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News Volunteers' stories

Celebrating our volunteers

Published on 5 Dec 2023

Volunteers who give their time to support blind veterans at our Llandudno Centre of Wellbeing came together for a conference to mark International Volunteering Day.

The conference was an opportunity for the centre to celebrate recent successes and thank our volunteers for their contribution to the centre throughout the year. Volunteers attended training and skills development sessions and learnt about new initiatives and support available to blind veterans who stay at the centre.

We were delighted to welcome Ruth Fabby MBE, former director of Disability Arts Cymru, as guest speaker at the conference. Ruth delivered an insightful session on the Social Model of Disability and spoke to volunteers and staff about the importance of volunteering.

In 2023, more than 90 volunteers have given over 4000 hours of their time to support blind veterans at the Llandudno centre. Volunteers young and old take part in a wide variety of activities, events and projects at the centre including beekeeping, gardening and photography.

Susan is a volunteer gardener at the Llandudno centre. She said:

“I volunteer there two days a week, looking after the garden,” says Susan, who is nearly 76 years old. “I love gardening, but I get so much out of volunteering too. It’s such a sociable thing, you get to meet new people, make friends, get some fresh air and exercise. I think that volunteering is the best thing possible for your wellbeing."
A lady wearing simulation glasses, holding hoops to play a game
Volunteer Yvonne taking part in VI simulation session
A small group of men and women sat down
A group of volunteers gathered for a training session
A man sat in an armchair in front of a Christmas tree
Volunteer Mally during photography week at Llandudno

From arts and crafts to archery, bingo to bowls, volunteers help bring sessions from across our wellbeing programme to life. On trips, and during events they support our blind veterans with sight guiding, descriptive narrative and wheelchair assistance and of course, make a great cup of tea to go with a friendly chat in the lounge!

During activity weeks, the skills and experience of our volunteers come to the fore. Whether its expertise developed in the Armed Forces, work, study or hobbying, the insight from our volunteers adds an extra layer of guidance for our blind veterans.

Mally has been volunteering at the Llandudno centre for five years and, having retired following 23 years working for the police and nine years with the RAF, was keen to give something back to the community. He says that he absolutely loves volunteering.

“I do two things here, I help them settle in and get about, taking them on trips and so on. And the other thing I do is take photographs. I’m doing a photography degree and I take photos of the members here when we’re out on trips. I get so much out of helping here. ”
A man sat in an armchair in front of a Christmas tree

Volunteer with us

On International Volunteering Day, we’d like to thank our volunteers for all they do to support blind veterans across the charity.

We have a wide variety of volunteering roles available at our centres, and across the UK in our communities. You could make a huge difference to a blind veteran's life by becoming a volunteer.