Veteran is more than just a blind baker

Veteran is more than just a blind baker

Off By Ed Hanna

Penny Melville-Brown cooks all around the world running Baking Blind adventures: (  She has also been running her business, Disability Dynamics ( since she left the Royal Navy in 1999 after losing her sight. The business has been devoted to helping other disabled people back into work.

She is thrilled to have been selected as a finalist in the category of “Inspiration of the Year” in the British Ex-Forces in Business awards for 2019.

“When blindness forced me to leave the Royal Navy, I was in despair as I couldn’t see how I’d manage: no income; unable to pay my mortgage; losing my home.  All of this gave me immense motivation to try to assist other people facing the same situation so I set myself up as a disability consultant and then started my business “Disability Dynamics”.  Over nearly twenty years, with a team of colleagues, I’ve worked to change employer attitudes, influence Government policy and deliver practical support for other people with disabilities.   Probably the most satisfying activities have been enabling people to become self-employed and start their own businesses through the Work for Yourself projects.  Building on my personal experience, I know that often people facing the most challenges can be highly imaginative and entrepreneurial – and  running our own ventures means we are in control of where, how and when we work too.”

“I know that there are many other men and women whose military careers have been cut short through injury or illness – but they still want to be independent, successful and fulfilled.    I’m trying to be their standard-bearer and show others that we can still play our part in work, in our communities and in wider society. Just having a health condition doesn’t limit our talents, potential or ambitions – we just need more employers to see the  people we are rather than be distracted by misunderstandings about disability.”

In recognition of her work with disabled and other disadvantaged people, Penny was awarded an OBE in 2009, won the international Holman prize in 2017 and was awarded an honorary Doctorate in 2018.

Find out more about Penny: