Scottish War Blinded veteran restores archery stand to former glory as a donation to the charity

Posted: 19/04/2018 | Scottish War Blinded

National Service veteran, Robert Harvey (McRab) has lived a very active and particularly sporty life as an ex-professional footballer and sports coach. Having coached over 14 different sports to a professional and international level in his career, McRab now at the age of 86 is determined to keep sport at the heart of what he does.

“I’ve been in sport all my life; I was a Sports Development Officer when I lost the sight in my right eye after a surgical complication, and through an unrelated medical problem I began to lose sight in my right eye. Now I have about 10% vision. Being able to do archery with Scottish War Blinded allows me to remain active and enjoy sport.”

As a member of Penicuik Archers, McRab was given the opportunity to claim the best of four outdoor archery stands, which had been battered by arrows over the years, to renovate at the woodwork studio at Scottish War Blinded’s Linburn Centre. 

Rab (right) holds his cane and stands in front of the restored archery stand

McRab’s motivation for this restorative project was to give something back to Scottish War Blinded, as well as to allow him and other veterans to practice outdoor archery which can be done as a longer range than indoor archery. Rab has been working on his archery stand since November 2017 with woodwork instructor, James Gregson.

“I would never have been able to do this without James giving me guidance along the way. He’s been very supportive of my project and I’ve really enjoyed my time working on it with him.”

Now, the stand has been restored to its former glory and has even been treated with a lovely coat of green paint. As the brighter weather begins to creep in, McRab hopes that along with fellow veteran and archer, Derek, the centre can invite new opportunities to its members to enjoy archery outdoors at with an extended range, ideal for those members who are competitive archers. 

When summarising his experience with Scottish War Blinded, McRab said: 

“All of the staff here are tremendous! There are all sorts of things going on; I’m able to enjoy baking again in the skills kitchen, and the art studio is wonderful too. I’ve been gliding and rafting with Scottish War Blinded. There’s no end to the great things or the support available here.”


Are you or do you know of a National Service or Armed Forces Veteran with sight loss? It’s free to access the Linburn Centre, Hawkhead Centre and our Scotland-wide outreach service. For more information call 0800 035 6409.