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Blind veteran Simon is the new Mayor of Morley

The new Mayor of Morley has credited Blind Veterans UK, and Leeds Rhinos Foundation with supporting him to get to this point in his life.
Published on 20 May 2024

Simon, 45 and from Morley, was sworn in as the town’s new Mayor earlier this month.

Simon says: "It was a very proud moment for me and my family being sworn in and as well as thanking my family I wanted to take the opportunity to thank Blind Veterans UK and Leeds Rhinos Foundation for all they’ve done to help me get here."

“That’s why I’ve chosen the Leeds Rhinos Foundation and Blind Veterans UK as my charities to support in my year as Mayor.”
Blind veteran Simon with medals
Cllr Simon Brown
Mayor of Morley and blind veteran

As well as becoming Mayor, Simon has also been recently elected as the new Leeds City Councillor for Morley North representing the Morley Borough Independents.

Simon joined the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in 1997. During his career, he worked as a mechanic servicing and maintaining armed vehicles, serving in Germany, Kosovo, Poland, Canada and Iraq.

He lost his sight in 2006, while serving as a corporal. He led a successful mission to rescue six stranded colleagues in Iraq when he was shot in the face by a sniper, the bullet entered his left cheek and exited the other side.

Simon awoke 17 days later in a Birmingham hospital. He had lost all sight in his left eye and had to undergo several intensive operations to reconstruct his face. He was left with around 20 per cent vision in his right eye. Fortunately, he found out about Blind Veterans UK and started receiving our support in 2007.

He says: “When I found out that I’d lost my sight, my world fell apart. I’d lost my career; I’d lost my job and I’d lost my future. Blind Veterans UK gave me the training and support to move forward with my life.

“In my early days with the charity the education and peer support were invaluable. They built up my confidence and gave me support with the pragmatic things I needed moving forwards. I learned how to use email again, I learned how to cook meals by myself, things most people take for granted.”

Blind veteran Simon in his red mayoral robe and gold chain
Simon Brown In Mayoral Regalia
Blind veteran Simon using a scanner
Blind veteran Simon using a scanner
Simon playing for Leeds Rhinos

Simon now works part time for our charity supporting us reach out to help more blind veterans. He has also gone on to have a hugely successful career playing and now coaching Physical Disability Rugby League (PDRL) with Leeds Rhinos. He says: “I’m really proud of where we’ve managed to take PDRL and, although my playing days are behind me, I find coaching, particularly with kids, some of the most rewarding work I’ve ever done.”

Charities of the Year

Simon has set up two Just Giving Pages for his fundraising effort, his Leeds Rhinos Foundation page can be found here. His fundraising page for Blind Veterans UK can be found here.

Simon's fundraiser for Blind Veterans UK
Icon of two hearts being held up by two hands indicating support
“Simon is a fantastic ambassador for Blind Veterans UK and for Physical Disability Rugby League. I know that he will also now be the best ambassador for Morley in his term as Mayor.”
Our new CEO Adrian Bell
Adrian Bell
Blind Veterans UK CEO

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