Blind Veterans UK

Blind veterans enjoy packed week of activities in run up to Remembrance Sunday   

Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-Service men and women, welcomed veterans from across the United Kingdom to its Centre of Wellbeing in Llandudno in the run up to Remembrance. The veterans enjoyed a week packed with military themed activities, trips and special interest talks, culminating on Sunday with the town’s Remembrance commemorations.

The group of 30, made up of blind veterans and their partners, began their military themed stay on 7 November with the opportunity to witness a Zulu War re-enactment and the Anglesey Hussars re-enacting the Napoleonic Wars.

Throughout the week the group enjoyed a variety of talks and displays looking at equipment and vehicles through the ages, a visit from the Home Front Museum in Llandudno, a 1940s themed tea dance and a trip to the Cheshire Military Museum.

On Sunday, the group joined local blind veterans and residents of Llandudno for their local commemorations.

Blind veterans Bob Potts, Victor Read and Billy Baxter laid wreaths on behalf of Blind Veterans UK at the town’s war memorial. They were accompanied by representatives from three local organisations, Tom Owen and Son, Chateau Rhianfa and Thea Pharmaceuticals, who have all donated to Blind Veterans UK’s Sponsor a Wreath campaign.

Wellbeing Support Lead at the Llandudno Centre, Mark Hollis, said:

“Throughout the year we offer a range of themed weeks for our veterans to enjoy but this week, held close to Remembrance Day, is always one of the most poignant.  

“It provides our veterans with an opportunity to reflect upon and revisit their own memories of service while being surrounded by others with shared experiences.  

“It is always an honour to share this week with them, to hear their stories and to join them as they come together with the community in Llandudno for Remembrance Sunday to pay their respects.” 

Blind veteran Bob Potts who stayed at the centre for Military Week said:

“This was my third visit to the centre, it’s so reassuring to return to familiar surroundings and such welcoming people. The support and encouragement the centre team provide gives you the confidence to get involved.

“I’ve enjoyed all the activities and experiences the week has had to offer but my favourite had to be the visit from the 3rd Battalion Royal Welch who brought a variety of kit and weapons used by troops today.

“I served ten years in the Royal Navy and we didn’t have to carry our kit far. After feeling the weight of the modern kit bag, I called my son who served in the Army, with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, and told him I was glad I was a Navy man!”

Bob has taken part in Remembrance events before losing his sight but said:

“My experience in Llandudno was humbling. Never have I been to a local parade that has been so well attended.

“During my service, I never faced conflict but others before and after me have not been so lucky. I thought of them when I was laying the wreath and of those who I served alongside who are no longer with us.”

If you would like to support themed weeks at the Llandudno Centre, or you would like to register your interest in sponsoring a wreath next year, email Blind Veterans UK’s Community Partnerships Team. 

Blind Veterans UK supports thousands of blind veterans across the country, but knows there are many thousands more who still need its support to rebuild their lives after sight loss.

If you, or someone you know, served in the Armed Forces, including National Service, and are now struggling with sight loss, then please get in touch. Call 0800 389 7979 or visit blindveterans.org.uk/support       

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