Veterans with sight loss come together for Scottish War Blinded's second annual Northern Gathering

Press Release | 03/06/2019

New connections were forged and old friends reconnected as veterans with sight loss came together to celebrate Scottish War Blinded’s annual Northern Gathering in Inverness.

 

The two-day event, on May 29 and May 30, united Scottish War Blinded veterans, who all live with vision impairments, and their families and carers from across Highlands, Moray, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire at the MacDonald Drumrossie Hotel.

 

This was the sight loss charity’s second annual Northern Gathering event, which offered a host of exhibitions and talks from organisations supporting veterans, including Poppy Scotland, Horseback UK, ILM Highland and Sight Action.

 

The veterans, who receive one-on-one support from Scottish War Blinded’s outreach team and rehabilitation experts, enjoyed two three-course meals as well as entertainment from the Inverness Military Wives Choir. 

 

And some even took the opportunity to step out for a group walk to tot up some steps for the charity’s 500 Miles Challenge, which is encouraging members to contribute to collectively clock up 1,117,500  in aid of keeping active.

 

It was also a chance for the veterans to learn more about specialist low vision aids available free-of-charge to them through Scottish War Blinded, with demonstrations and individual consultations with Rehabilitation Officer Sandra McAllister.

 

Two Scottish War Blinded members, aged 85 and 87, rekindled their friendship after over 70 years and very much enjoyed reminiscing about their boyhood adventures.

 

One of the veterans commented: “I had a wonderful two days at the Northern Gathering. As well as being entertained, I particularly enjoyed catching up with friends as well as meeting lots of new members from different areas.”  

 Another Scottish War Blinded member added: “I was really looking forward to attending the Northern Gathering and it didn’t disappoint. We heard from lots of really informative speakers about additional support in the area, got to enjoy two three-course meals, and met lots of new friends.”

Events such as Scottish War Blinded’s Northern Gathering are key in outlining the support networks available to veterans living with sight loss.

 

Rebecca Barr, Director of Scottish War Blinded, commented: “Scottish War Blinded’s annual Northern Gathering event is a great opportunity to allow individuals to come away for a short break, enjoy the company of old and new friends, and realise they are not alone in living with a vision impairment.

 

“It was excellent to be able to work with several other organisations, also offering vital support networks and expertise to veterans, to open up even more avenues for them and their families.

 

“Our community in the north of Scotland really is flourishing, and this event was testament to that,If you are a veteran with sight loss, or you know someone you think might be eligible, we would love to hear from you.”

 

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