This Father’s Day the daughter of a vision-impaired World War II veteran has thanked Blind Veterans UK for the support it has provided for her father.
Jim Hooper, 94, of Great Brickhill, lost his sight in 2012 to age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, he received support from the charity in 2013. It has helped him recover his independence by providing training and rehabilitation.
His daughter, Maundy Todd, said: “Blind Veterans UK has been amazing for my father, both in the support available and in generosity and kindness of the people who work there.
“My father is the most resourceful, innovative person in dealing with whatever life throws at him, but losing his sight has been very tough. But Blind Veterans UK has given him a new lease of life.”
Jim joined the Territorial Army in 1939 before volunteering for the Glider Pilot regiment in the Army Air Corps in 1942.
He was involved in the Battle of Arnhem in 1944, where he was taken prisoner by German troops and was held as a prisoner of war for seven months, after being released he re-joined his regiment before leaving in 1946.
Maundy said: “I think we all feel enormously grateful to Blind Veterans UK. It has given Daddy, hope, company and new skills.
“He has been several times to the centre in Brighton, been trained on new software so that he can continue to use a computer. He even learned to touch type at 92 years old.
“He has wonderful IT equipment that reads things out to him and also received lots of equipment for the house to make it safer for him and easier to live independently.”
The charity’s No One Alone campaign is reaching out to thousands of vision impaired ex-service men and women who are battling severe sight loss who could be eligible for support but do not realise it.
Jim said: “Losing my sight was devastating. I had been driving all my life, and the location I was living in at the time has very little public transport, so I had to rely on other people and taxis,
“As a supporter for Blind Veterans UK, I realised that they did not just support those blinded in service, so I got in touch.
“My youngest son and his family live close and provide wonderful support for me and my wife, including going out for a weekly beer.
“My eldest son lives further away, but the technology provided by Blind Veterans allows him to help me in many ways including ordering my weekly groceries, various admin things and we review and tidy up my systems when he comes to see me.
“Blind Veterans UK has been marvellous, just so supportive in every way - particularly at the Brighton centre and the visits from my welfare officer. Blind Veterans UK has helped me regain my independence. I would encourage anyone who may be eligible for support from Blind Veterans UK to get in touch with them.”
For more information about the charity, go to www.noonealone.org.uk