Blind army veteran praises charity for support

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A blind veteran has spoken about the ‘tons of support’ he and his family have received from a national charity.

 Ex-army man Colin Williamson, 58, from from Hebburn, lost his sight more than 12 years ago after a serious assault left him blind in his right eye, and caused the sight in his left eye to deteriorate over the following year.

 Colin joined the military in the Junior Leaders at the age of 15. At 17, he joined the Royal Artillery as a driver and signaller, and during his time in service, Colin served in Germany and Northern Ireland. He then spent six years with the TA before leaving service in 1983.

 Colin went on to work for BT as a field engineer for 27 years.

 In 2003, after he lost his sight, he found out about Blind Veterans UK (formerly known as St Dunstan’s) and contacted the charity. Through the charity, he has received vital training, equipment and support to help him and his family adjust to life with sight loss.

 Colin said: “Blind Veterans UK has been brilliant – they’ve given me and my family tons of support, in every aspect of our lives, things like equipment at home, training on the computer and emotional support.”

 Colin now works for Blind Veterans UK as a communications officer and also co-ordinates Project Gemini, an exchange project between Blind Veterans UK and the Blinded Veterans’ Association in the US and St Dunstan’s South Africa.

 Colin said: “I feel really privileged and fortunate to be part of such a splendid charity.”

 Blind Veterans UK provides vital services and support to ex-service men and women now battling severe sight loss and their families.

 The charity’s No One Alone campaign is reaching out to the tens of thousands of vision impaired ex-service personel, who could be eligible for support but don’t realise it.

 Regardless of how a veteran lost their sight or when they served, Blind Veterans UK will provide free, lifelong support to them and their families.

 If you are a vision impaired ex-serviceman or woman, or care for someone who is, log on to or ring 0800 389 7979 for more information.