Cheshire veteran celebrates centenary of military charity

1 April 2015 10:55

A local veteran who has received vital support from Blind Veterans UK celebrated the centenary of the charity at a special reunion event in Derby last week (10/04).

Terence Kettle, 78, from Crewe reunited with several other veterans helped by Blind Veterans UK to mark the military charity's 100 years of proud service to blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.

Terence served in the Royal Army Medical Corps as an orderly in the military hospital on Gibraltar for 20 months from January 1958 to February 1960, as part of his National Service.

He has received help and support from Blind Veterans UK since 2013.  He lost his sight due to macular degeneration, the most common cause of vision loss in those over 50.

Terence had his own business when he lost the sight in his left eye. Four years later, in 2008, he abruptly lost most of the sight in his right eye too. He was driving to Nantwich when the lines in the road started wavering. He pulled over and put in an emergency call to the hospital where he was told he was going blind.

Terence says: "At the time, I broke down. I came home and I thought my life was over."

Terence heard about Blind Veterans UK at his bowling club. The charity has helped him by supplying a magnifying screen, a talking newspaper, a computer, scanner and printer. He has also received IT lessons at the charity's Llandudno Centre where he learned to use Dolphin Guide, a simple talking system designed for partially-sighted people new to computing.

He says: "Blind Veterans UK are super and they can't do enough for you.

"They're so helpful at the Blind Veterans UK Llandudno Centre and we love going there. I'm looking forward to my holiday in June at the centre."

Blind Veterans UK (formerly St Dunstan's) was founded in 1915 and the charity's initial purpose was to help and support soldiers blinded in World War I. But the organisation has gone on to support more than 35,000 blind veterans and their families, spanning World War II to recent conflicts including Iraq and Afghanistan.

For 100 years, the charity has been providing vital free training, rehabilitation, equipment and emotional support to blind and vision impaired veterans no matter when they served or how they lost their sight.

Blind Veterans UK is currently reaching out to more veterans like Terence.  If you know someone who served in the Armed Forces, or those who did National Service, and is now battling severe sight problems, Blind Veterans UK may be able to provide them and their family with a lifetime's practical and emotional support for free.

Call freephone - 0800 389 7979 or go to now.