Hugh was born in Northern Ireland and found his Royal Air Force career over before it had even started. He lost his sight when he was just sixteen years old, the day before he was due to join the RAF.
As well as being a veteran the charity supports, Hugh is also a staff member based at our training and rehabilitation centre in Llandudno. His work involves training blind veterans and helping them get to grips with new technology.
Hugh says, “I thoroughly enjoy the job and love passing on information to other veterans with sight loss as I am uniquely in a position to understand their issues, being blind myself”. He continues, “One of the best parts of this job is enjoying the military humour and banter that goes on here”.
He is very impressed with the technology that is available to help those with sight loss these days particularly, as he explains, “Software applications that work with a mix of speech and voice recognition. As eye conditions with those we support differ hugely there has to be a very varied programme of teaching. You can change the voice and accent on the computer programmes, and this can really help with new attendees to the class, making them feel more at home with a familiar sounding voice”.
He says, “We instructors regularly get together to exchange ideas and information, which helps keep the training fresh and interesting”.
In recognition of his work with the charity Hugh was presented with the Ted Higgs Trophy at the 2018 Founder's Day Awards. It is the charity’s highest honour. The late Ted Higgs lost all his sight in 1944, whilst serving in the Royal Artillery, and the award was kindly donated by members of his family.