24 August 2015
Source: Blind Veterans UK
As the summer holidays draw to a close and a new poll reveals that 82% of the UK’s grandchildren planned to visit their grandparents this summer, national charity Blind Veterans UK is calling on grandchildren to play their part in raising awareness of the charity, and refer grandparents struggling with sight loss to access its vital services and support.
The Blind Veterans UK Grandparents Survey 2015, which was carried out online between 27 July-12 August, also revealed that 30% of the people questioned would be visiting a grandparent who was struggling with their vision.
Blind Veterans UK is now urging all grandchildren to use their social media channels to share photos and stories online about why their grandparent means so much to them and to spread the word about the support available to Armed Forces and National Service veterans now battling sight loss, as thousands of these will now be grandparents.
Blind Veterans UK knows that holiday periods are a time when relatives may realise their loved one is struggling with sight loss after visits and family holidays, and often experiences an increase in calls to its helpline after these periods. Its new social media campaign #Lovemygrandparent is aimed at raising awareness of the support provided to blind and vision impaired ex-Service men and women and encouraging grandchildren whose grandparents may be eligible to refer their relative for help.
Adrian Hewitt, Welfare Group Manager at Blind Veterans UK, said: “Many grandparents and great-grandparents throughout the UK will have served in the Second World War and more recent conflicts, or have been called up to do National Service. It is very possible that many of these veterans will be now battling sight loss, whether that’s because of illness, old age or accident.
“Family members are one of the best ways that veterans can find out about the support Blind Veterans UK provides. The Blind Veterans UK Grandparents Survey 2015 shows that most people see their grandparents over the summer holidays and we want grandchildren to use social media to raise awareness of our services, and to refer any grandparents struggling with sight loss to access our free services and support”.
Rachel Heslop is supporting the #Lovemygrandparent campaign after her grandfather, Bob Hewson, received support from Blind Veterans UK to help him adjust to life with sight loss. Rachel said: “Blind Veterans UK has made the world of difference to my Granddad, and we’re so grateful for their help and support. I’m proud to support the #Lovemygrandparent campaign and would urge anyone to get in touch with the charity to find out if their grandparent is eligible for support.”
Blind Veterans UK provides vital emotional and practical support to help veterans and their families overcome the challenges of sight loss and live full, independent lives. It doesn’t matter how or when a veteran lost their sight, Blind Veterans UK can help. It is estimated that tens of thousands of Armed Forces veterans, including those who did National Service, are now battling severe sight loss but don’t realise the support available to them.
To get involved with the #Lovemygrandparent social media campaign, share your photos or stories of you and your grandparents on Facebook or Twitter using #Lovemygrandparent. Alternatively, if your grandparent is an Armed Forces or National Service veteran now struggling with sight loss, visit http://www.noonealone.org.uk or call 0800 389 7979.