Granddaughter of blind veteran walking 18 miles in a kilt for military charity

An Aberdeen woman is walking 18 miles wearing a kilt in support of Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-Service men and women, which has supported her grandad since he lost his sight.

Rebecca Jarps, 32, has signed up to take on the Aberdeen Kiltwalk on 2 June which sees walkers dressed in an array of kilts making their way from Duthie Park to Bellfield Park in around seven hours.

Walking in support of Blind Veterans UK, Rebecca says:

“I have chosen to raise money for Blind Veterans UK because of the amazing support they have offered to my Granda. Every time I speak to my Granda, he tells me about his new adventures with the charity and his time away at their centre in Llandudno.

“He and my nana would stay together at the centre prior to her passing in 2020. When she passed away, my Granda lost a lot of his independence but being able to visit Llandudno helped him through the grieving process. Finding new friends, activities, and a sense of belonging has been a huge comfort to him.”

Rebecca’s grandad, Brian Jarps, joined the Merchant Navy at 21-years-old and served for five years as an onboard engineer. His service took him all around the world and he spent a lot of time in both North and South America.

Brian first noticed he was losing his sight around nine years ago and started receiving support from Blind Veterans UK in 2019. He has age related macular degeneration and is registered as severely sight impaired.

He says:

“The charity has saved my life, once I walk through the door at the Llandudno Centre all my problems go away and I know I’m part of a big family who will keep me safe.

“When you walk through the entrance there should be a sign that says ‘miracles made here’ as that is what they do. It’s as if a big pair of arms get placed around you the minute you enter.

“Before losing my sight, I enjoyed gardening and woodwork. I still do these things; I turn pens and birdboxes. Life doesn’t end because you lose your sight.

“I am so very proud of Rebecca for taking on this challenge to support me and my fellow blind veterans.”

Rebecca has already raised £210 for Blind Veterans UK. If you would like to support her to reach her £500 target please visit her Just Giving page: justgiving.com/page/rebecca-jarps-kiltwalk2024

If you are inspired to take on your own challenge in June for Armed Forces Month please visit the Blind Veterans UK website for details on how you can get involved: blindveterans.org.uk/armedforcesmonth

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/gethelp

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