on the treadmill.
He said: “The Alter G anti-gravity trainer is an amazing rehabilitation tool which will allow us to offer a much broader range of services. We can assist in mobility training for blind veterans who have suffered a stroke or are recovering post-operatively from knee, hip and lower back.”

We are so grateful to have been donated this amazing life-changing piece of equipment. Thanks to everyone who supported us to make this possible.

To learn more about the anti-gravity treadmill or Paul’s service, visit: http://ow.ly/U6Q7308c08q
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Blind Veterans UK

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As we continue with our Historical Photography Project it is great to see so many members of The Royal Family and other European royals supporting our charity.

We have uncovered several photographs of Royals visiting our centres but one visit stands out in particular. The photograph below was taken in November 1919, it shows Princess Victoria and her cousin Queen Victoria of Spain watching blind veteran Charles learn to typewrite.

During her visit, the Queen of Spain, showed a great interest in the rehabilitation of our blind veterans. After witnessing another blind veteran William Farr regain the skills to continue with his carpentry work she asked if he could make two small stools her children.

So hopefully, over 1000 miles away in the Royal Palace of Madrid, there should be two stools made by our own blind veterans!

Take a look at our other Royal visits: http://bit.ly/2iAhfKq
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Blind Veterans UK

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Every Friday at our Llandudno centre we hold Musical Moments sessions.

This video is from last Friday when our blind veterans had a singalong together.

Not only is the singing fun, giving everyone a good laugh, but we also find that in every session our blind veterans are able to build rapport with another through sharing fond memories that the songs evoke. A great childhood memory, a lost love, cheeky adventures with friends, a family holiday. The reminiscing can last hours. Every second week we incorporate dancing too.

https://www.facebook.com/blindveteransuk/videos/1369126179824300/

Every Friday at our Llandudno centre we hold Musical Moments sessions. This video is from last Friday when our blind veterans had a singalong together....
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Blind Veterans UK

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Feeling blue this #BlueMonday? Our veterans aren’t!
Whether it’s through arts and crafts, sport or social events, we help our blind veterans discover life beyond sight loss with a smile.
If you know a vision-impaired ex-Service man or woman we can cheer up this January, go to noonealone.org.uk.

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Blind Veterans UK

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At just 19 years old, Reg Jones was dispatched to France, as part of the Normandy Landings which would finally free France from Nazi control.

Over 70 years later, the 92-year-old blind veteran has been awarded the highest French Military honour. The ‘Legion d’Honneur’ is the French equivalent to a Knighthood and has been awarded to veterans who helped liberate France in 1944.
Reg had joined the RAF (Royal Air Force) two years earlier and had already served in North Africa, Sicily and Malta.

Please join us in congratulating Reg with this incredible achievement!
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Blind Veterans UK

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Blind veteran Charlie prepares for his fourth Brighton Half Marathon alongside fellow veteran and guide Richard.

Charlie is no stranger to pushing his body to the limit. The fitness fanatic has already completed the Three Peaks challenge, three Brighton Half Marathons, three London Marathons, the Royal Parks Half Marathon and two of our London to Brighton 100k challenges.

Joining the Forces in 1995, Charlie served with the 1st Battalion Kings Regiment and later joined the Royal Army Medical Corps.Unfortunately, in 2010 he lost the majority of his sight due to glaucoma and now has severely limited vision.
He says: “I’ve always been a runner but losing my sight was a big thing for me. Luckily, joining Blind Veterans UK gave me the confidence and support to get back out there and start running again.”

If reading Charlie’s story has inspired you to take part in the Brighton Half Marathon on behalf of Blind Veterans UK, you can register for just £20. Registration closes Feb 26. Get in now: http://ow.ly/FliA306UVmD
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Blind Veterans UK

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Would you like to own a one of a kind piece of art, created by one of our blind veterans? As part of our ‘Life Beyond Sight Loss’ exhibition currently showing at St. George's Hall in Liverpool, our veterans have created over 100 pieces of artwork which are now available to purchase.

One of our blind veterans, Matt Rhodes, has created over 20 pieces including a selection of celebrity portraits.

