62 year old blind veteran Keith learns a new craft at Llandudno centre

27 January 2017 11:00

62-year-old Newport blind veteran Keith joined the RAF in 1972. Discharged in 1978 he went on to work at Llanwern steel works and later in sales.

Blind veteran Barrie Greenhaf doing arts and craftsDue to his sight loss as a result of his Type I Diabetes Keith retired in 2014 which is also when he started receiving support from Blind Veterans UK. Keith played rugby in his youth and enjoyed caravanning and skittles thereafter. Since losing his sight he has looked for new activities to keep him busy when not being entertained by his six grandchildren. Booked in for a week’s stay at our Llandudno centre last week, Keith has spent some of his visit learning skills to help develop new hobbies. Last week he joined other members and together with our art and craft staff Keith learnt how to mosaic.

On learning new crafts, Keith says: “I had tried mosaicing out on my last visit to Llandudno and I was invited back to give it a proper go. I had been getting a bit depressed so I thought that a new hobby like mosaicing was just what I needed.”

In his time with the charity Keith has visited the Llandudno centre six times for tailored weeks such as learning how to use new technologies and even an adventure activity and sports week.

Keith uses one word to describe his favourite part of visiting the centre – “comradeship”. He adds: “When you’re there the atmosphere is just like being back in the Services with the added element of everyone being in the same boat with sight loss.
"The best thing Blind Veterans UK has given me is my confidence back. I remember first going and I was a jabbering wreck wanting to go home. Speaking to other blind veterans and trying out all these new things like mosaicing has made me realise there’s so much more I can still do. I’ve lost my sight, not my mind."
Keith is already carrying on his new hobby at home and has started work on two new pieces including a Welsh dragon. He’s also made a space ready to display all his work.