How we are helping blind veterans during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
Last updated: 1 June 2020
Blind Veterans UK are ensuring that the most vulnerable veterans we support are receiving everything they need right now. More than 90% of the blind veterans we serve are over 70 and so most at risk from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the coming months. As a result our immediate priorities have changed.
Our immediate concerns continue to be working quickly to help those who are most vulnerable - whether they need food delivered, medication from their pharmacy or a friendly voice over the phone.
How our service changed
- In mid-March we introduced our National Support Service in response to the COVID-19 Crisis. The National Support Service is:
- providing telephone and practical support to blind veterans through regular calls
- linking them up with volunteers and local community groups to help with shopping and other everyday things.
- working with other sight loss and veteran’s charities, local communities and Local Authorities to join up this support.
- The whole charity pulled together to contact all our blind veterans and provide immediate support to those who needed it and by the end of April, we had spoken to 98% of the all those we support.
During this time we have been gathering feedback about the things that blind veterans were finding difficult, missing or needed help with so that we could develop into the next phase of the service.
What we are doing now
Our National Support Service is now working on ways to keep our veterans connected with each other and provide additional support to those who need it.
We are using remote means to help us comply with current social distancing guidance. This may be through bringing veterans together in small telephone or online groups for chats, entertainment or to pursue hobbies; or by providing training and equipment so that they can get on with the things they want to do, such as developing IT skills, keeping fit or taking up a new interest.
Our two training and rehabilitation centres in Brighton and Llandudno remain closed to all except the permanent residents at the Brighton centre and our care staff there continue to provide outstanding levels of care and support to those residents.
After extensive testing we have confirmed that our Brighton centre is completely free of Coronavirus so we are now able to allow families to visit their relatives in our garden. We are taking all necessary measures to ensure that everyone remains safe and protected.