Blind Veterans UK Sheffield Centre celebrates 10 years of helping veterans

1 January 2015 14:54

Blind Veterans UK’s Sheffield centre celebrated its 10th anniversary today at an event attended by the Lord Mayor, the Master Cutler and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women who have benefited from training and rehabilitation at the charity’s centre.

Councillor Peter Rippon, the Lord Mayor of the City of Sheffield (pictured with Centre Manager Terry Heaton), unveiled a new Blind Veterans UK plaque to mark the charity's change of name, which changed from St Dunstan's in 2012.

Blind Veterans UK celebrates its centenary this year. Founded in 1915 to help soldiers blinded in World War I, the charity was initially known as the Blinded Soldiers and Sailors Care Committee, before adopting the name St Dunstan's until 2012 when it became Blind Veterans UK. Today, the charity supports more than 4,000 vision impaired ex-Service men and women, no matter how long they served or what caused their sight loss.

Blind Veterans UK's Sheffield centre was opened on 24 January 2005. It is a state of the art training facility with 12 bedrooms. It offers a range of rehabilitation and training courses for blind veterans living in the North of England. As well as introductory courses for new members, the centre offers training in IT, communications, mobility and independent living skills to help blind veterans recover their independence and discover a life beyond sight loss.

As part of the birthday celebrations the centre had workshop presentations in IT, rehabilitation and training for veterans and visitors.

Blind Veterans UK Sheffield Centre Manager, Terry Heaton, said: "I am delighted we are celebrating ten years of the Sheffield centre in the same year that Blind Veterans UK marks 100 years of service to blind veterans. Over the past decade we have provided training and rehabilitation to hundreds of ex-Service men and women, supporting them to learn practical and life skills which help them live independently with sight loss."

The building was built in 1864 and has been a private house, a hostel for university students, a Royal Infirmary, nursing sisters home, private nursing home and a nursing clinic.

When Blind Veterans UK took over the building in 2005 the centre was opened by the Master Cutler at the time, and the new Master Cutler, David Grey MBE, attended the birthday celebrations.