As Platinum Jubilee fever takes hold across the country the beneficiaries of Blind Veterans UK are no different in wanting to take part in something special to celebrate Her Majesty’s historic 70-year reign.
As Patron of this charity from 1952 to 2016, the Queen holds a special place in the hearts and the history of Blind Veterans UK. Blind Veterans UK staff, volunteers and blind veterans across the country will be taking part in countless exciting events in Her Majesty’s honour.
Blind veterans are set to enjoy Jubilee lunches, singing and dancing, games, and competitions and thousands of sandwiches, cakes, and other treats will be consumed.
The charity’s National Creative Project (NCP) team, set up at the start of the first lockdown to support blind veterans with creative activities at home, also wanted to mark the occasion and leave a lasting legacy for this historic time.
In January, they started working on a ‘Jubilee bunting on a bag’ activity with blind veterans who were invited to design bunting for Her Majesty’s big weekend.
More than 50 blind veterans took part in the project, each producing bunting designs fit for a queen. The team sent everyone a project pack with all the materials they needed, plus a stamped addressed envelope so they could return their finished artwork to decorate both the charity’s Centres of Wellbeing in Brighton and Llandudno.
Blind Veterans UK also invited their Patron, HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO, to join in the fun and were delighted when she sent in her design for a bunting triangle.
Her Royal Highness’ exquisite design is a yellow crown pattern complimented by purple stripes.
As well as producing bunting to decorate our two centres over the Jubilee period, the charity wanted to help encourage a sense of community for all who took part. The designs were joined up to create the print for a special Jubilee cotton shopping bag.
HRH The Countess of Wessex’s design features in the centre of the bag and, along with every participant, she received her finished printed bag in time for the celebrations.
One blind veteran who took part in the project was 96-year-old Betty Tring, who’s a resident at the charity’s Brighton Centre. She said:
“Before I started being supported by Blind Veterans UK I’d never done any arts and crafts, but now I take part in all the projects on offer and enjoy them all. I will carry my Jubilee bag with pride and I thank the arts and crafts staff for their care and patience.”
Another resident, Ken Hobbs, 99, was also delighted with his bag. He said:
“The bags really are very nice. The design I did was based on the cross of St George, so the colours are red and white. I’m looking forward to showing it to my sons.”
Blind Veterans UK supports thousands of blind veterans across the country but knows there are up to tens of 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/support.