Out on a wing – Birmingham blind veteran completes wing walk to raise money for our charity!
6 September 2016 11:52
Peter Johnson has completed a wing walk to raise money for our charity which he says turned his life around after losing his sight.
Blind veteran Peter was bought the wing walk as a 77th birthday present but decided to take the opportunity to raise money for Blind Veterans UK.
Peter began to lose his sight five years ago due to age-related macular degeneration, but in 2014 it deteriorated rapidly. Now he can barely see anything only telling the difference between light and dark and seeing the outline of objects.
He says: “When I lost my sight I became very depressed, I would sit around and not do much which makes you start to feel isolated.
“My wife told me to go to a sight loss exhibition in Birmingham which is where I met Simon, a blind veteran who told me about the charity and encouraged me to get in touch.”
Peter was eligible for our support because of his service in the Army. He served in the Household Cavalry as part of National Service from 1958 until 1960.
He says: “I enjoyed my National Service very much. I made lots of mates and it took me all over the world, including Dubai, Bahrain and Yemen. Before joining the Army, I’d never been further than Weston-Super-Mare.”
He started receiving free help and support from the Blind Veterans UK in January last year and has been provided with training and equipment to allow him to regain his independence.
Our charity has provided Peter with equipment to make his life easier including a talking alarm, a talking watch and a CCTV machine which allows him to read by magnifying text.
He says: “I thought I wouldn’t be able to use my computer anymore, but the training I’ve had has proved me wrong! I can use a tablet, Skype with other veterans from the charity and email my friends and family. I don’t feel isolated anymore which is brilliant.
“The main thing that Blind Veterans UK has shown me is that there is so much I can do that I didn’t think was possible when I lost my sight.
“That’s where the wing walk idea started. It was on my bucket list so wanted to do it whilst supporting an amazing charity.
“I keep pretty fit and active by walking and rambling regularly but still had to lose weight to be allowed to do the wing walk. The weight limit was 12 stone so I lost a stone in about a month.
“It was absolutely fantastic and I’m pleased that I have been able to raise some money to give back to Blind Veterans UK.”