Veterans with sight loss enjoy grand day out at Grampian Transport Museum

Press Release | 04/09/2019

Veterans with sight loss from Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen enjoyed a huge variety of vehicle exhibitions on a recent trip to Grampian Transport Museum, Alford, with Scottish War Blinded support.

 

The group of ten veterans, who all live with a vision impairment and are supported by charity Scottish War Blinded, were delighted to be able to engage with the museum’s accessible exhibitions with its ‘tablet tours’ – exploring everything from wartime aero engines to the modern electronic traction age. 

 

Scottish War Blinded Outreach Worker Ingrid Penny, who provides one-on-one support to the veterans and organised the outing, heralded the museum for its hospitality.

A Scottish War Blinded veteran stands in front of transport museum exhibit

 

She praised the efforts staff made in catering for the group – many of whom also live alone.

 

Ingrid Penny, Scottish War Blinded Outreach Worker for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, said: “Taking the time to engage in conversation is something many of our veterans appreciate, especially those living on their own. The museum staff’s descriptions about the exhibitions really brought the stories to life and rekindled memories for the group.

Scottish War Blinded veterans with an orange-shaped car at transport museum

 

“The layout of the museum is also ideal for those living with sight loss. The walkways are wide and spacious with bright yellow arrows clearly marking the route.”

 

Some of the group also made use of the museum’s ‘tablet tours’, with the audio enhancing their experience of the exhibitions.

 

This was the first Scottish War Blinded outing for Royal Navy veteran, Ritchie Schofield, 77, who has just joined the charity.

 

Ritchie, who has sight condition macular degeneration, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and I met a lot of people. The museum staff were full of knowledge.

 

“I was so impressed with the Scottish War Blinded outreach workers, Ingrid and Margaret, and volunteer Grace. There was just good humour throughout the group. A lot of positivity, good spirits and light heartedness.”

 

The museum visit was one of a number of trips and social opportunities that are organised by Scottish War Blinded Outreach Workers, Ingrid Penny and Margaret Forrest, for veterans with sight loss in the region.

 

Ingrid and Margaret, who provide one-on-one support to veterans with vision impairments across Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire, say these day trips provide a chance for many of the veterans to still get out and about and discover new things despite their sight loss.

 

Ingrid added: “The majority of the group who visited the museum also attend the Scottish War Blinded Inverurie monthly lunch group, so this trip was another chance for those growing friendships to develop, as well as meet other new faces. It was so rewarding to see the group chatting and smiling.”

 

Mike Ward, Curator of Grampian Transport Museum, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the Scottish War Blinded veterans to our museum.

 

“We first introduced our ‘tablet tours’ in 2016 following a move to increase levels of interpretation and better access for those with sight loss.”

 

Ingrid and Penny also run monthly lunch groups for Scottish War Blinded veterans in Aberdeen, Inverurie and Stonehaven.

 

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 Aberdeen and to refer a veteran to the charity, call 0800 035 6409 or get in touch online at www.scottishwarblinded.org.