Scottish War Blinded (1915-present)

Scottish War Blinded

In March 1915, the organisation that is now known as Royal Blind founded Scottish War Blinded to support the increasing numbers of servicemen returning to Scotland from World War One with life changing visual impairments.

Newington House

At Newington House support was provided through a programme of rehabilitation and training to establish a strong foundation towards employability and independence. Members learned to read and write in Braille, to navigate home and public environments as well as receiving training in basket and mat production, boot and shoe repairing, poultry farming and piano tuning. Upon leaving Newington House, a £150 grant was provided to support the setting up of businesses, purchasing of equipment or accommodation assisted by the charity’s after-care workers.

Linburn House

In 1943 Scottish War Blinded acquired Linburn House in Wilkieston, West Lothian to support blinded servicemen and women returning to Scotland from World War II. Built upon the successes of Newington House, members received a year’s induction course learning to read and write in braille, touch-typing and basket making before choosing a range of training and employment opportunities in woodwork, cane, metal, wire and leather workshops as well as in outside employment as physiotherapists, typists and shop keepers with additional support from the charity’s after-care workers.

Linburn Workshops

Within ten years, Linburn House was replaced with a modern complex of rehabilitation rooms, workshops, recreation hall, homes, hostelry and bowling green. A strong industrial emphasis developed, based on the principles of graft, community and camaraderie, where a wide range of products were developed and produced for the public and industry for over 50 years.

Scottish War Blinded Today

The Linburn Centre replaced the Linburn Workshops in 2011. The centre accommodates up to 35 members a day who can attend for a range of activities, rehabilitation, independent living skills and social outings. Members frequently amaze themselves finding a new lease of life as well as establishing camaraderie with fellow members and staff.

In 2011, Scottish War Blinded launched an Outreach Service, which has nine Outreach Workers across Scotland providing a one-stop contact point for dealing with statutory and voluntary agencies, specialist equipment provision, mobility and independent living support and introducing social opportunities.

In 2015, Scottish War Blinded announced plans to construct a second centre in the West of Scotland to enable members further afield to benefit from similar services offered at the Linburn Centre. The centre will open in 2017 and will be located next to a care home for blind people run by sister charity Royal Blind. Read more about the Paisley project.