Blind veteran highlights the value of charity's continued support

2 January 2015 11:00

An East Sussex blind veteran has thanked national charity Blind Veterans UK for our continuing support. We are celebrating our centenary throughout 2015.

Mark Threadgold, aged 46 from Saltdean, served in the Army from 1984 to 1999. He was a Sergeant in the Royal Corps of Signals and worked as an electronics engineer. He served in England, Cyprus, and Northern Ireland. His career ended when he sadly lost his sight in 1999 in an accident.

Mark has been receiving free, continued support from Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision impaired ex-Service men and women, for 14 years. The technology we have supplied and training we have provided enables Mark to live independently with sight loss.

Mark said "Blind Veterans UK have helped me enormously. They trained me to cook independently and supplied me with gadgets that I use every day."

Mark uses different gadgets to aid him in his day to day life, including talking scales, a talking tape measure, a Dictaphone, a laptop with screen reading software, and an iPhone.

Mark said "I use a Dictaphone to make notes as I can't write them down and read them at a later date. It has different folders so I can store phone numbers in one folder and my grocery list in another. If I want to transfer any notes to a computer, I simply plug it into my laptop."

We support blind and vision impaired veterans regardless of when they served or how they lost their sight. The technology we provide to blind veterans is tailored to individual needs so they can live independently, and can include colour identifiers and small magnifiers to computer software and smartphones.

We will celebrate our centenary, this year, with a year-long programme of events and activities. National and local celebrations include commemorative events at Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and at our three centres (in Brighton, Sheffield and Llandudno, Wales) as well as special activities that the public can get involved in.

Mark said "I love using the different gadgets and they make a real difference in helping me live independently. Ultimately, the technology and training the charity has provided has given me the confidence to live my life, which is priceless."

It is estimated that there are over 68,000 blind and vision impaired veterans in the UK who could be eligible for our free, lifelong support but who are not currently aware of it. If you are, or know of, a veteran with severe vision impairment, like Mark, and would like more information about Blind Veterans UK, visit or call freephone 0800 389 7979.