Meet Kenneth Winstanley
As well as volunteering for the charity, blind veteran Kenneth is also one of its beneficiaries.
Kenneth joined the Royal Air Force in 1956 and was stationed in both Ternhill and Wilmslow. He was discharged in 1958, attaining the rank Senior Aircraftman. He lost his sight in 2016 due to macular degeneration. Fortunately, he found out about Blind Veterans UK and started receiving support from the charity in 2017.
He says: “My whole career involved a lot of driving and when I lost my sight, my license was taken away from me straight away. As driving was such a big part of my life, it was a massive blow.
“A friend of mine was already a member and told me about the charity. I attended the induction week at their training and rehabilitation centre in Llandudno where I was taught how to cope in the kitchen and with other household things that you struggle with when you lose your sight.”
We have supplied Kenneth with a number of different pieces of equipment such as a mobile phone and a magnifying glass which he was taking with him to do his shopping. He says: “Blind Veterans UK has been a godsend. They are an incredible organisation and what they have done for me is unbelievable.”
Since Kenneth started receiving support from Blind Veterans UK he now volunteers and tries to raise funds for the organisation by joining our fundraising teams carrying collection tins around the Manchester area.
“I do things to give back because they do so much for all blind veterans like me. I had a great week at their training centre in Llandudno where I met a blind veteran called Billy Baxter who was inspiring. The work Blind Veterans UK does and the experience I have had made me want to spread the word. More people need to know about the difference they make to thousands of blind veterans.”
Kenneth has arranged a raffle at the local bowling club as well as collecting money in his local town.
Speaking about his most enjoyable experience in the almost three years volunteering with Blind Veterans UK, Kenneth says: “My favourite memory is taking part in the Remembrance commemorations last November. I was able to join the charity marching in London as well as collecting money outside our fantastic statue at Manchester Piccadilly station.
“We were joined by a team from the charity’s Llandudno centre dressed in First World War uniforms to match the statue.
“It really was just a fantastic day and the best bit was that we were able to raise just short of £3,000.”