Sunday, 19 May 2024
Sunday, 19 May 2024

Blind veteran organises art exhibition

A blind veteran from Daventry is turning her passion for art into vital funds by organising an art exhibition to raise money for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-Service men and women, which helped her to embrace life with sight loss.

Jennie Fuller served in the Woman’s Royal Army Corps (Provost) for five years before a career with Northamptonshire Police. Jennie lost her sight suddenly whilst at work and was eventually diagnosed with bilateral optic atrophy which is sight loss caused by damage to the optic nerve. 

She said:

“When I was first told of my diagnosis I was devastatedextremely worried. My world fell apart; I feared I would lose my job and my home. All these things come flashing into your mind which sent me into a spiral.” 

Jennie began to receive support from Blind Veterans UK in 2018 and now works for the charity herself, helping to support other blind or partially sighted veterans.

She said:

“Meeting a fellow blind veteran at the Blind Veterans UK Centre of Wellbeing in Llandudno inspired me to challenge myself and get on with life. That peer support was worth its weight in gold. I learnt that just because I’d lost some of my sight, it didn’t mean life was over. I just had to accept it and adjust which was a journey in itself.”

Jennie’s love of art, which has been supported by Blind Veterans UK, has helped her during her rehabilitation and she hopes that through her passion she can help others to access the vital support they need.

Jennie, together with her husband, began running their charity art exhibitions in 2007 with money raised supporting a number of different charities over the years. This year the exhibition, which takes place on 4 and 5 May at Dodford Village Hall, will support Blind Veterans UK.

Jennie said:

“Following my sight loss, I pushed myself to try and continue with the things I loved such as painting, cake decorating, drawing and cooking. I just have to find work arounds that allow me to do things differently and appreciate it takes longer too.

“I have no usable sight in one eye, seeing only grey and limited sight in the other and therefore have no perspective, so art is challenging. However, I become totally immersed in what I’m doing when I paint.

“I make the most of what I can do, and I’m open to trying new things. I wake each morning and as long as I can see the sun, I feel very lucky and very grateful.”

Jennie’s art exhibition, kindly supported by local artists displaying their work, some of which will be for sale, runs from 10am to 4pm on 4 and 5 May at the Dodford Village Hall, Brockhall Road, Dodford in Northamptonshire, NN7 4SY.

Entry to the exhibition is free and fully accessible. Funds raised through the hanging feescommission from paintings sold, as well as money raised through the sale of refreshments will be donated to Blind Veterans UK. Information about the charity’s work to support blind veterans and how you can get involved will be available. 

Blind Veterans UK supports thousands of blind veterans across the country, but knows there are many thousands more who still need its support to rebuild their lives after sight loss. 

If you, or someone you know, served in the Armed Forces, including National Service, and are now struggling with sight loss, then please get in touch. Call 0800 389 7979 or visit: blindveterans.org.uk/gethelp . 

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