News

From the RAF to the Army and Navy Club

Ashley Stevenson used the OA’s employment services to leave the RAF and pursue a portfolio career.

Ashley joined the RAF in 1976, and left in 2013 as an Air Commodore. He had a full active career in the RAF, training to become a Harrier pilot and later becoming a Qualified Weapons Instructor and Harrier display pilot. He commanded Number 3 (Fighter) Squadron and led the first Joint Force Harrier air operations from HMS Illustrious during the Sierra Leone Crisis in 2000.

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East Anglian blind veterans learn how to sail in Levington

Six blind veterans from East Anglia have been taking to the waves and learning a new skill during a sailing taster day, provided by Blind Veterans UK and The East Anglian Sailing Trust.

Through the use of audio navigation units, tactile charts and Discovery Pens, the vision-impaired ex-Service men were able to fully partake in the exciting day of sailing in Levington, near Ipswich.

The blind veterans, who hail from Ipswich, Colchester, Ely and Southwold, fulfilled a variety of roles on the yacht, including: navigator, helmsman, mainsheet trimmer and grinder.

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‘My grandfather recognised the responsibility we have to care for the RAF Family’

My grandfather, Hugh Trenchard, the first Viscount Trenchard, often called the Founder of the RAF, became its first Chief of the Air Staff on its formation on April 1 1918.

The new service was revolutionary: it sought its officers and men from all backgrounds, with my grandfather wanting the very finest people for the fledgling force, whether they were the sons of dukes or dustmen. It was not their background that was important, it was their ability.

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Blind veterans welcome local MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle to charity’s Brighton centre

On Friday morning (09/03) blind veterans supported by national military charity Blind Veterans UK were visited by Lloyd Russell-Moyle, MP for Kemptown and Peacehaven, at the charity’s centre in Ovingdean.

Lloyd was given a tour of the centre and answered questions about social care, and his continued commitment to supporting local charities, during a Q&A with staff and beneficiaries.

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Unforgotten Forces working together successfully to support veterans

When 65 year old veteran Ken lost his eyesight temporarily, he and his wife Gina found help from several organisations, including the Defence Medical Welfare Service, within the Unforgotten Forces Project.

Ken served in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers for 4.5 years before he left the service in 1977. After his army career Ken and his wife Gina successfully ran their own pub. Unfortunately, in 2008 Gina had an accident and developed Myelopathy, a degenerative neurological condition related to the spinal cord, which leaves her in a lot of pain.

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Bedford blind veteran looks forward to 2018 thanks to support of military charity

A blind veteran from Bedford has praised Blind Veterans UK for the help he has received in the past year after losing his sight. Brian Hill, 89, started receiving support from the charity this time last year.

Brian says: “Since joining Blind Veterans UK I’ve tried all sorts of things I’d written off because of my sight loss. It’s been a great year and I’m looking forward to plenty more adventures in 2018!”

Brian joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1945 and spent the majority of his Service in Germany. He worked in operations, plotting the location of aircrafts and reporting on weather conditions for pilots.

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Walsall blind veteran looks forward to 2018 thanks to “fantastic” support of national charity

A blind veteran from Walsall has praised Blind Veterans UK for the help he has received after losing his sight. Geoff Deaney, 70 and from Bentley, started receiving support from the charity this time last year.

Geoff says “Finding out I would become blind was a real kick to the stomach. But over the past year Blind Veterans UK have proven to me that there is still a lot to be excited about. It’s been a fantastic year and I looking forward to seeing what 2018 has to offer.”

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DMWS helps to reduce veteran’s social isolation

In recent years the Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) has extended their person-centred medical welfare service to military veterans, a population which is growing and increasingly in need of our care. Our Welfare Officer, Karen Daniels, provides practical and emotional support to veterans aged 65+, who are receiving medical treatment at the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT) in Manchester.

A few weeks ago Karen met Mr Paddy Black, a 96 year old WW2 veteran at CMFT Manchester, where he attended as an outpatient 3x a week for blood transfusion.

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Meet Gurkha veteran Lalbahadur Pun

Almost 76 years ago, in the midst of World War Two, Lalbahadur Pun signed up to become a Gurkha. According to military records, Rifleman Lalbahadur Pun is 96 years old. In truth, he’s actually 92. As was common in the Second World War, Lal’s age was falsified so that he could sign up to become a Gurkha early. He was only 15 when he first joined the British Army in late 1941, following in his father’s footsteps.

After completing his training and being assigned to the 6th Gurkha Rifles, Lal was sent to fight in Burma.

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