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Liverpool blind veteran to celebrate military charity centenary at Buckingham Palace

Date
1 May 2015 13:07

A blind veteran from Liverpool will celebrate Blind Veterans UK’s 100 year anniversary at a special garden party at Buckingham Palace this June (04/06).

Trevor Berry, 86, will be visiting the palace with more than 1,000 other veterans helped by Blind Veterans UK, to mark the military charity's 100 years of proud service and support to blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.

He joined the Army when he was just 17 years old in 1946. He worked as a driver and served in Germany. While serving in the Army, Trevor was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a hereditary disease which gradually causes sight loss.

Trevor says: "I really enjoyed my time in the Army and was sorry I couldn't make a career out of it because of my sight loss."

Trevor started receiving support from Blind Veterans UK in 1986. He received training to become a telephonist and went on to work for the Government. He's also received training to use a computer and do various activities such as making toys and learn to play instruments.

Trevor says: "I cannot speak highly enough of Blind Veterans UK. They have helped me in every way possible, from training for a job to enjoying holidays at their centres. There's never a dull moment with them."

Trevor and his wife Agnes will be joining other veterans supported by Blind Veterans UK at a special garden party at Buckingham Palace in June.

Trevor says: "It's a very special occasion and it's brilliant to celebrate it with so many other veterans. I'm especially looking forward to the camaraderie that's present at both the charity's centres and events they organise."

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.

Chief Executive of Blind Veterans UK, Major General (Rtd) Nick Caplin CB, says: "All of us at Blind Veterans UK feel both honoured and very proud to celebrate our Centenary at such a special event. It will be a fantastic day for our veterans, whatever the weather!

"This anniversary also provides the opportunity for us to look forward to the challenges that lie ahead for Blind Veterans UK.  It is a critical time for our charity as the number of blind veterans we support is increasing; in the past year, more blind veterans have registered for our help than ever before in the charity's history and this trend is set to continue."

Visit blindveterans.org.uk to learn more about the charity's 100 year history and how you can support its vital work today.