87 year old blind veteran Fred releases his second cartoon book.

23 November 2016

Fred had to retire from his job as a freelance artist is 2001 after discovering he was losing his sight. He says: “I went for a check-up at my local opticians because I noticed my vision wasn’t as it used to be. I was referred to the hospital where I was told I was going blind. I was devastated and felt like crying, it was horrible.”

Veteran Fred Jefferies cartooning

Fred had been drawing for more than 50 years, starting his drawing career as an intern for an art studio. Whilst interning Fred was called up for National Service. He joined the Royal Artillery and was stationed in North Wales. He left the Army two years later, declining a promotion, so he could pursue his drawing.

In 2011 he discovered our charity from a 100 year old lady during a holiday. Fred adds: “She was incredibly keen for me to get involved in the charity and wrote to them explaining she thought I’d be eligible for their support. My life hasn’t been the same since.”

Fred and his wife Nora attended an introduction week at our Brighton centre to learn how to live independently with sight loss.

He says: “It was enlightening. They gave us everything we needed and a lot more. I was amazed at what the charity does and how many people they help.”

It was later, during a holiday back at the Brighton centre, Fred talked about his love for drawing and how he had been unable to continue after losing his sight.

He says: “I was immediately encouraged to try my hand at it again and was shown equipment that might help. I started when I got back home and from it came my first cartoon book ‘Love Bites’ and now my second book ‘Love is Small Talk’.

“I’m enjoying life again and drawing inspiration from everything. ‘Love is Small Talk’ was partly inspired by my grandchildren and great grandchildren. It looks at the innocence and perspective of children and how they go through every day scenarios with a good sense of humour. I wanted to give back to Blind Veterans UK for all the help they’ve given me and therefore all proceeds will be going to the charity.”