National military charity calls on carers organisations to refer carers to its support this Carers Week, 12- 18 June 2017
National charity Blind Veterans UK has launched a new campaign to mark Carers Week by asking carers organisations to refer the carers of vision-impaired veteran to the charity. The campaign aims to raise awareness of its emotional and practical support available to those who care for blind veterans and encourage them to get in contact with the charity.
Blind Veterans UK is contacting 130 organisations via direct mail offering free leaflets, information packs and talks given by Blind Veterans UK’s volunteer about the support available for carers. It is also promoting its free services and support on social media, profiling carers and veterans who have benefitted from its help.
As well as providing training, rehabilitation and equipment to vision-impaired ex-Service personnel, the charity provides additional assistance to carers through information sessions at its centres, guidance on welfare and benefits entitlements, and peer support at social events such as at lunch clubs and respite breaks.
A survey of Blind Veterans UK beneficiaries found that, while 62% had felt depressed because of their caring role, 80% of these said that support from the charity had helped them to cope. Jackie Barber, 51, wife and carer of former RAF police corporal Nick, 55, has praised the help she and her husband have both received from Blind Veterans UK.
She said: “Before we found out about Blind Veterans UK we were really floundering. Both of us we’re out here on our own and we didn’t receive any support. Nick being able to have a week away with Blind Veterans UK is so important. I know that he will be surrounded by staff who know how to keep him safe and that is a real relief. The weeks when he visits the Blind Veterans UK centres really give me the chance to recharge. I don’t have to worry about anything so a weight is lifted.”
Blind Veterans UK currently offer lifelong support to 4,500 veterans, and their carers and families, but know there are many more who could benefit from its help. The No One Alone campaign is reaching out to the estimated 59,000 blind veterans who could be eligible for support but don’t currently realise it. Most of these completed their service, including National Service, many years ago and have since lost their sight due to age related conditions such as macular degeneration or glaucoma.
Lara King, No One Alone Campaign Manager, said: “We want to promote the lifelong support offered for those who have served our country and for those who care of them. We strongly encourage carers and families to ask the vision-impaired person if he or she ever served in the Armed Forces, including National Service. If so they can apply for our support.”
If you, or someone you know, cares for a former Armed Forces or National Service men or women that is now battling severe sight-loss, find out how Blind Veterans UK could help by calling 0800 389 7979 or visiting blindveterans.org.uk.