Throughout the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we have been working tirelessly to ensure that our veterans, more than 90% of whom are over 70 and self-isolating, have everything they need.
Our National Support Service is leading the way in keeping our veterans connected. We are bringing veterans together virtually so that they can continue to enjoy life. We are setting up telephone and online group chats and we are also providing training and equipment for hobbies, so they can learn new skills or keep physically and mentally healthy.
During this crisis, we must maintain our veterans' wellbeing, making them feel reassured and cared for. However there is only so much we can achieve at this challenging time, so it is with thanks to the contribution from fundraisers all over the country - from as young as three-years-old - that we are able to continue our vital work. Below are stories of just a few of our fantastic fundraisers.
Above and beyond the call of duty
We are astonished by the amount of people who have raised money and joined us in supporting our veterans. But there is one group who has managed to raise vital funds for us - and still are - by completing a variety of challenges. 280 cadets from Wilson's School CCF in Sutton (including cadets from Wallington High School for Girls) are over halfway to hitting their fundraising target of £2,600 and they may even go higher!
Back in April, the cadets were given a brief to complete a 2.6 challenge and their activities became more creative by the day. These included: running 26 miles, baking 26 cookies, hitting 26 consecutive numbers on a dartboard, staying awake for 26 hours, scoring 26 basketball hoops and the list goes on. By supporting our fundraisers, you are supporting our veterans.
Chris Burton, Contingent Commander, says: “Blind Veterans UK was selected as our charity because one of our Unit Officer’s friends is a beneficiary of the organisation and his life has been greatly and permanently changed for the better because of the charity. We decided to take full advantage of the free time that lockdown offered by challenging the cadets to take on a 2.6 challenge, no matter how small or wacky, and send us evidence for social media to encourage donations."
How your support helps our blind veterans to avoid isolation
Ken is one of our veterans who lives alone and is shielding due to COVID-19 so maintaining a bridge of communication with loved ones has been challenging - this left Ken feeling socially isolated. We sent Ken a specially adapted Synapptic phone and were able to train him on how to use it remotely. These phones are perfect for people with sight loss like Ken, allowing him to communicate with friends and family. Equipment like this is life changing for those who need it the most.