EDINBURGH, Scotland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--100 years ago today Scotland’s charity for visually impaired veterans held its inaugural meeting and set out its plan to support soldiers blinded by poison gas in World War One.
To celebrate its centenary year Scottish War Blinded has planned a varied programme of events across Scotland celebrating 100 years of support for Scottish Armed Forces veterans.
At that meeting on April 14 it was decided that a centre would be established to provide rehabilitation and training to blinded soldiers and sailors. By May, Scottish War Blinded began to receive the first blinded soldiers at a residential centre at No. 37 Grange Loan, Edinburgh, who received training in Braille and vocational skills at workshops on Nicolson Street, Edinburgh.
With the charity's guidance, the blinded war veterans went on to display remarkable courage in adapting to life after sight loss-something the ex-Service men and women who are supported by Scottish War Blinded continue to do today. In recent years, the charity has expanded its remit to support those who have been blinded subsequent to their service- no matter how or when they lost their sight.
Scottish War Blinded Chief Executive Richard Hellewell (http://www.royalblind.org/about-us/our-people/our-staff/richard-hellewell) said:
“It is good to recognise how far our charity has come in 100 years, from our earliest days providing training for veterans to our most expansion- which will see us open a new centre for veterans in Paisley. Since our establishment 100 years ago today, we have helped Scottish veterans to expand their horizons irrespective of their visual impairment.”
With a variety of commemorative events and expansion planned in 2015, the charity will celebrate the achievements of veterans with sight loss, whom we continue to support across Scotland, as well as the commitment of our staff and supporters over the last 100 years.
The Centenary celebrations will culminate in December when the charity will open Centenary Sports Hall at the Linburn Centre, West Lothian. This is a new sports facility for visually impaired veterans, which will enhance the specialist sports provision available in Scotland. This year four new houses are being built in West Lothian, continuing a hundred year tradition of the charity’s provision of accommodation for veterans in need.
Scottish veterans of various conflicts will tour Ypres, where the first gas attacks were launched by the German Army during the Battle of Ypres in 1915, to gain a better understanding of the horrific impact of poison gas upon British troops in the trenches.
The charity will unveil a centenary exhibition 'A Century of Expanding Horizons' at Central Library, Edinburgh in November which will guide the public through notable achievements of veterans supported by the charity in the last 100 years.
Events planned also include a series of challenges matches between a team of veterans versus blind bowling clubs across Scotland which will celebrate the importance of the sport in charity’s history and the sporting successes of our members- such as David Thomas who is part of the silver medal winning Scottish Paralympic bowling team.
To find out more about planned public events celebrating this centenary year please visit www.scottishwarblinded.org to see a calendar of public events.
Notes to Editors
Scottish War Blinded was founded in 1915 to provide rehabilitation and training to provide blinded soldiers returning from World War One.
Today Scottish War Blinded promotes the positive health and well-being of visually impaired veterans by providing activities and social opportunities across Scotland and at the Linburn Centre in West Lothian.
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