We are proud to launch a package of services specifically to support people who have reduced sight and hearing as a result of, or since, serving in the Armed Forces.
The new services are free to access and have been designed for veterans and those who support them. They include specialist information and advice, opportunities for social interaction, help to access financial support and advice for other organisations and community groups that support veterans.
We have also enforced our commitment to support armed forces personnel by signing the Armed Forces Covenant. The new services for veterans are designed to help people like John, who’s sight and hearing were damaged when he was serving in the Korean War, aged just 21. He said: “A lot of services in our society are just not easy for me to access which is really frustrating… It’s great to have someone to talk to without worrying about going out and about.”
Deafblind UK’s CEO, Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Conway Royal Marines (Retired) said: “Facing the challenges of making the transition from a military career to life outside the Armed Forces can be daunting for many veterans, but when compounded by sight and hearing loss those challenges are even more significant. We are launching our new service, which draws on our unrivalled knowledge and experience of living with sight and hearing loss, to support these veterans and make a real difference to their lives.”
The new package of services has a strong focus on reducing social isolation. Head of National Services, Clare Watson said: “Many of the veterans who we support lost their sight and hearing as a result of their military action. The military has been a huge part of some people’s lives and, our members tell us that they would like to share this with others who have similar experiences. We aim to connect these people to each other, through virtual social groups or our buddying system, and to the wider world, through our digital support service.
“We are also actively working with existing veterans’ support networks, such as social groups, to help them to become as inclusive and accessible as possible to people who are deafblind. Often, this only means making very small changes but it can mean that a veteran who has sight and hearing loss can enjoy the group as much as anyone else.
“We have also upskilled our teams to enable them to give specialist advice about pensions and compensation schemes. We can also support people to complete their applications if sight and hearing loss makes this difficult to do so.”
For more information or to access Deafblind UK’s services for veterans, click here or call 0800 132320 between 8am and 8pm any day.