Outreach service launched for blind veterans

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A NEW outreach service to support blind and visually impaired veterans has been launched covering Dundee, Angus and Fife.

Scottish War Blinded, the sister charity of Royal Blind, has launched an outreach service across Scotland with a dedicated Outreach Worker for Dundee, Angus and Fife.

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 on site 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.

Carole Martin, Outreach Worker for Dundee, Angus and Fife said: “We’d like to encourage anyone who lives in the Dundee, Angus and Fife 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 located with local societies for the blind with the service covering Dundee, Angus and Fife based in the Dundee Blind and Partially Sighted Society. 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 Dundee, Angus and Fife please telephone Carole Martin on 01382 227 101.