Help veterans like Tony march at the Cenotaph this Remembrance Sunday
Local veteran Tony is getting set to march at the Cenotaph in London with more than 100 other of his blind veteran comrades.
64-year-old Tony from Long Eaton is being supported to do this by his local Specsavers stores. The stores are raising money from 6 – 12 November to send blind veterans, including Tony, to march.
Tony served as a Gunner in the Royal Artillery, spending time in Germany and completing two tours of Northern Ireland before he was demobbed 1976.
"It’s a time I look back on with very fond memories, and I still keep in touch with some of the lads from that period. My time in the Army taught me the value of discipline and respect, which is something I still maintain to this day."
Specsavers stores are helping get our blind veterans to the march
Specsavers has supported Blind Veterans UK since 2012 and, as well as raising money for our charity, has referred a number of customers so they too can access our support.
This support is crucial.
When he left the Army Tony became a lorry driver. He lost his sight suddenly last year due to a work-related accident.
Tony says: “It’s been a traumatic period. Sometimes I wake up and I think that I can open my eyes and see, but then I remember what happened and it all comes flooding back to me. It’s a very frustrating and upsetting experience.”
Tony found out about the support of Blind Veterans UK after receiving advice from his local social services. Tony says: “Me and my wife feel very lucky to have found Blind Veterans UK. We’d been struggling on our own for a year before finding the charity, and when we went for an induction week at one of the charity’s rehabilitation centres it was almost overwhelming - I had to finally confront my sight loss. It was an important experience.”
Alongside visiting Blind Veterans UK’s centres for training to help him adjust to his sight loss, Tony has received equipment including an electronic magnifier to help him read his post, a liquid level indicator for pouring hot drinks and a metal glove that allows him to peel and chop vegetables in the kitchen safely.
"It’s been a traumatic period. Sometimes I wake up and I think that I can open my eyes and see, but then I remember what happened and it all comes flooding back to me. It’s a very frustrating and upsetting experience."
You too can make sure Tony and other veterans get to the Cenotaph
Book an eye test at your local Specsavers in the week leading up to Remembrance Sunday or pop by and add loose change into their donation buckets. You might even be able to get involved with an in-store event. Call your local store or ask in store for more details.
Your support means that we can cover the costs of sending our veterans to Remembrance Sunday.
From transport, to providing wheelchairs for those of our veterans who are less mobile and even hosting a lunch after the ceremony. Thank you for enabling blind veterans from across the country to meet, share their stories and support one another.
Help our veterans pay their respects
"Remembrance Sunday is always a very poignant time for our blind veterans and it is fantastic that Specsavers are able to support them to march at the Cenotaph."
Chief Executive of Blind Veterans UK, Major General (Rtd) Nick Caplin
Blind Veterans UK is the national charity for blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women, providing vital practical and emotional support to help veterans discover life beyond sight loss.
Today, Blind Veterans UK supports more blind and vision-impaired veterans than ever before in the charity’s history and we have set an ambitious target to double the number of veterans we support in the next five years.The charity estimates that there are currently 59,000 blind veterans that would be eligible to access our specialist support, most of whom are not currently aware of it.