Blind Veterans UK helps ex-service men and women of all generations rebuild their lives after sight loss.
Since March 2018 Blind Vets UK has been working alongside Burnley FC in the Community to provide increased social opportunities for veterans and to help them engage with other veteran based groups.
Earlier this month, BFCitC invited members of Blind Veterans UK to an afternoon tea held at the charity’s Burnley Community Kitchen. The afternoon was the first opportunity to trial such a session, with the Blind Veterans UK members from across Lancashire invited to take part in an afternoon tea style buffet and social activities.
On the day attendees enjoyed an array of buffet style foods, cakes and hot and cold drinks catered for by the Burnley Community Kitchen. The kitchen is highly accessible and boasts large spaces giving the opportunity for those with sight loss to feel comfortable moving around and is also guide dog and mobility scooter friendly making it the perfect location.
After lunch followed a few games of Boccia, a game related to bowls but played with soft leather balls, and all of this alongside plenty of chat.
Social isolation affects approximately 1 million people in the UK and has a severe impact on physical and mental health for those of an older age. Paired with the loss of sight, this can severely impact an individual’s independence and can contribute to them feeling isolated.
The afternoon session gave members of Blind Veterans UK from across East Lancashire the chance to come together and meet other members and find out more about opportunities available to them in the area.
Through the monthly sessions BFCitC aim to provide social opportunities for the veterans to help lead to a decrease in feelings of isolation and loneliness, in addition to improving confidence, independence and both the physical and mental wellbeing of those who attend.
Lora Hylton from Blind Veterans UK said: “The Veterans social session has been a great chance to bring together local Blind Veteran members along with other veterans. The members wouldn’t have met one another if it wasn’t for today and it offered a great opportunity to introduce them to other veterans in the local area.”
“Living with sight loss can be very isolating but the members that attended have been given a comfortable environment to socialise and enjoy time with others on a common ground.”
BFCitC Health and Wellbeing Officer, Naomi Greene said: “Creating an established link with Blind Vets UK has been key in being able to put on a session like this today. We are keen to make these sessions a regular occasion for members of Blind Vets UK to help a section of the veterans community increase their social opportunities.”
To find out more about the next Blind Veterans Lunch or for further details on BFCitC’s provision for the Armed Forces community, contact BFCitC Health and Wellbeing Officer Naomi Greene, on email@example.com or call 01282 704 716.