02 March 2017
HRH The Countess of Wessex opens new facility in Llandudno supporting blind and limbless veterans learning vital life skills.
A new facility supporting veterans who have lost their sight, limbs, or both, has been opened by Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex GCVO at a military charity’s training and rehabilitation centre in Llandudno, North Wales.
Built in partnership between Blind Veterans UK and Blesma, The Limbless Veterans, this new Life Skills building will provide a rehabilitation environment to support essential life skills for independent living. The facility will support veterans who have lost their sight, limbs, or both, with a particular focus on supporting those who may be at risk of becoming homeless.
This was HRH The Countess of Wessex’s first act as the new patron of Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-Service men and women. HRH became the military charity’s patron after Her Majesty The Queen stepped down as patron of a number of charities and organisations at the end of last year.
The building has been built after a £1.25 million grant received from the Veterans Accommodation Fund as well as through the generous donations of several other groups and individuals.
Chief Executive of Blind Veterans UK, Major General (Rtd) Nick Caplin CB, said, “This fantastic new building, and our Rehabilitation Team, will offer specialist bespoke life skills programmes which focus on mental wellbeing, career options, communication skills and health and fitness promotion. It is an honour for all of us in the Blind Veterans UK family to welcome Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex as our Patron.”
All of the accommodation has been designed to integrate seamless adaptations to support physical disability whilst providing a realistic home environment. The veterans are able to stay in the accommodation for short and long stays of up to six months. This provides an opportunity to comprehensively reassess their needs, make relevant adjustments, and make recommendations for ongoing community interventions.
Chief Executive of Blesma, The Limbless Veterans, Barry Le Grys MBE, said, “This exciting project will provide new opportunities for Blesma Members, alongside their Blind Veterans UK colleagues, to lead independent and fulfilling lives.”
As well as opening the new building at the Blind Veterans UK training and rehabilitation centre, HRH The Countess of Wessex also got to see first-hand some of the other services the charity offers to veterans who have lost their sight.
If you, or someone you know, served in the Armed Forces or did National Service and are now battling severe sight loss, find out how Blind Veterans UK could help by calling 0800 389 7979 or visiting noonealone.org.uk.