Matt began receiving support from our charity in 1996 after losing his sight in a motorcycle accident whilst serving in the Army. He was just 20 years old and also suffered a traumatic brain injury and paralysis down his right hand side.
Just eight months after his accident Matt visited our Brighton centre. He explains: “I walked into their building first of all feeling blind, disabled, and not able to look after myself. After just six months of being there I felt no different to the average person you get on the street, they’d taught me independence!

“I owe Blind Veterans UK so much. That is why I’m so pleased to be able to share my paintings and raise money by auctioning them off.

To make a bid please visit @CharityStarsUK : https://www.charitystars.com/tag/blind-veterans-uk-en

To read more of Matt's story go to our blog story: http://ow.ly/GuRm3085XDq

#fridayfundraiser #artauction #charityevent
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Blind Veterans UK

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Escape this winter weather.
Enter our Christmas Superdraw before it closes this Friday for a chance to win £15,000! Tickets start from just £1.
Help us to provide life beyond sight loss to over 4,500 vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.
Don't miss your chance to win.
Enter now: http://blindveteransraffle.org.uk/

#superdraw #raffle #beinittowinit
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Blind Veterans UK

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Interested in participating in the #Virgin Money Giving London Marathon? Be a running hero and join our team.

Lined with hundreds of thousands of supporters, this famous route takes in many of London’s top sights, starting off in historical Greenwich and finishing in The Mall.

This is a fantastic event for all types of runners and a great day out for all supporters too.

Apply for one of our charity places for a registration fee of just £45.
You will be fully supported by us with:
- A Blind Veterans UK running vest
- A fundraising guide
- Team communication and ongoing help with fundraising
- Flags and clappers for your friends and family to cheer you on on the day
- A bright and noisy Blind Veterans UK cheer point on race day

Visit http://bit.ly/2igkIJf and apply to be on the 2017 Blind Veterans UK team.
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Blind Veterans UK

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Each month blind veterans visiting our Llandudno centre head to Piggery Pottery​ near Llanberis. Here they pick from a variety of different pot designs of all shapes and sizes. Together they paint and decorate the afternoon away.

It always proves to be a very popular activity amongst our blind veterans because it’s tactile, creative and fun. Many who participate are often surprised in themselves for what they are able to achieve.

Thanks to all the staff who always treat us kindly. Not only are they very attentive, they give us great rates for activities and provide complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits.

Well done to our blind veterans - you all did an amazing job!
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Blind Veterans UK

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Our Life Beyond Sight Loss exhibition opens tomorrow at St George’s Hall Liverpool.

Since 1915 Blind Veterans UK has considered the study of art and craft to be an important element of rehabilitation for our blind veterans. Through the work of six different vision-impaired ex-Servicemen, this exhibition explores the role of art and craft in assisting blind veterans in overcoming the barriers and challenges of sight loss.

In addition to illustrating how art has enabled many of our veterans to build confidence, self-belief and independence, visitors to the exhibition can also learn about the origins of the charity and our connections with Liverpool.
Be sure to stop by. Open Wednesday through Sunday 10am to 4pm until 28 January.

Can’t make it? Look through our catalogue at: blindveterans.org.uk/lifebeyondsightloss.

Alternatively, bid on one of our celebrity pieces by blind veteran Matt Rhodes on @charitystars webpage: charitystars.com/tag/blind-veterans-uk-en.

#lifebeyondsightloss #art #exhibition #auction #celebrity #painting #mosaic #photography #Liverpool #charityevents #blindveterans
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02077235021
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12-14 Harcourt Street London W1H 4HD
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We help blind and vision-impaired ex-military personnel
Introduction

We're Blind Veterans UK, formerly St Dunstan's, and we believe that no one who's served our country should battle blindness alone.

Currently, we provide professional, specialist support to over 5,000 members (3,000 blind or severely vision-impaired veterans and their families) and we helped 650 new blind veterans in 2011 .

We're here to help with a lifetime's practical and emotional support, regardless of when people served or how they lost their sight. We get our members back on their feet, recovering their independence and discovering a life beyond sight loss.