Southend son of blind veteran raises £2,000 for charity in father’s honour
3 May 2016 16:02
A man from Southend has presented Blind Veterans UK with a cheque for £2,000 after raising money in his father's honour for the military charity over the last year.
Nick Booroff, 55 and from Hadleigh, raised the money after becoming Master of the Villerica Lodge last year and choosing Blind Veterans UK as his nominated charity. Nick chose the charity because of the support it provided his father Cliff before he passed away.
Cliff Booroff, joined the Army for his National Service in 1950. Serving with the Royal Signals, he was stationed in the UK and Egypt with the 17th Infantry Brigade. Cliff left the Army in 1952 and returned to his career as a builder. He lost his sight later in life after suffering from hypertension retinopathy due to high blood pressure.
It wasn't until 2005 that Cliff was made aware that, as an ex-Service man who had lost his sight, he was eligible for free life-long support from the charity Blind Veterans UK. Unfortunately, Cliff passed away in 2009 but his son Nick is still very grateful for the support Blind Veterans UK provided his father.
Nick said: "The main thing that my dad got out of his time with Blind Veterans UK was the comradeship and sense of belonging being back with ex-Service men and women again.
"The charity made a huge difference to him and he particularly enjoyed visiting one of their centres in Brighton."
Nick decided that he wanted to raise money for Blind Veterans UK after becoming Master of the Lodge at his Freemasons' Lodge in Billericay. The majority of the money was raised at a summer ball with the largest amount coming from a particularly successful raffle.
Nick added: "My wife and daughter pulled out all the stops and helped me get some brilliant prizes that you wouldn't see in your normal raffle like a very rare bottle of rum."
He presented the £2,000 cheque to Blind Veterans UK President Ray Hazan at a reunion of blind veterans at the RAF Club in Piccadilly last week.
Nick wants to continue raising money for Blind Veterans UK this year and is planning to take on a long distance open water swim in the summer.
He said: "Blind Veterans UK is an extremely worthwhile charity who really did help my dad. They support veterans of all ages from those who did their National Service and lost their sight later like my dad, to those younger veterans who have been injured in the recent conflicts.
"It is a terrible thing to lose your sight and Blind Veterans UK makes a huge difference to the lives of those who have served our country and are now battling blindness."