27 November 2015
Source: Blind Veterans UK
This Christmas, a Royal Navy veteran who served throughout the Second World War, will front an advertising campaign for national military charity, Blind Veterans UK, to encourage other veterans with severe sight loss to seek support.
91-year-old Cedric Hollands from Ashford, Kent, has recently become the face of Blind Veterans UK’s latest advertising campaign. He lost his sight in 2005 to age-related macular degeneration. In 2008 he started to receive support from Blind Veterans UK and since then he been able to recover his independence.
The adverts, featuring Cedric, will appear in Saga and Good Housekeeping magazines during December. The advertising will be supported by social media activity to raise awareness of the charity’s free, lifelong services and support for vision impaired ex-Service men and women.
Cedric said: “I really hope the Blind Veterans UK adverts will encourage veterans and their families or carers to get in touch with Blind Veterans UK for support. The charity has made a big difference to my life over the last few years, so I’d urge other veterans to get in touch too. Their support is the best present anyone could wish for this Christmas!”
Cedric joined the Royal Navy aged just 15 in 1939, at the start of the Second World War. Serving throughout the war and into the 1950s, Cedric’s service saw him play a part in crucial battles, including the D-Day landings, the Battle of Matapan where five Italian ships were sunk and the Battle of Crete which left his ship – the HMS Warspite – with a big hole in its side. He was also involved in the fighting with Japan at the end of the war in the Pacific.
Many years after his Navy career had ended, Cedric was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration at the age of 81. Over time the condition has slowly robbed him of his sight, meaning he can now see very little.
Cedric is thankful therefore to have come across Blind Veterans UK. He fortunately found out he may be eligible for support from the charity after a chance encounter on an overseas cruise, when his failing eyesight led to him mistaking one of the charity’s beneficiaries for his wife.
Cedric said: “Once I heard about what Blind Veterans UK could do for someone like me I knew I really ought to get in touch with them. Blind Veterans UK has had a really positive impact on my life. By providing me with a magnifier, they have enabled me to just about see photographs of my grandchildren and great grandchildren. It has definitely made me much happier.
“Meeting other veterans also helps to keep me positive. The charity has provided me with social opportunities which is fantastic. Speaking to other veterans with severe sight loss is both reassuring and enjoyable.”
Blind Veterans UK provides vital services and support to ex-Service men and women now battling severe sight loss. The charity’s No One Alone campaign is reaching out to the tens of thousands of vision impaired ex-Service men and women who are now battling severe sight loss, who could be eligible for support but don’t currently realise it.
Cedric said: “Losing my sight was devastating. Knowing there are other veterans living with sight loss has really helped me come to terms with the deterioration of my own sight. I’d encourage anyone who may be eligible for support from Blind Veterans UK to get in touch with them – it has given me an entirely new lease of life.”
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 training centres in Brighton, Sheffield and Llandudno, North Wales and a network of welfare officers around the UK.
If you are, or know of, a blind and vision impaired ex-Service man or woman who, like Cedric, is now battling severe sight loss, call 0800 389 7979 or go to http://www.noonealone.org.uk now to find out how Blind Veterans UK could help.