Linburn Centre veterans and staff bid a fond farewell to Scottish War Blinded Chief Executive

Posted: 26/06/2017 | Scottish War Blinded

Linburn Centre veterans and staff bid a fond farewell to Scottish War Blinded Chief Executive, Richard Hellewell, who is retiring after 10 years at the helm. 

Richard has led Scottish War Blinded through a period of significant change and expansion. Prior to the Linburn Centre, Scottish War Blinded ran workshops for members on the Linburn estate. To modernise the service and provide support to more people in a wider variety of ways, theScottish War Blinded Chief Executive, Richard Hellewell and Linburn Center Manager  Jim Thomson Linburn Centre was established.  Today the Linburn Centre is attended by 113 members a week who participate in activities such as art, woodwork and sport, as well as receiving support with mobility and independent living skills. Later this year, Scottish War Blinded will open the Hawkhead Centre in Paisley, which will ensure that veterans living in the West of Scotland can benefit from a similar range of support. 

Richard also oversaw the development of the outreach service across Scotland. We have nine Outreach Workers across Scotland, who support members in their homes and communities.Scottish War Blinded, Chief Executive, Richard Hellewell

The Linburn team put on a farewell lunch for Richard, where veterans and staff got to express their gratitude and present a leaving gift. 

Veteran Derek started the speeches by saying: “You’ve spent ten years moving mountains and you’ve finally realised you should have just gone over them, “making reference to Richards’s retirement aspirations of “enjoying the Scottish outdoors”.  Derek then went on to offer advice in retirement, finishing with “On behalf of the members for all that you have done, we want to thank you and wish you the very best of luck”.

Outreach Manager, Rosie McLaughlin said “The legacy that Richard is leaving behind is huge. For members and staff, we all owe a great debt of gratitude to Richard for the push to constantly strive to give the best Richard Hellewell, Scottish War Blinded, Chief Executive service to Scottish War Blinded members”. 

Jim Thomson, Linburn Centre Manager, presented Richard with his parting gifts and said:

 “I’d like to gift you this pen to write your memoirs. These post-its so you can stick them around your house to prompt your memory. This white stick for when your eyesight starts to fade. And this bench, which members have made you, to rest your weary legs. I’d like to thank you for where you have taken and the reputation you have given this service, it’s truly outstanding.” Richard ended with these final words: 

“I’m speechless, thank you. I have never had a bench with my name on it before. It’s been lovely to see the Linburn Centre set up and to see how much it’s changed and developed in the past seven years. It’s been a great community to be part of, to see the spirit of people who have lost their sight. It’s a big part of my life and really meaningful to have had this as part of my life”.