An 83-year-old blind veteran from Norfolk has spoken out about the support he has received from national charity, Blind Veterans UK to help him live independently with sight loss.
Alan Powell was called up to the Royal Army Medical Corps for National Service in 1949. During his two years, he was stationed in Germany and the UK before being demobbed in 1951.
Years after leaving service, Alan began to lose his sight after being diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration. Alan was living in Wales at the time, and after he was registered as blind, a representative from the local council told him about Blind Veterans UK and encouraged him to get in touch.
Alan says: “I can’t praise Blind Veterans UK enough, the support I have received has been superb.”
Blind Veterans UK provides free, lifelong support to ex-Service men and women no matter how they lost their sight. Through its three centres in the UK, in Sheffield, Brighton and Llandudno, North Wales, and a network of welfare officers around the UK, Blind Veterans UK provides what each veteran needs to help them adjust to life with sight loss.
Alan says: “I lost my sight very quickly, but I’ve been able to cope quite well with lots of help from Blind Veterans UK.
“I was always in to computing and photography, but I was struggling to see my computer at home. When I went to their Llandudno centre for the first time, they gave me lots of equipment and training to help me keep using my computer, as well as things to help me at home, including a little gadget which helps me make a cup of tea.
“I’ve visited the centres quite a few times now, I’ve done more training and I’ve done arts & crafts courses as well, where I’ve done pottery and painting. The staff are just excellent, and the centres have such a family atmosphere. Everyone was in the forces so you have a real sense of camaraderie.
“Blind Veterans UK has done everything to help me. I would encourage anyone who has served in the Forces and is now battling severe sight loss to get in touch, it’s just superb.”
Blind Veterans UK provides free, lifelong support to ex-Service men and women who are battling severe sight loss, regardless of when or how they lost their sight. The charity has three centres and a network of welfare officers across the UK, all providing specialist practical and emotional support to help veterans and families adjust to life with sight loss.
If you, or someone you know, is a vision impaired veteran now battling severe sight loss, like Alan, request Blind Veterans UK’s free, lifelong support by calling 0800 389 7979 or visit www.noonealone.org.uk.