Stewart Haywood talks about life beyond age-related sight loss

17 December 2013 16:55

National Service veteran stewart Haywood speaks about his new lease of life since joining Blind Veterans UK.

77 year old Stewart Haywood, a blind National Service veteran from Barnsley said that he is "back to his old self" after joining Blind Veterans UK. Stewart suffers from age-related macular degeneration was registered blind in 2010. Following the diagnosis, everyday tasks became more difficult and he started to feel isolated from those around him.

"I didn't feel able to do anything. I would just sit in my chair and watch TV - or rather, try to watch TV, because I couldn't see it very well and had to try really hard to make out what was going on."

Even visiting Blind Veterans UK's centre in Sheffield was a struggle for Stewart: "The day I was first due to go to Blind Veterans UK, I almost cried off. I was scared of going, frankly, and I didn't feel like anyone could help me. I'm so glad that I did, though. I've met other veterans going through the same things as me - it's like being part of a family."

Stewart joined Blind Veterans UK earlier this year and is receiving free and comprehensive support from the charity. This will be his first Christmas as a member of the charity and he says that the help he has received will make the festive season much easier for him and his family.

"Facing my sight loss isn't scary anymore and my wife has said that I'm back to my old self now."

Like millions of young men of his generation, Stewart had to complete National Service after he turned 18. Serving in the Yorkshire and Lancashire Regiment, he trained as a marksman before being discharged in 1956.

Research show's there are 68,000 plus blind veterans like Stewart who are eligible for our free support but are not currently aware. If you know someone who served in the Armed Forces or for National Service, and are battling severe sight problems Blind Veterans UK can help. Find out how to refer someone.