As Platinum Jubilee fever took hold across the country our blind veterans are no different in wanting to take part in something special to celebrate Her Majesty’s historic 70-year reign.
As Patron of this charity from 1952 to 2016, the Queen will always hold a special place in our hearts and the history of Blind Veterans UK. It’s no surprise, then, that, Blind Veterans UK staff, volunteers and blind veterans across the country took part in countless exciting events in Her Majesty’s honour.
Blind veterans enjoyed Jubilee lunches, singing and dancing, games, and competitions and thousands of sandwiches, cakes, and other treats were consumed.
Our National Creative Project (NCP) team, set up at the start of the first lockdown to support blind veterans with creative activities at home, also wanted to mark the occasion and leave a lasting legacy for this historic time.
In January, they started working on an amazing ‘Jubilee bunting on a bag’ activity with blind veterans were invited to design bunting for Her Majesty’s big weekend.
More than 50 blind veterans took part in the project, each producing bunting designs fit for a queen. Our NCP team sent everyone a project pack with all the materials they needed, plus a stamped addressed envelope so they could return their finished artwork to decorate both our centres in Brighton and Llandudno.
We also invited our Patron, HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO, to join in the fun and were delighted when she sent us her design for a bunting triangle.
Her Royal Highness’ exquisite design is a yellow crown pattern complimented by purple stripes.
As well as producing bunting to decorate our two Centres of Wellbeing over the Jubilee period, our NCP team wanted to help encourage a sense of community for all who took part. The designs were joined up to create the print for a special Jubilee cotton shopping bag. This lovely souvenir not only showcases the work of our blind veterans, but is also unique and eco-friendly.
HRH The Countess of Wessex’s design features in the centre of the bag and, along with every participant, she received her finished printed bag in time for the celebrations.
One blind veteran who took part in the project was 96-year-old Betty, who’s a resident at our Brighton Centre.
“Before I started being supported by Blind Veterans UK I’d never done any arts and crafts, but now I take part in all the projects on offer and enjoy them all. I will carry my Jubilee bag with pride and I thank the arts and crafts staff for their care and patience.”Blind veteran Betty
Another resident, Ken, 99, was also delighted with his bag. He said, “The bags really are very nice. The design I did was based on the cross of St George, so the colours are red and white. I’m looking forward to showing it to my sons.”
Congratulations and thank you to Her Majesty for 70 years of the most dedicated service. We know that, together with our Royal Patron, all those who took part in the project will carry their Jubilee bag with pride.