The Garden Party at Buckingham Palace to celebrate Blind Veterans UK’s Centenary.

Thursday 4 June 2015 was an outstanding and unforgettable day in the history of our charity as 6,000 guests, mostly blind veterans their families, attended the Blind Veterans UK Centenary Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.

We were graced by the company of Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex, who represented Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Household. To the delight of our veterans the Countess spent the afternoon taking her time to speak with as many blind veterans and their families as possible.

It was a joyous day as the sun shone and the bands of The Coldstream Guards and The Band of the Queen’s Division played.  10,000 cups of tea were drunk along with 450 litres of iced coffee and Sandringham apple juice. The sandwiches and 47,000 cakes were delicious, and there was good company to be had in abundance as friends caught up with one another and new friendships were made.

A Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey to mark the Centenary of Blind Veterans UK.

On Tuesday 6 October 2015 Blind Veterans UK held a special Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey to mark our centennial year and we were joined by 1,800 guests for the Service which was performed by blind veterans, volunteers, staff and celebrities including Barbara Windsor, David Dimbleby, Gwawr Edwards and Alistair Caplin who played his especially composed violin piece for the Service ‘Reach your Hand to my Shoulder’.

We were honoured that The Very Reverend Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster, flew in straight from the USA that morning especially to be able to join us.

Following the Service of Thanksgiving the bells of Westminster Abbey rang in joyous celebration as blind veterans and their guests headed to the College Garden to enjoy lunch. It was a very special occasion as sandwiches and cakes were eaten from very special Blind Veterans UK picnic boxes that have become something of a collector’s piece.