Swanage veterans Christmas light display supports

4 December 2014 16:35

A former Army Signalman who receives support from the national charity for veterans with severe sight loss is raising money with his impressive Christmas lights display in Swanage.

Steve Claxton, 79, of Hoburne Road, is collecting money for Blind Veterans UK as a thank you for the life changing support the charity have provided through his battle against sight loss.

Steve said that joining the charity, which provides practical, emotional and financial support to blind veterans, was quite simply the 'best thing I've ever done', since losing his sight after an operation went wrong 23 years ago.

This is the 11th year Steve and his wife Brenda have put on a special Christmas lights display at their family home in Swanage and they hope to raise as much as possible for Blind Veterans UK as well as local charity, Cancare. They are requesting donations from anyone who enjoys the festive lights.

Steve receives help putting up the lights from neighbours Keith Ashcroft of Cutabove Flooring ltd, who helps with the electrics, and Keith Bragg, owner of Swanage pet shop and a part time fireman who helps with the roof displays.

Steve joined the Royal Corps of Signals in September 1953 and served at Catterick and Colchester. He was discharged in September 1956 as a Signalman, having attained good educational qualifications. It was not until years later that he had the operation which tragically left him with just 5% vision in his left eye and 10% vision in his right eye. As the charity for ex-Service men and women with sight loss, which supports veterans regardless of when they served or how they lost their sight, Blind Veterans UK has been there for Steve to help him live independently.

Steve said: "I cannot speak highly enough of Blind Veterans UK. Through their support, I have enjoyed some excellent respite breaks at its centres and learnt some great new skills. I have done an IT course which has helped me enormously with being able to use a computer.

"I hope people will stop by to see the lights and consider leaving a donation."

Blind Veterans UK's No One Alone campaign aims to reach out to the estimated 68,000 plus ex-Service personnel who could be benefiting from its services but either do not know about the charity or realise they are eligible for its support.

If you are or know of a veteran with vision impairment, request free support by calling 0800 389 7979 or find out more at www.nononealone.org.uk