Helping blind veterans like Mark live independently
Mark couldn't have begun to imagine what he would do when he lost his sight 20 years ago after a horrific accident.
He struggled to come to terms with his dreadful loss and didn’t know who to turn to. He came close to giving up hope. There were many dark days - until he found support through Blind Veterans UK and Mark remembers clearly when he could, finally, see a light at the end of the tunnel.
It started with small steps - and then, these small steps saw Mark adjust to his sight loss and regain his independence.
As Mark discovered, somebody who has lost their sight has to relearn how to perform even seemingly ‘simple’ everyday tasks, like making a cup of tea or getting dressed. Before he first ventured out of our Brighton centre on his own, for instance, Mark underwent months of training until he felt confident using another vital piece of kit – his long white cane.
“You have to do it one step at a time. I started indoors with a short guide cane. When I had the skill to go outside I did it bit by bit, learning one landmark at a time and gradually going further”
Today, Mark lives on his own and, with the help of kit provided, such as a long cane, is fully independent.
With his re-found confidence Mark has completed a number of amazing fundraising challenges for Blind Veterans UK, including climbing Kilimanjaro.
Mark shows just how much, with your support, veterans living with sight loss can achieve.
"Eventually I felt confident enough to go to the barbers on my own. It’s only a mile away but was very daunting. And when I thought I’d got there I’d actually wandered into the florists – but that’s fine, you’re going to make mistakes along the way.”