Scottish War Blinded member Mary Prentice describes the perfect recipe for membership at the Linburn Centre

Posted: 03/02/2016 | Scottish War Blinded

Mary Prentice recently joined Scottish War Blinded and enjoys her weekly visit to the Linburn Centre in West Lothian. Mary served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) but it wasn’t until subsequent later life when she encountered sight loss and became aware of Scottish War Blinded.

We meet Mary in the Living Skills Kitchen at the Linburn Centre, who is today learning how to make shortbread with her fellow members. Whilst her dough mixture rests in the fridge, we take the opportunity to ask her some questions about her experiences so far as a Scottish War Blinded member.

Where did you hear about Scottish War Blinded?

“I have been attending the eye clinic at St John’s Hospital in Livingston and that’s where I met a Scottish War Blinded Outreach Worker. She asked me had I ever been in the Armed Forces. I said yes, and I became a member a short time afterwards.”

What were your initial impressions of attending the Linburn Centre?

“I couldn’t get over the scope of things to do at the Linburn Centre. There’s so many things I can do and you are free to choose what you wish to do. I have enjoyed learning to bake as well as taking part in a reminiscence group and creating a beautiful butterfly in the art room. There’s a great atmosphere which is just as important as the wide range of activities and daytrips on offer, it’s very much veterans helping veterans.”

Has the rehabilitation service offered by Scottish War Blinded developed greater confidence in living with a visual impairment?

Scottish War Blinded rehabilitation services has provided several items to use at home including lighting and hand-held magnifiers with LED lights. Both have made a real difference as I can still read a book or the daily newspaper. I have a dog and walk him every day and my enhanced confidence also helps with that.”

What would you say to any former member of the ATS living in Scotland with a visual impairment thinking about becoming a member?

“I would say don’t hesitate, there were plenty women in the army whom I served with who may be living with a visual impairment.  It’s a great service and you will not regret making the decision to join.”

Are you confident in how well your shortbread will turn out today?

"Oh yes! My shortbread will be the best on the table, my fellow members won’t be able to look at them because they will be so good!"

Mary served in the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS), if you know anyone who served in the ATS and is living in Scotland with sight loss, they may be eligible for Scottish War Blinded membership. 

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