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Essex veteran celebrates centenary of military charity

Date
1 April 2015 12:01

A local veteran who has received vital support from Blind Veterans UK celebrated the centenary of the charity at a special reunion event this week (22/04).

Doug Rogers, 76, from Colchester 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.

Doug joined the Army in 1956 as a 17 year old and served in the West Yorkshire Regiment and the First Battalion Prince of Wales Own Regiment of Yorkshire. While with the Army he served in Northern Ireland, Gibraltar, Germany, Cyprus and Yemen. He left the Army after 18 years of Service as a Staff Sergeant. He joined fellow veterans at the special lunch in Cambridge.

Doug has received help and support from Blind Veterans UK since 2005.  He lost his sight due to virus called retinal vasculitis, which caused him to lose his sight almost overnight.

Doug says: "I was quite upset as my main hobby at the time was painting military figures, which required precision and good eyesight."

Doug has received help from Blind Veterans UK to allow him to read his post with the help of a scanner and equipment to support his new hobby crafting ships and aircraft carriers which are three feet long.

Doug says: "I've been to the charity's Brighton Centre and have also been part of their Archery Club. If I want anything, Blind Veterans UK is there to support me."

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 Doug. 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 www.noonealone.org.uk now.