Bomb disposal robot unveils new name for Sheffield based charity

21 February 2012 13:23

Today, the national military charity St Dunstan's revealed its new brand 'Blind Veterans UK' with the help of a bomb disposal robot. The robot, known as the 'wheelbarrow', was operated by a member of the 521 Explosives Ordnance Disposal Squadron to open a curtain revealing the charity's new name on the front of the charity's Sheffield centre.

Among those at Blind Veterans UK's Sheffield centre were blind and vision impaired members who have benefitted from the life changing rehabilitation and training that the centre provides. Although it is the smallest of the charity's three centres it helps hundreds of ex-Service men and women each year to improve their IT, communications, mobility and independent living skills.

Blind Veterans UK was founded in 1915, and was called St Dunstan's until today. The new name and identity will describe what the organisation does and who it helps, ensuring its work is better recognised and understood - in turn helping beneficiary and supporter recruitment to secure the charity's future.

Andrew Jones, Blind Veterans UK's Director of Fundraising and Communications said:

"In order to celebrate such a large step forward in the charity's history, we thought the unveiling of the new name and logo here at our centres should be done by our Armed Forces, and in spectacular fashion. Being the only charity in the UK for blind veterans the new brand reflects much better what we do. It puts us in a better position to achieve our vision that no one who has served our country should have to battle blindness alone. The name Blind Veterans UK will allow us to raise awareness among the general public as to the life-changing services we provide to blind and vision impaired veterans."

"Blind Veterans UK is committed to providing caring collaborative lifelong assistance to blind veterans and their families. However, we also believe that there are over 50,000 people who could still benefit from the charity's support - many of whom don't even realise. With continued support from the local Sheffield population and people nationally, we hope to help even more blind and vision impaired veterans to discover a life beyond blindness." 

WO2 Squadron Sergeant Major Tubman said:

"Blind Veterans UK is a charity held in high regard by members of 521 EOD Squadron RLC as two of our soldiers were unfortunately caught in IED blasts in Afghanistan one losing his right eye and the other having reduced eyesight to his right eye.  Blind Veterans UK is a charity which will assist them and other serving and ex members of the Forces if they require it for the rest of their lives. That is why the 521 EOD Squadron RLC completed a charity run last year in aid of three charities with Blind Veterans UK being one, and why we were more than happy to help in any way we could with the launch of the charity's new name."
Anybody who is blind or severely vision impaired and has served in the Armed Forces is eligible for Blind Veterans UK's specialist support - even if they served many years ago. If anyone knows a blind veteran, they can help Blind Veterans UK achieve its vision by encouraging them to get in touch.

In addition to the launch event in Sheffield, other celebrations have taken place at the Blind Veterans UK centres in Brighton and Llandudno. In Brighton the Royal Marines abseiled down the front of the charity's centre, while an RAF helicopter delivered a new flag to the Llandudno centre in North Wales.