Blind veteran Marjorie Hanson learns to keep in touch online

10 August 2017 10:00

We’ve recently helped a blind veteran from Poulton-le-Fylde to keep in touch with her relatives abroad thanks to IT training at one of our centres.

Blind veteran Marjorie Hanson sat on computer chair

Marjorie Hanson, 94, now regularly Skypes her grandson in America and her nephew in Canada, a skill she developed during a week’s stay at our Brighton centre. Marjorie first took IT training with us last year, and has since benefited from regular IT support, respite stays at the our two centres, and the companionship of other blind veterans she has met through the charity.

Marjorie joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) in 1941 and was stationed in Didcot, where she worked as a filing clerk until 1945.

Marjorie says: “It was a period I look back on with very fond memories. I met my husband and some of my lifelong friends in the Armed Forces. One of the girls I worked with in the ATS moved out to America and I went out to visit her nearly 40 years after we first met. Despite the time that had passed, we laughed and joked as if we were 18 again!”

Marjorie has received help and support from us since 2014. Marjorie has choroidal neovascular membrane and high myopia, and although she maintains a very can-do attitude to her sight loss, it has had an impact on her daily life.

We gave Marjorie special equipment including a magnifier to enlarge texts, an LED lamp and a tablet to help her stay in touch with family and friends.

Marjorie says: “I went to an introduction week in Brighton and had the most wonderful time meeting other blind veterans who are all in the same boat as me. I took an IT course and when it was time to go home I left my tablet on the front desk because I assumed it had only be loaned to me for training purposes. When the receptionist explained it was mine to keep I was over the moon!”

On how she came to hear about Blind Veterans UK, Marjorie explains: “I had heard of the charity but I always assumed that only war-blinded veterans were entitled to support. Luckily my Social Services informed me that I was also eligible and suggested I call the free phone number for more information.”

"The support from Blind Veterans UK has really given me a new lease of life. Even my grandson is impressed at how well I can navigate my tablet."

Marjorie is already planning her next stay at our Llandudno centre this October, where she will meet up with two friends she has met through the charity and celebrate Halloween.

If you, or someone you know, served in the Armed Forces or did National Service and is now battling severe sight loss, find out how we could help by calling 0800 389 7979.