Royal Marines make spectacular entrance at Blind Veterans UK launch event in Brighton

21 February 2012 13:19

Royal Marines help St Dunstans reveal its new brand 'Blind Veterans UK' at launch event in Brighton

Today, the national military charity St Dunstan's revealed its new brand 'Blind Veterans UK' with the help of the Royal Marines.

Among those at the event were blind and vision impaired members of Blind Veterans UK who have benefitted from the life changing rehabilitation and training that the charity's Brighton Centre provides, including the charity's President Ray Hazan, who was blinded whilst serving in the Northern Ireland conflict in 1973, and former marine Steve Sparkes, who lost his sight in the Falklands during a diving incident when he was training for the Special Boat Service (SBS).

Blind Veterans UK was founded in 1915, and was called St Dunstan's until today. The new name and identity will describe what the organisation does and who it helps, ensuring its work is better recognized and understood - in turn helping beneficiary and supporter recruitment to secure the charity's future.

Andrew Jones, Blind Veterans UK's Director of Fundraising and Communications said:

"In order to celebrate such a large step forward in the charity's history, we thought the unveiling of the new name and logo at our centres should be done by our Armed Forces, and in spectacular fashion. Being the only charity in the UK for blind veterans the new brand reflects much better what we do. It puts us in a better position to achieve our vision that no one who has served their country should have to battle blindness alone. The name Blind Veterans UK will allow us to raise awareness among the general public as to the life-changing services we provide to blind and vision impaired veterans."

"Blind Veterans UK are committed to providing caring collaborative lifelong assistance to blind veterans and their families. However, we also believe that there are over 50,000 people who could still benefit from the charity's support - many of whom don't even realise. With continued support from the local Brighton population and people nationally, we hope to help even more blind and vision impaired veterans to discover a life beyond blindness." 

Anybody who is blind or severely vision impaired and has served in the armed forces is eligible for Blind Veterans UK's specialist support - even if they served many years ago. If you know a blind veteran, you can help Blind Veterans UK achieve its vision by encouraging them to get in touch.

In addition to the launch event in Brighton, other celebrations have taken place at the Blind Veterans UK centres in Sheffield and Llandudno. In Sheffield the 521 Explosives Ordnance Disposal Squadron revealed the charity's new name with the help of a bomb disposal robot, while an RAF Helicopter delivered a new flag to the Llandudno centre in North Wales.