Blind ex-RAF man is painting again with Blind Veterans UK's help
Posted on Friday 15th August 2014
Blind Veterans UK believes that no one who has served our country should have to battle blindness alone. Through its No One Alone campaign, the charity is reaching out to the estimated 68,000 vision impaired ex-Service men and women who are not currently aware of the support available to them.
Blind Veterans UK provides what each veteran needs to live independently with sight loss – that could be anything from specialist equipment and training to rehabilitation and emotional support from other veterans in a similar situation.
It doesn't matter when or how they lost their sight, or when they served, Blind Veterans UK offers free lifelong support to help ex-Service men and women overcome the challenges of sight loss, regain their independence and, in some cases, rediscover an old hobby.
Ex-RAF man Eric Radford has been able to pick up his paint brush again after 22 years of sight loss after Blind Veterans UK provided specialist magnification equipment and training.
Eric Radford, aged 93.
93-year-old Eric said: "I didn't think I'd be able to paint again. I never even gave it a thought but Blind Veterans UK has helped me give it a go."
Eric joined the RAF in 1941 and started out in Squadron 157 as an armourer. He later moved to a special unit and was stationed in Canada, the Americas and the West Indies. In 1946 Eric got discharged when his unit disbanded.
Eric says: "I was very lucky. The RAF showed me the world. I had never been on a boat or a plane. In those days you didn't have anything other than possibly a bicycle. The RAF made it possible for me to see more of the world."
Eric began to lose his sight in 1986 due to age-related macular degeneration but he only started to receive support from Blind Veterans UK last year, after a fellow blind veteran urged him to get in touch.
Eric says: "I had heard of Blind Veterans UK but I thought it was for totally blind service people. I never thought that they would be able to help me. Another fellow, who had been to one of the centres, told me what Blind Veterans UK does and advised me to get in touch. I'm so glad I did. They have done so much for me."
If you are, or know, a blind or vision impaired veteran and would like to find out if the charity could provide free lifelong support to them and their family, call freephone 0800 389 7979 or visit www.noonealone.org.uk.