News

UK team sets off to compete at the Invictus Games Toronto 2017

The team will join 16 other nations at the international event for wounded, injured and sick military personnel and veterans.

A 90-strong team of wounded, injured and sick (WIS) military personnel have departed from London Heathrow for Toronto, Canada to represent the UK in the third Invictus Games.

The eight-day sporting event will see 550 individuals from 17 nations compete across 12 sports including athletics, wheelchair basketball, swimming and a new sport for 2017, golf. The event will begin with an opening ceremony on 23 September at the Air Canada Centre, featuring Canadian singers Sarah McLachlan and Alessia Cara, and will finish with a closing ceremony on 30 September with performances from Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams.

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Blind Veterans UK and Sussex Eye Hospital launch exhibition by vision-impaired artists to mark National Eye Health Week

To mark National Eye Health Week (18-24 September), sight loss charity Blind Veterans UK has partnered with Sussex Eye Hospital to launch an exhibition of artworks by blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.

The exhibition at Sussex Eye Hospital features nine decorative mosaic panels which reflect scenes of Sussex life, such as Brighton pier and the South Downs. They were created in the art and craft studio of Blind Veterans UK’s rehabilitation centre in Brighton as part of a group project involving veterans from across the UK.

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Blind veteran from Hampshire set to take Baking Blind project global following Holman Prize win

A blind veteran from Fareham, who won inaugural Holman Prize, is set to take her baking project, Baking Blind, on a global tour across six continents.

Penny Melville-Brown OBE, who receives support from Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women, was selected as one of the three winners and won $25,000. She says: “This is an extraordinary once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to combine my love of cooking and travel. I’ll be a standard bearer for blind people, demonstrating that blindness isn’t a bar to ambition.

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Saltdean writer and poet competes in Brands Hatch Cycle Challenge for military charity he volunteers for

A writer and poet from Saltdean has competed in Revolve 24, the Brands Hatch Cycle Challenge, for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for blind and vision-impaired ex-service men and women, for whom he is a volunteer.

David Attree, 44 and a long time cycling enthusiast, grew up in Brighton near the charity’s training and rehabilitation centre, and has therefore been aware of the work the charity does for a long time. He says: “Since my early childhood I’ve been fully aware of the wonderful work Blind Veterans UK does in providing opportunities for blind veterans to regain their confidence and lead fulfilling lives.”

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Magazine editor from Surrey completes 24-hour cycle on Brands Hatch Circuit for military charity

A magazine editor from Surrey has completed Revolve 24, the Brands Hatch Cycle Challenge, for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.

Chris Bennett, 54 and from Bookham, admits the terrain of the course took him by surprise. He explains: “The race itself was much hillier than I thought, which just made the entire event tougher than I expected.

“The track isn’t lit up at all so you had to depend on your bike lights, which meant that in the small hours of the morning, just when the tiredness was kicking in, you had to really, really concentrate!”

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National sight loss charity targets eye health professionals with new video featuring prize-winning beneficiary

Blind Veterans UK has launched a new video aimed at ophthalmologists, sight loss advisors and other eye health professionals, to increase the referral of blind veterans to the charity as part of National Eye Health Week (18 – 24 September).

The short video, filmed at St Helen’s Hospital, features Maria Pikulski, an Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO) based at the hospital, who is also a beneficiary of the charity.

Maria was recently recognised by the sight loss sector when she won the 2017 Eyecan Awards run by Galloways. The awards were created to celebrate what can be achieved by people of all ages when they are given the right opportunities, encouragement and support.

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Magazine editor from Surrey to compete in 24-hour Brands Hatch Cycle Challenge for military charity

A magazine editor from Surrey is currently training to compete in Revolve 24, the Brands Hatch Cycle Challenge, for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.

Chris Bennett, 54 and from Bookham, has been a supporter of Blind Veterans UK for a number of years now, through the partnership that his magazine, Optician, has with the charity. He explains: “Optician works with eye care professionals on the high street and in hospitals.

“We’ve been with Blind Veterans UK for a while now. The work they do in providing practical assistance to those in need and looking to adjust to sight loss is essential and it’s a cause we’re proud to support.”

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Blind veteran from Churchill receives prestigious medal for helping liberate France from the Nazis

A Second World War blind veteran from Churchill has been formally presented with the Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur for his part in the liberation of France.

Peter Johnson, 91 and from Churchill, was presented with the prestigious honour by Josette Lebrat, the Honorary French Consul of Bristol, on behalf of French president Emmanuel Macron. The special ceremony took place at a reunion lunch in Bristol organised by Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women, from whom Peter receives support.

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Preston blind veteran urges others to seek support this Eye Health Week

This National Eye Health Week (18 – 24 September) a Walton-le-Dale Armed Forces veteran who has received vital support from national charity Blind Veterans UK is urging other battling sight loss to come forward.

David Hughes, 85, said: “When I lost my sight it felt like there were a lot of things I couldn’t do anymore. But since getting in touch with Blind Veterans UK I’ve regained my lost confidence and I feel a lot more positive about the future.”

David joined the Army as a boy soldier in 1946 and trained as an apprentice tradesman with the Royal Signals. He undertook vehicle maintenance training and was posted to Catterick, where he was tasked with ensuring the upkeep of Army vehicles.

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Pay tribute to the fallen with the Poppy Field Project

A local military charity is inviting residents to take part in the creation of a blanket of poppies, which will serve as a tribute to the fallen soldiers of our nation.

Blind Veterans UK, the charity for blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women, is calling on local residents to knit, crochet and stitch together a beautiful tribute to our fallen soldiers. The Poppy Field Project, now in its second year, will be a blanket spread of poppies created by the charity and its supporters.

The charity, which provides free lifelong supporter to vision-impaired veterans, first undertook the project last year, with staff, veterans and supporters alike working together to create the blanket of poppies.

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