Blind veterans enjoy a revamped art and craft workshop in Brighton

24 October 2013 15:00

Former trustee and Chairman of Lloyd’s Patriotic Fund, Charles Skey, funds Blind Veterans UK's new art and craft workshop in Brighton.

Yesterday, 9 October 2013, blind veterans at the Blind Veterans UK centre in Brighton enjoyed a newly redeveloped art and craft workshop funded by the late former trustee and Chairman, Charles Skey, of Lloyd's Patriotic Fund.

The Brighton centre provides a lifeline to blind veterans each year and for many the art and craft workshop forms an important part of their visit. Blind veterans may come and complete a week's training in the workshop, come for an art and craft holiday or use the facilities whilst they are on a respite break. Those who live locally also visit on a daily basis to use the workshop and work on ongoing projects.

Currently an average of 24 blind veterans use the workshop per day and now that it has been newly refurbished we anticipate that number will increase. We have a team of five dedicated instructors to enable the workshop to be open every day and we also have regular volunteers who come in and support participation. The range of activities on offer varies enormously and we aim to adapt meet peoples' interests and personal goals.

Activities undertaken by blind veterans at the Brighton centre include photography, painting, chair caning, mosaic, soap stone carving, papier-mâché sculpting, wood carving and textiles. The list is always expanding.

The redevelopment has meant that there is more accessible and flexible space and improved workshop conditions. Work done includes an upgrade to the furniture, improvements in the ventilation system and increasing storage for our ever-growing collection of art and craft. The project is part of the milestone of the 75th anniversary of Blind Veterans UK Brighton centre.

The new workshop is a more accessible, comfortable workshop space which should enable more blind veterans to engage with creative activities. The changes will also enable more bespoke projects to take place with external groups such as schools and disability organisations exploring vision impairment and expertise.

Find out more about our centre services which help support blind veterans to regain their independence and live life beyond sight loss.