- Advertisement -
Tuesday, 27 October 2020

CHARITY TODAY AWARDS

Blind veteran and local befriender strike up beautiful friendship during COVID-19 isolation period

- Advertisement -
A blind veteran from Stanmer Heights and a local befriender from near the Marina have struck up a beautiful friendship during the COVID-19 pandemic, while Blind Veterans UK’s training and rehabilitation centre has been closed to day visitors.

Before the pandemic, 91-year-old blind veteran Peter Pope would visit military charity Blind Veterans UK’s rehabilitation centre in Ovingdean on a Monday and Friday. The closure to day visitors back in March left Widower Peter feeling lonely and isolated. Luckily, he was put in touch with a volunteer befriender, 75-year-old Sylvia Woodcock, via Blind Veterans UK’s befriending service, and the two have developed quite the budding friendship during a period of enforced isolation.

Peter said:

“I felt terrible when the centre closed as I just loved visiting and having a good chinwag with other blind veterans in the same position as myself. So during isolation, I started to get quite lonely. Luckily I started to get phone calls from Sylvia which has been absolutely brilliant. It’s so nice to chat and just have some company. I can’t thank Blind Veterans UK enough for bringing us together.”

Peter joined the Army when he was 18 and spent two years with the Pioneer Corps, before serving 12 years in the Merchant Navy. At the age of 70 Retinal Detachment and Glaucoma caused him to lose his sight which has been in steady decline ever since. Luckily, two years ago, Peter was referred to Blind Veterans UK at his local eye hospital and has been receiving support from the charity since then.

He added:

“The charity really have helped me a lot, on top of the emotional support of being able to visit the centre, they’ve given me all sorts of equipment like talking watches and accessible phones which have allowed me to remain independent at home. They’re always so friendly and caring, I don’t know what I’d do without them.”

Sylvia Woodcock

Sylvia said:

“I love our weekly chats and because of them, Peter has become a great friend to me. He’s such an interesting chap and we love having a laugh and a joke together.

“I can only say good things about volunteering and would recommend it to anyone. You can really see the difference you’re making to someone’s life and that gives me a lot of pleasure. I’m so glad I decided to be a part of it.”

Blind Veterans UK has adapted its service to support its 5,000 beneficiaries, 90% of whom are over 70 and at an increased risk from COVID-19. The National Support Service will help blind veterans through this period of social isolation.

Nicky Shaw, Blind Veterans UK Director of Operations said:

“Living in isolation, blind veterans need our help right now with daily tasks, such as shopping, and constant emotional support through this difficult time. So we are temporarily changing our service and mobilising our staff to provide practical, essential support to help the most vulnerable.

“There is so much that we can and must do to support blind veterans to help them maintain physical and emotional wellbeing, and to feel safe, reassured and cared for during this crisis.”

You can keep updated on Blind Veterans UK’s response to COVDI-19 at blindveterans.org.uk/coronavirus where you can also find out more about supporting the charity to make this new service possible.

Sign up to receive full FREE access to charity news and special sector offers.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Stay Connected

1,373FansLike
1,834FollowersFollow
30,218FollowersFollow
1,200SubscribersSubscribe

Must Read

VIDEO | National Poppy Appeals declare a state of emergency

ONE of the UK's most symbolic fundraising initiatives, the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal and the Scottish Poppy Appeal is facing an unprecedented crisis...

The Duke of Cambridge lays foundation stone for state-of-the-art cancer research and treatment facility

THE Duke of Cambridge today attended a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of building works for The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust’s Oak...
- Advertisement -

Employment News

Samaritans announces the appointment of new CEO, Julie Bentley

THE leading suicide prevention charity in the UK and ROI has announced that Julie Bentley has been appointed as its new CEO. Julie joins Samaritans...

Kate Cooper-Owen joins Comic Relief’s top team as Creative Director

COMIC Relief has announced another exciting new appointment to their top team with Kate Cooper-Owen set to join as Creative Director. Kate will play a...

Special Olympics GB welcomes two new faces to the team

SPECIAL Olympics GB is delighted to announce the appointment of Pete Rhodes and Ben Miller to the organisation with immediate effect. Pete Rhodes takes on...

Related News

Cancer fundraiser honoured as charity ‘Hospital Hero’

LAST week, local hospital charity Leeds Cares launched their new fundraising initiative, ‘Leeds Cares Hospital Heroes’ encouraging supporters to carry out long-term fundraising to...

Arkwright Engineering Scholarship Programme launches 2021 applications to inspire future engineering talent

CHILDREN'S education charity, The Smallpeice Trust, is calling for students and schools to sign up to its highly respected engineering scholarship programme, The Arkwright...

Challenge to young people to deliver change in their communities

VOLUNTEERING charity TimeBank will work with Action for Stammering Children (ASC) on a new project for young people that will see them plan, design...

Cure Leukaemia named as first ever Official Charity Partner of The Tour de France in the UK

NATIONAL blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia has been named as the first-ever Official Charity Partner of the Tour de France in the UK. This...

Community group digs deep to tackle food poverty

A community organisation which turns disused open spaces in Islington into vegetable plots is expanding its reach – to tackle soaring levels of food...
- Advertisement -
X