Building bridges through Project Gemini

28 May 2018 12:00

We were delighted to welcome blind veterans from the US to our rehabilitation and training centre in Llandudno in May.

Project Gemini sit outside the Llandudno rehabilitation centre
Project Gemini manage to behave themselves for a quick group photograph.

Members of the Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) visited the UK through our exchange programme Project Gemini.

Now in its eighth year, Project Gemini enables blind veterans from both sides of the pond to share experiences and knowledge about matters such as blind rehabilitation and readjustment training, vision research and adaptive technology for the blind.

Buggy driving as part of Project Gemini
Tearing up the dirt: our blind veterans went full throttle during buggy driving.

It’s also a chance for the blind veterans involved to get stuck into a range of activities such as caving, buggy and hovercraft driving and indoor skydiving. Other highlights this year included a visit to Caernarfon Castle as well as taking on the longest and fastest zip wire in Europe at Zip World.

Major Tom Zampieri (Ret.), a legally blind veteran himself, accompanied the group as the trip coordinator. He says: 

"This week, and particularly the seminar, is so important because, by bringing together experts and blinded veterans from different countries, we can learn lessons from each other’s healthcare systems and veterans’ services and influence changes that best support blind veterans in each nation."

President of Blind Veterans UK Colin Williamson, says: “Blind Veterans UK is very proud to be welcoming comrades from around the world to the UK.

“This week will be fun but what it’s really about is ex-Service men and women from different countries coming together to share experiences and support each other.

Project Gemini has been made possible due to a donation from Revision Military who specialise in producing protective solutions for soldiers.