Gary has been involved with the National Creative Project since it launched.

54-year-old Gary joined Blind Veterans UK in 2015 and was first introduced to woodturning at our Llandudno centre. He served in the Royal Engineers and Royal Corps of Transport before losing his sight to meningitis but that didn't stand in the way of his woodwork.

Gary is part of the woodwork group and says that 'it's great to be able to do this virtually'. He is talking to veterans across the UK on a regular basis and they are exchanging woodwork hints and tips.

It was thanks to the woodwork group that he decided to give mosaics a try. Gary had been speaking to veteran Sue, and giving her some tips as she was new to craft. It was then when she encouraged Gary to have a go at mosaics as that was something she was interested in.

“When I first heard about this project, I knew that I wanted to get involved in the woodturning and woodwork groups as I had missed visiting the centre and talking to other members with similar interests."
Gary, blind veteran
Gary's wooden boxes
Gary's workshop
Gary's workshop

A way to keep our veterans connected.

Gary also volunteers as an IT helper and helps veterans new to the charity settle in, so he has particularly enjoyed being about to keep in contact with other veterans throughout the pandemic.

The National Creative Project has not only introduced Gary to a new skill but it has also been a great support during the lockdown period. He says that they 'all have each other’s numbers and often call each other outside of the organised group calls to see how everyone is getting on'.

"It doesn’t matter if veterans don’t have access to a computer, you can join the calls via telephone. I really hope this can continue after the lockdown, as it’s given us a sense of community and been a great way to meet other blind veterans.”
Gary, blind veteran