Dame Barbara Windsor celebrates Christmas lunch with blind veterans

16 December 2016

Dame Barbara Windsor DBE surprised 17 veterans attending a Christmas lunch event today at our headquarters in London.

Photo of blind veteran Constance Halford Thompson sitting beside celebrity Barbara Windsor

The veterans were invited for a Christmas lunch celebration to launch the publication of Blind Veterans UK’s first piece of research into veterans’ social isolation. The survey conducted by the charity found that 61 per cent of older veterans said that they had become increasingly isolated following their diagnosis of sight loss.

The findings overwhelmingly indicate the need for specialist support for this group, who, in the charity’s experience, take great pride in their independence and may be less likely to ask for help. After receiving the charity’s support, 86% of respondents said that it had helped them to feel less isolated.

Dame Barbara Windsor has been a long-time supporter of Blind Veterans UK, and gave her wholehearted support to the research findings. Barbara said, “I want to make sure that Blind Veterans UK are reaching as many veterans as possible. No one who has Served our country should have to battle sight loss alone, and no one should feel isolated or lonely as a consequence of sight loss. If you, or anyone you know, previously Served in the Armed Forces, or did National Service and now suffers with severe sight loss, please encourage them to get in touch.”

A short video clip of the event is available to view here.

Blind Veterans UK provides vital services and support to ex-Service men and women battling severe sight loss and their families. The charity estimates that there are currently 59,000 blind veterans that would be eligible to access its specialist support, most of whom are not currently aware of it.

If you, or someone you know, served in the Armed Forces or did National Service and are now battling severe sight loss, find out how Blind Veterans UK could help by calling 0800 389 7979 or visiting www.noonealone.org.uk