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News | Veterans' stories

Isolated blind veterans spend Christmas together

Published on 23 Dec 2020

Seven blind veterans, who would otherwise have been spending Christmas alone, arrived in Llandudno at the beginning of December to allow for a two-week isolation before enjoying the festive period together.

After enjoying lunch together on Christmas Day they will be watching the Queen’s Speech and having a traditional Christmas. They will also be bringing in the new year together.

Meet Harry

Photo of Harry Howes, blind veteran wearing a Christmas hat at Llandudno
Harry, blind veteran

National Service veteran, Harry Howes says:

“My wife died 10 years ago and with the pandemic I would have been spending Christmas alone. 2020 has been miserable. I’ve been on my own apart from brief shopping trips with my mate who helps me out. No one comes to my house apart from him.

“I’m so happy to spend Christmas at Blind Veterans UK surrounded by other people. It will be a lovely way to see out what has been a pretty awful year.

Harry, 90, continues:

"I’m looking forward to meeting people, having a walk about, and of course enjoying a big Christmas dinner.”

Meet Bill

Photo of Bill Needham, Blind Veteran & Jean, at Llandudno
Bill, blind veteran

Second World War veteran, Bill Needham, says:

“I like talking to people, so this year has been hard. I haven’t been able to see anyone at home and I’ve only been out of the house once since March.

"I’m so happy to be spending Christmas here in Llandudno and being able to chat with other people in the same position as myself is fantastic. I just love the camaraderie and chatting about the war years with others who also went through it.”

Meet Arthur

Photo of Arthur Harvey, Blind veteran, wearing Christmas hat
Arthur, blind veteran

RAF veteran, Arthur Harvey, has lived by himself since losing his wife four years ago. He says:

“If it wasn’t for Blind Veterans UK I’d have been sitting at home by myself on Christmas Day which would have been a pretty lonely affair. When you’ve lost someone it becomes the hardest time of the year as you remember all your good times.

"I’m absolutely overjoyed to be here with my fellow veterans. After we come out of isolation I’m looking forward to spending time with them and the staff. And I’m especially looking forward to our Christmas Day lunch."

Arthur, 82, continues:

"I’m going to love every minute of being here. This year has been very difficult as it’s been so quiet. My neighbours have been great at helping out but it will be nice to have some company.”

Our veterans are still receiving vital support through the festive period

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