How we are helping blind veterans during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
Last updated: 23 March 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.
Having to self-isolate, our older beneficiaries need our help right now with daily tasks, such as shopping, medication, and emotional support through this difficult time. For that reason we are temporarily changing our service model, introducing the National Support Service, mobilising our staff to provide practical, essential support to help the most vulnerable.
What we are doing
- We will be primarily delivering an outreach service on the telephone as well as a practical support service to blind veterans, due to the social distancing restrictions currently in place, but we will also use those calls to identify those with the greatest need.
- We have been evaluating the current and potential impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) across all of our work.
- We are closely monitoring Government advice and considering what implications this has for Blind Veterans UK on a daily basis.
- We are focusing on ensuring the safety of veterans, staff, volunteers and supporters, whilst continuing to provide outstanding services to visually impaired ex-service men and women.
- We are working with local communities, other charities and Local Authorities in order to reach as many people as we can and provide a coordinated, efficient response.
- We are putting on hold our routine work with blind veterans until we are through this crisis so all staff can have an impact on the frontline where it is needed most.
- We have now closed our two training and rehabilitation centres in Brighton and Llandudno to all except the permanent residents at the Brighton centre.
- Our immediate concerns are to work quickly to help those who are most vulnerable- whether they need food delivered, medication from their pharmacy or a friendly voice over the phone.
Our National Support Service Helpline number is open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.