23 Dec 2020 15:00

Seven blind veterans, who would otherwise have been spending Christmas alone, arrived in Llandudno at the beginning of December to allow for a two-week isolation before enjoying the festive period together.

After enjoying lunch together on Christmas Day they will be watching the Queen’s Speech and having a traditional Christmas. They will also be bringing in the new year together.

The centre closed in March and remained closed until October of this year when it started to welcome back blind veterans who were most in need of support.

Meet Harry

90-year-old National Service veteran, Harry Howes, says: “My wife died 10 years ago and with the pandemic I would have been spending Christmas alone. 2020 has been miserable. I’ve been on my own apart from brief shopping trips with my mate who helps me out. No one comes to my house apart from him.

“I’m so happy to spend Christmas at Blind Veterans UK surrounded by other people. It will be a lovely way to see out what has been a pretty awful year."

Harry in his Santa hat
"I’m looking forward to meeting people, having a walk about, and of course enjoying a big Christmas dinner.”

Meet Bill

95-year-old Second World War veteran, Bill Needham, says: “I like talking to people, so this year has been hard. I haven’t been able to see anyone at home and I’ve only been out of the house once since March.

"I’m so happy to be spending Christmas here in Llandudno and being able to chat with other people in the same position as myself is fantastic. I just love the camaraderie and chatting about the war years with others who also went through it.”

Bill & Jean at Llandudno

Meet Arthur

82-year-old RAF veteran, Arthur Harvey, has lived by himself since losing his wife four years ago. He says: “If it wasn’t for Blind Veterans UK I’d have been sitting at home by myself on Christmas Day which would have been a pretty lonely affair. When you’ve lost someone it becomes the hardest time of the year as you remember all your good times.

I’m absolutely overjoyed to be here with my fellow veterans. After we come out of isolation I’m looking forward to spending time with them and the staff. And I’m especially looking forward to our Christmas Day lunch."

Arthur wearing his Santa hat
"I’m going to love every minute of being here. This year has been very difficult as it’s been so quiet. My neighbours have been great at helping out but it will be nice to have some company.”
Our veterans are still receiving vital support through the festive period

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