Scottish War Blinded’s new sports hall and housing for veterans unveiled by Duke of Buccleuch

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Press Release

On an exciting day for Scottish War Blinded, a new sports hall and housing for veterans was officially opened on Thursday 10th of December by the charity’s president The Duke of Buccleuch.

 

The hall was officially named ‘Centenary Hall’ to celebrate its opening in an important year for the charity, which throughout 2015 has celebrated a hundred years of support for veterans. It is located alongside the Linburn Centre in Wilkieston, West Lothian. 

A plaque commemorating the opening of the charity’s new multipurpose sports was unveiled by The Duke of Buccleuch, followed by a tour of the new facilities and housing, which will shortly be occupied by veterans of the forces, who now have sight loss. 

The opening event was attended by members of the charity and their families, local councillors, supporters, and the architects of the project.

The event incorporated the annual public meeting for the charity, at which several members spoke movingly of the impact their membership has had upon their lives. Anne Maclean, who regularly vists the Linburn Centre, spoke of how fellow members had 'become like family' to her and commented on the difference a hot lunch and companionship made to the lives of those who visited the centre regularly.

The Opening of the Centenary Hall marks the beginning of a period of expansion for Scottish War Blinded, which provides free support to veterans with sight loss, irrespective of the cause of their sight loss. Further expansion is planned in 2016, with the building of a new centre, modelled on the successes of the Linburn Centre, to be sited in Paisley.

The charity has increased its membership in recent years, and now provides an expanded range of activities to members, with the new sports hall to become a hub of activity for members from across Scotland.

The modern, fully accessible facilities will complement the current range of sporting activities on offer in and around the Linburn Centre. Veterans will soon enjoy increased opportunities for archery, acoustic shooting, indoor and outdoor bowls, football, judo and goalball, amongst other sports.

Alongside the new centre is new accessible housing built specifically for visually impaired veterans, equipped with accessible features to make independent living easier for residents.

The development has been designed by Page/Park architects, in keeping with the style of their award winning design of the Linburn Centre.

Davina Shiell, Marketing Manager of Scottish War Blinded said:

‘We were delighted to welcome His Grace the Duke of Buccleuch to officially open our new facilities. This marks an important milestone in the history of Scottish War Blinded. Going forward, the charity is seeking to share the use of these facilities with many more veterans who develop visual impairments.’ 

Contact Information:

Hannah Mitchell Marketing Co-Ordinator 0131 229 1456

hannah.mitchell@scottishwarblinded.org

Notes to Editors:

  • Scottish War Blinded provides free support to veterans of the armed forces who have a visual impairment sustained either in conflict or subsequently to their service
  • Scottish War Blinded provides rehabilitation, activities and social opportunities for visually impaired veterans across Scotland
  • The Linburn Centre, located in Wilkieston, West Lothian, is a free day centre, for up to 35 members, providing rehabilitation, activities and social opportunities
  • Scottish War Blinded’s Outreach Service supports members by liaising with statutory and voluntary organisations, providing specialist VI equipment, promoting independent living as well as introducing social opportunities in the local community
  • Scottish War Blinded celebrates its Centenary in 2015, having been founded in 1915 to provide rehabilitation and training to blinded soldiers returning for World War One –http://royalblind.org/SWBCentenaryProgramme

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