We can make a difference, together.
Christmas can be a very lonely time for a blind veteran, unless they get the right support. Imagine not being able to read your cards or cook for yourself. We want everyone to have a happy time – that’s why we've launched our Stronger Together at Christmas appeal.
Read on to see what a difference your donation could make. Together, we can make Christmas wishes come true.
“When I woke up blind that Christmas, I felt helpless and alone – thanks to you, this year is different.”
The sense of being part of things is so important at Christmas. But imagine how easy it is to feel cut off from everyone and everything when you’re blind. It’s certainly how I felt 15 years ago when I woke up from a coma on Christmas Eve and realised I couldn’t see.
I was hit by sniper fire in Iraq in 2006. Later, I found out that the bullet had shattered both my cheekbones, destroyed my left eye and severely damaged the right one. I regained consciousness 17 days later - the night before Christmas. My world had fallen apart.
People told me I was lucky to be alive, but I didn’t feel lucky at the time. They said I’d never be able to work again or live independently, and I believed them.Simon, blind veteran
That first year after I lost my sight was bleak. Then, one day, my welfare officer suggested I get in touch with my local Blind Veterans UK centre. With their professional and empathetic support, I took the first steps towards my new life. They’ve been by my side ever since.
Now, I live independently, I have a brilliant career, and I’m a qualified rugby coach. I have even carried the Olympic torch on behalf of my nation.
By donating this Christmas, you could help other blind veterans to make the most of their lives, just like I have.
But perhaps the most precious thing you’ll be doing is bringing together people who feel cut adrift. Veterans like me need ongoing physical and emotional support – and that’s what you could provide when you donate to this appeal.
I was at rock bottom that first December, but since then it’s got better and better. Your gift could mean things get better and better for all my fellow veterans who are learning to rebuild their lives after sight loss.