Blind Army veteran looks forward to celebrating Christmas event with Blind Veterans UK
9 December 2016 15:17
Blind veteran Peter is looking forward to celebrating a Christmas lunch event on 12 December 2016 with Blind Veterans UK.
Peter joined the Life Guards for National Service on 8 May 1958 and trained at Pirbright. After service in Aden, Dubai and Germany he was discharged as a Trooper on 29 May 1960 and remained on part time National Service in the Warwickshire & Worcestershire Yeomanry until 31 Mar 1961.
Sadly, in 2014, Peter lost most of his sight due to macular degeneration. He found adjusting to sight loss extremely difficult and became a virtual recluse. Peter said, “I became very depressed at the loss of my sight. I stopped going out and seeing friends, I thought I couldn’t do anything”.
Fortunately, a member of staff at another sight loss charity told Peter about Blind Veterans UK, and he became a beneficiary in January 2015.
Meeting other veterans going through similar experiences has helped Peter to come to terms with his sight loss. He has thrived from taking part in the social opportunities provided by Blind Veterans UK, including local lunch clubs, reunions, and meeting other veterans at the centres. Peter and his wife have made firm friends with other veterans they have met at these events, and they arrange regular meetings.
Peter said, “It’s been a wonderful experience meeting all these new people, they have become like my extended family. Since joining Blind Veterans UK, I’ve had the confidence to socialise and take up new activities. I’ve become myself again. I even went on a wing walk to raise money for the charity recently!”
Peter and his wife are set to join Blind Veterans UK for a Christmas lunch event in London on 12 December. Peter said, “I’m really looking forward to coming down to London for Christmas lunch, it will be great to meet some new veterans from a different area. I’m sure we’ll have some good stories to exchange!”
Blind Veterans UK provides vital services and support to ex-Service men and women battling severe sight loss and their families. The charity estimates that there are currently 59,000 blind veterans that would be eligible to access its specialist support, most of whom are not currently aware of it.
If you, or someone you know, served in the Armed Forces or did National Service and are now battling severe sight loss, find out how Blind Veterans UK could help by calling 0800 389 7979 or visiting noonealone.org.uk