NEW OUTREACH SERVICE FOR BLIND VETERANS LAUNCHED IN WEST OF SCOTLAND

A new outreach service to support blind and visually impaired veterans has been launched in the West of Scotland.

Scottish War Blinded, the sister charity of Royal Blind, has launched an outreach service across Scotland with a dedicated Outreach Worker covering Glasgow, Renfrewshire, North Ayshire, East Renfrewshire, South Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway. The outreach service will provide free support to blind and visually impaired veterans to ensure that they are able to access all the statutory support services that they are entitled to. The service supports not only those who have lost their sight while serving in the armed forces, but also those who have become visually impaired since then. The minimum length of service in the armed forces is just one day.

Once enrolled on to the service, members are also entitled to free access to the newly built Scottish War Blinded day centre in Linburn, on the outskirts of Edinburgh, that provides onsite activities such as woodwork, archery and gym facilities. Members also have the opportunities to socialise with their peers and some have participated in exciting off-site activities such as 4 by 4 driving and abseiling.

Rosie McLaughlin, National Outreach Manager at Scottish War Blinded said:

“We’re delighted to have a team of seven Outreach Workers in place in locations across Scotland who are there to support blind and visually impaired veterans. Our outreach team is there to support people with a visual impairment in the community, helping them with issues such as housing, benefits, socialising and employment. Above all, we are there to listen about their experiences in the armed forces and to offer emotional, practical and financial support.”

The outreach service and new award winning day centre at Linburn were launched as Scottish War Blinded chose to expand its services to be able to support a much larger number of people based across the whole of Scotland.

Clare Stringman, Outreach Worker for the West of Scotland said:

“We’d like to encourage anyone who lives in the West of Scotland area who is visually impaired and has served in the armed forces for a minimum of one day to join our free service. If you work with someone or have a family member that could benefit from this service please get in touch.”

The Outreach Workers are co-located with local societies for the blind with the service in the West of Scotland based in Visibility in Glasgow. Members of the service are visited on an annual basis at home and are telephoned every six months as a minimum, although there is flexibility to do so more often. Reunions are held every two years and lunch clubs are planned to be established.

To contact the Outreach Worker for the West of Scotland please telephone Clare Stringman on 0141 332 4632.

Ends

For more information please contact:

Davina Shiell, Marketing and Fundraising Manager, Royal Blind and Scottish War Blinded on Tel: 0131 229 1456, Mob: 07713 98779, Email davina.shiell@royalblind.org

Notes to Editors:

Scottish War Blinded is one of the key veteran charities in Scotland. We work with people who have a significant visual impairment and have been members of the armed forces, providing assistance that will enable them to live independent and fulfilling lives. The outreach service provides a one-stop contact point for dealing with statutory and voluntary agencies. Through our flagship Linburn Centre, we enable our members to socialise and access activities that have previously been limited due to their sight loss.

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About Us

Our vision at Royal Blind is to make a significant contribution to building a community in which blind and partially sighted people, including those who also have other disabilities, are fully included and lead fulfilling lives. We work towards fulfilling this vision, empowering blind people to achieve their potential and a brighter future. Royal Blind operates four distinct services: The Royal Blind School, Forward Vision, Braeside House, and the Scottish Braille Press.

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