A blind veteran from South Wales is looking forward to spending Christmas with staff and other veterans supported by Blind Veterans UK, the charity that has helped him adjust to life with sight loss.
Clive Morgan, 72 and from Llanhilleth near Abertillery, will celebrate the festive period with a number of other blind and vision impaired ex-Service men and women at the charity’s centre in Llandudno.
Clive said: “I’m very much looking forward to Christmas in Llandudno. I live alone and at such a festive time, I don’t want to impose on my children, so I jumped at the chance to go to the centre.
“It’ll be very good with all those people around. The camaraderie between everyone there is always wonderful, and I imagine at Christmas, it’ll be even better.”
Army veteran Clive, who attained the rank of WO1, served in South Wales Borderers and Royal Welch Fusiliers from 1961 to 1983. Over his 22 year career, Clive was stationed all over the world, including postings in Germany, Northern Ireland, Belize, Jamaica and Hong Kong.
Years on from leaving service, in 2006, Clive began to notice his sight starting to deteriorate. After a fall in 2014 which took him to hospital, Clive was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration. He found out about Blind Veterans UK thanks to a friend who was also supported by the charity.
Clive said: “Blind Veterans UK has been tremendous, I can’t speak highly enough of them. Without them, I’d be stuck in a corner at home, not doing anything. They’ve done everything for me and restored a lot of things I thought I’d lost. They’ve helped me overcome the void that blindness caused.”
This Christmas will be the fifth time Clive has visited the centre since starting to receive support from the charity, but this will be the first time he will have celebrated Christmas with other vision impaired veterans.
“I’ve been to the centre previously for IT and independent living skills training, which has all been of great value. Before I was totally uneducated with technology, so now being able to use my computer is very helpful.
“Every time I’ve been to the centre before, it has been wonderful and I’m so looking forward to going there to celebrate Christmas.”
Blind Veterans UK is the national charity for blind and vision impaired ex-Service men and women, providing vital practical and emotional support to help veterans, like Clive, discover life beyond sight loss. The charity has three centres in Brighton, Sheffield and Llandudno, North Wales and a network of welfare officers around the UK.
If you, or someone you know, served in the Armed Forces or did National Service and are now battling severe sight loss, call 0800 389 7979 or go to www.noonealone.org.uk.