Help us provide a lifeline.
The pandemic has been tough on all of us, particularly our most vulnerable veterans. We have worked tirelessly throughout to protect our veterans from loneliness and social isolation.
96-year-old blind veteran Rosalie is a resident at our training and rehabilitation centre in Brighton. She suffers from age-related macular degeneration and has no vision at all.
Rosalie is one of our most vulnerable veterans and has been confined to her room or the centre during the pandemic. While isolating, residential care and technology like talking books have provided a lifeline. Even something as simple as listening to the TV or radio can make a significant amount of difference.
"They have been very kind and good to me here. I am completely blind so I can’t even see my hand in front of my face. They take me around in my chair, even though I can’t see where I’m going!"Rosalie, blind veteran
Since an early age, Rosalie has enjoyed writing poetry. In light of the pandemic, she wanted to share a specific poem she wrote, to give hope to those who need it.
I sense your presence as I fly through cloud to azure blue.
I sense your presence as I gaze on lofty mountains too.
I sense your presence as the angry seas crash down with mighty roar.
I sense your presence when the waves lap gently on the shore.
I sense your presence when the sun sinks slowly in the west.
I sense your presence when the moon shines down her golden crest.
I sense your presence in my heart as I tread along life's way.
Dear lord, may your presence be at the closing of my day.
"I just want people to enjoy it. I want it to help people."Rosalie, blind veteran
From boots to the British Red Cross.
Born in 1924, Rosalie was employed in her father's boot and shoe manufacturing business before becoming a nurse years later. She was a nurse for the British Red Cross and joined the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD).
VAD nurses carried out a variety of roles such as first aid and bed making. Most importantly, they provided nursing care to military personnel. She later married her husband, who was an officer in the RAF, and became widowed in 2012.
After Rosalie lost her sight to age-related macular degeneration, we welcomed her to Blind Veterans UK in 2015 and have supported her since. Before losing her sight, she liked to play golf, walk, sew, knit and do tapestry work.
We are all looking forward to more freedom and seeing loved ones as Coronavirus restrictions ease. But for our most vulnerable veterans, it's not that simple.