Blind Veterans UK held its annual Founder’s Day Awards this week with blind veterans honoured for a variety of special achievements. One of the winners was 93-year-old Eddie who was recognised for his outstanding work as an ambassador for Blind Veterans UK over the last year. He was nominated for the award by one of the charity’s community support workers Lorraine for his “unlimited enthusiasm and willingness to help Blind Veterans UK encourage others to receive support from the charity.”
“It was wonderful to come and meet all the other nominees and hear about what they’ve done. I said in my speech that I didn’t think I deserved it but I will always be proud to represent Blind Veterans UK after all they have done for me.”
Eddie served in the Royal Navy in the Second World War and landed at Omaha Beach on D-Day. Last year he was awarded the Legion d’honneur at a Blind Veterans UK reunion lunch for his part in the Liberation of France.
He started receiving support from Blind Veterans UK in 2016 after losing his sight much later in life due to age-related macular degeneration.
Eddie was told about Blind Veterans UK after attending an exhibition at Poole library and has since received support, training and equipment to allow him to continue to live as independently as possible.
He says: “I am over the moon that the man at the library gave me the card for Blind Veterans UK and told me to get in touch. I came away from my first visit to their Brighton centre a new man.
“They have given me a special reader that magnifies documents to a huge size. It has allowed me to still look after my own correspondence. I’ve also recently started learning how to use a tablet computer. The last time I visited I asked if I could have a Blind Veterans UK flag so I could literally ‘fly the flag’ for the organisation outside my house!
“Like most blind people I still have a little bit of vision and every day when I see that flag fluttering it always reminds me how fortunate I am to be supported by Blind Veterans UK.”
Chief Executive of Blind Veterans UK, Major General (Rtd) Nick Caplin CB says: “Our Founder’s Day Awards are the highest honour Blind Veterans UK gives to the veterans we support.
“Every year we recognise the achievements of veterans like Eddie who have really demonstrated the values we hold as a charity. Eddie, along with the other nominees and winners are the shining examples of all that can be done to achieve victory over blindness.”