Sight loss charity tackles social isolation with Highlands and Moray lunch groups for veterans with vision impairments

Press Release | 07/05/2019

Veterans with sight loss have the chance to make new connections through a number of lunch groups across the Highlands and Moray run by a vision impairment charity.

 

Veterans with sight loss have the chance to make new connections through a number of lunch groups across the Highlands and Moray run by a vision impairment charity.

 

Scottish War Blinded are welcoming its veterans to monthly meet ups which currently take place in Inverness, Tain, Nairn and Elgin. 

 

The charity’s members, who all have a vision impairment, can come along to meet fellow veterans for a friendly chat over a spot of lunch, provided free-of-charge.

 

These lunch groups are a key part of Scottish War Blinded’s offering as the charity fights to tackle social isolation – something which many veterans are struggling with as a result of sight loss.

 

And Scottish War Blinded Outreach Workers, Sheena Menzies and Mick Hilton, who provide one-on-one support and run the Highlands lunch groups, are keen to welcome even more veterans living with a vision impairment into the Scottish War Blinded community.

 

Sheena said: “The Scottish War Blinded lunch groups provide a friendly, relaxed environment for our veterans to get to know one another, share stories, have a laugh together and build friendships.

 

“Many of our veterans also live alone, so the meet ups are particularly important, providing a great opportunity to make some new connections with others.

 

“We have lovely members who regularly attend our monthly groups. If you’re a veteran with sight loss, or you are a relative, friend or carer of someone who is, we’d love to hear from you.”

 

Mick added: “Carers and partners are also very welcome to accompany members to the lunch groups – it’s a fantastic way for them to meet others and have a bit of a break, too.

 

“We also occasionally welcome guest speakers, such as members of the Scottish War Blinded rehabilitation team, who can provide helpful tips and expert advice to our veterans.”

 

Research carried out by Scottish War Blinded last year showed that two thirds of Scottish War Blinded members said their sight loss had resulted in them experiencing loneliness, and access to the charity’s services played the greatest role in helping them overcome social isolation.

 

Rebecca Barr, Director of Scottish War Blinded, commented: “Our lunch groups are important social events for many Scottish War Blinded veterans across the country. We have seen many friendships flourish as a result of members being brought together at these monthly meet-ups. 

 

“Our research has shown that too many of our members have experienced social isolation as a result of their sight loss, and access to the services we provide is crucial to help our veterans overcome loneliness or prevent them from becoming isolated.”

 

In Inverness, Scottish War Blinded members meet monthly at Inverness Golf Club, Culcabok Road. In Tain lunch groups take place at Carnegie Lodge Hotel, 6 Viewfield Road; in Elgin the meet up takes place at the Royal Hotel, Station Road, and in Nairn the Scottish War Blinded monthly lunch group meets at Nairn Dunbar Golf Club, Lochley Road.

 

Scottish War Blinded gives free support to former servicemen and women of all ages, no matter if they lost their sight during or after service.

 

For more information about the support offered to veterans with sight loss in the Highlands and to refer a veteran to the charity, call 0800 035 6409 or get in touch online at www.scottishwarblinded.org.