Blind Veterans UK: National sight loss charity hosts tour at Brighton centre for senior eye health professionals

9 August 2016
Source: Blind Veterans UK

Staff at Blind Veterans UK’s care and rehabilitation centre in Brighton hosted a tour for Ramesh Sewoodhary, Senior Lecturer in Ophthalmic and Adult Nursing and Lavona Dampies, Lead Nurse from the Ophthalmology Theatres at Royal Berkshire Hospital on Friday 5 August 2016.

From left to right: Lucy Kyle, Blind Veterans UK IT instructor, Ramesh Sewoodhary and Lavona Dampies
From left to right: Lucy Kyle, Blind Veterans UK IT instructor, Ramesh Sewoodhary and Lavona Dampies

Blind Veterans UK provides rehabilitation and training for veterans at three centres, in Brighton, Llandudno and Sheffield.  At the centres, staff provide specialist support, care and training to help blind veterans enjoy life beyond sight loss, starting by helping people to come to terms with their sight loss.  The centre in Brighton offers holidays, respite, training, residential and nursing care, social activities and recreational activities.

Blind Veterans UK also supports veterans at home by running local community events and by arranging home visits from dedicated Welfare Officers who provide support and advice on a range of issues.  The charity is keen to reach out to eye health professionals who can signpost veterans to us and ensure they receive our free support and care as early as possible.  61% of our veterans said they wished their eye health professional had told them about the life-changing support available from Blind Veterans UK.

Ramesh and Lavona saw the full extent of the facilities available to vision impaired veterans of all ages who visit the centre. They visited the arts and crafts centre, went on a tour of the sports hall, and saw a demonstration of the IT equipment Blind Veterans UK provides.  They were also briefed on the history of the charity, and met with a Senior ROVI to learn about the rehabilitation and training assessments undertaken at the centre as part of the induction weeks with veterans.

Ramesh and Lavona were extremely impressed with the wide range of services the charity provides, saying, “All Blind Veterans UK staff were very professional and helpful. We were inspired by their kindness and dedication. The veterans who lived in for 24 hour care were cared for to a very high standard. The nurse manager has very creative ideas and has the wellbeing of the veterans at heart.”  Ramesh and Lavona also remarked that the Brighton centre has a learning environment that would be useful to student nurses and nurses doing a post-registration ophthalmic nursing degree.

Blind Veterans UK provides vital services and support to ex-Service men and women now battling severe sight loss and their families. The charity estimates that there are currently 59,000 blind veterans that would be eligible to access its specialist support, most of whom are not currently aware of it.

Blind Veterans UK is the national charity for blind and vision impaired ex-Service men and women, providing vital practical and emotional support to help veterans discover life beyond sight loss. The charity has three centres in Brighton, Sheffield and Llandudno, North Wales and a network of welfare officers around the UK.

If you, or someone you know, served in the Armed Forces or did National Service and are now battling severe sight loss, find out how Blind Veterans UK could help by calling 0800 389 7979 or visiting http://www.noonealone.org.uk.

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