A record number of 875 new blind and vision impaired ex-Service men and women in the UK are set to receive support from national military charity Blind Veterans UK, according to new figures.
In Blind Veterans UK’s 101-year history, the charity saw more veterans than ever before come forward for its free specialist services and support in the 2015/16 financial year, thanks to the charity’s No One Alone campaign and a number of high profile events throughout the year.
The No One Alone campaign launched in 2012 as a targeted effort to encourage the estimated 59,000 blind and vision impaired ex-Service men and women in the UK to access the charity’s specialist support. The new figures take the total number of veterans supported by the charity to over 4,100 veterans, along with their families and carers.
Major General (Rtd) Nick Caplin CB, Blind Veterans UK’s chief executive said:
“As we enter our second century of service, we are extremely pleased to announce that an extra 875 blind and vision impaired ex-Service men and women in the UK are now starting to receive the vital support and services they need and deserve to help them overcome the challenges of blindness and discover a life beyond sight loss.
“Blind Veterans UK believes that no one who has served our country should have to battle blindness alone. The No One Alone campaign is key to ensuring we reach as many veterans as possible, which is reflected in the figures released today. We are very keen to carry on supporting as many veterans as we can and we encourage anyone who may be, or knows someone who may be, eligible for our support to get in touch.”
The 2015-16 financial year saw the No One Alone campaign undertake an extensive array of integrated marketing and communications activity. Highlights include national advertising in consumer magazines Saga, Good Housekeeping and Prima targeting the families and carers of veterans, as well as a comprehensive programme of PR activity with coverage received across TV, radio, print and online.
The campaign also targeted health and social care professionals, encouraging them to signpost veterans to the charity, and included a parliamentary event in February at the House of Commons which was attended by over 30 MPs and peers, along with key representatives from local authorities and the health and military sectors. The campaign team has also continued its regular participation in national and local events, including Carers Week in June and National Eye Health Week in September.
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 know someone who served in the Armed Forces or did National Service and is now battling severe sight loss, find out how Blind Veterans UK could help them discover a life beyond sight loss by calling 0800 389 7979 or visiting noonealone.org.uk.