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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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This year, we are hugely proud that four blind veterans are nominated for prestigious Soldiering On Awards. These awards provide national recognition for the outstanding achievements of those who have served our country and for individuals and groups who work together with the Armed Forces community.

In addition to Clive and Simon who we've highlighted already, another nominee is blind veteran Mark Threadgold. He is up for the Sporting Excellence award.
From 1984 to 1999 Mark served in the Army. He was a Sergeant in the Royal Corps of Signals and worked as an electronics engineer. Following a tragic accident in 1999, Mark lost his sight completely and sadly had to leave his career in the Army.

A keen sportsman, Mark wasn't going to let his sight loss hold him back. In 2002, he set a new powerboat World Record, by driving a rigid inflatable boat around the Isle of Wight, a distance of 57.74 nautical miles, in just 1 hour 50 minutes.

Mark also set the World Blind Water Speed record in 2003 at Lake Windermere in a Bladerunner offshore racing powerboat. His record breaking feats don’t end there though and, as an avid scuba diver, he has also set a World Record for the deepest dive by a blind person after plunging to a depth of more than 100 metres in Egypt's Red Sea.

He always tries new challenges and, last year, completed his first triathlon. Mark has also cycled a tandem bike to Paris to raise money for Blind Veterans UK.

We think Mark would be a worthy winner and we wish him and all the nominees the best of luck!
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A massive well done and huge thank you to our incredible blind veterans and sponsorship team runners for participating in the Brighton Half Marathon yesterday.

You are all amazing!

If you had a blast and want to commit to next year already, or you’re shattered to have missed out this time around, registrations for 2018 are now open.
Head to blindveterans.org.uk/what-you-can-do/events-calendar/vitality-brighton-half-marathon/ to learn more or sign up today.
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Blind veteran David discovered our charity last year and recently attended one of our inductions courses. The course teaches veterans how to live independently with their sight loss, including kitchen, mobility and IT workshops.

David says: “I really enjoyed the entire week, especially getting to grips with the technology. I had a couple of sessions with an IT instructor who showed me how to use an iPad and has offered to help me set up broadband at home.

“The most important piece of equipment has proved to be my magnifying glass. I can read all of my letters and newspapers again. It means I can remain independent!

David enlisted into the Royal Air Force in 1950 at 18 years old. He served until 1960, working as an Air Frame Fitter at RAF Lynham before being discharged as a Corporal. It wasn’t until many years later that his sight began to deteriorate. Although David’s service career ended over 50 years ago he is still entitled to our free support.

“Before I came to Blind Veterans UK I didn’t know of any other vision-impaired veterans. It is fantastic to meet people who are in a similar situations to your own. I have even been asked to attend a local lunch club organised by the charity.”

To learn more about our induction weeks or discover the ways we can help anyone who who has served in the Armed Forces, or was enlisted in National Service, visit blindveterans.org.uk/support-for-blind-veterans/support-we-provide/introduction-weeks/.
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It may only be February, but that hasn’t stopped some of our fitness-crazy blind veterans from kick-starting their training for this year’s 100k Yorkshire challenge!

John, Carl, Chris, Roan and Mike have been busy trekking across the stunning Harrogate countryside as they look to get in the best possible shape ahead of the ultra-challenge, which takes place on 17-18 June.

Its scenic circular route will start and finish in Darley in the stunning Nidderdale, with the route also following the River Nidd onto Brimham Rocks and past Ripley Castle.

If reading about our blind veterans' training has inspired you to get involved, why not visit blindveterans.org.uk/100k to find out how you can participate too.

#fitness #walking #traininghard #blindveterans #inspirational #walk100k #Yorkshire #routereckie #100k #nopainnogain
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Ballot results have been released.
Did you get a place in September’s Great North Run or The Royal Parks Half Marathon in October?

At only £30 to register, there’s no need to miss out.

These are some of the world’s biggest and most scenic half marathons. Whether you want to take in the sights of Newcastle or enjoy London’s iconic landmarks and parks in autumn, we’ve got a team for you.

What are you waiting for – join us! http://ow.ly/Lqh7309fXQ1
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When Tony retired in 2015, he was at a complete loss. Luckily for him, this all changed in 2016 when he began volunteering for Blind Veterans UK.

He says: I worked for 50 years, so going from that to nothing was hard. I’ve always had an interest in the Second World War and it makes me sad to hear about men who are left to fend for themselves.”

Since joining the charity, Tony has been paired with Ernest, a 90 year-old veteran who lives in our Brighton centre. From the word go, the two of them were able to instantly hit it off thanks to a shared interest in crockery!
He says: “Ernest is blind, wheelchair bound and has dementia, but despite that what he loves to do is make coasters for drinks. I bring him all the equipment when he’s in the servery and guide him through the whole process. It’s a fantastic stimulant for him.”

Tony is loving the experience of giving something back to those who have bravely served our country. He says: “I really, really enjoy it. I feel very protective towards Ernest. You can hear the pleasure in his voice whenever I’m around. I’ve been told by the staff that he always asks for me when I’m not around.”

Volunteers are the lifeblood of Blind Veterans UK. To find out about how you might be able to help, please visit: http://bit.ly/29LYOtd

#volunteering #giveback #Brighton #dementia #lendingahand #wednesdaywisdom
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Blind veteran Simon Brown has been shortlisted in the prestigious People’s Choice category at the Soldiering On Awards - Charity.
We nominated Simon, 38, from Leeds, who has been supported by the charity and now works for us as a Community and Engagement Officer.
Please show your support and vote for Simon to be the People’s Choice!
To vote, send a postcard to Soldiering On People’s Choice Awards, Sunday Express, 10 Lower Thames St, London, EC3R 6EN, with his name and your name and address. http://ow.ly/72KK309aRRn

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You can be a cycling hero in 2017 by joining our Prudential RideLondon team today.

Celebrating the legacy for cycling created by the London 2012 Olympics, the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 starts in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, then follows a 100-mile route on closed roads through the capital and into Surrey's stunning countryside. Finish along on The Mall in Central London.

You can register for one of our charity places for only £25.
Did you miss your place in the ballot? Join our team today!

View our Facebook event for more information or contact Vicky on 020 7616 7959 or email fundraising@blindveterans.org.uk.
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Do you know blind veteran Simon Brown’s story?
He has been shortlisted in the prestigious People’s Choice category at the Soldiering On Awards this year.

We nominated Simon, 38, from Leeds, because he has been an inspiration to all of us and other blind veterans, has played a huge part in reaching out to hundreds of new veterans, and has been an outstanding ambassador for the charity. This award is a public vote so please show your support for Simon to be the People’s Choice!

Check out Simon's story in the Sunday Express today and then send a post card with your details and Simon's name on it to:
Soldiering On People's Choice Awards
Sunday Express, 10 Lower Thames St
London, EC3R 6EN

There will be an online vote opening just before the award next month so we’ll let you know when you can vote in that too.

#showyoursupport #postalvote
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