Ex-Serviceman Ally Reid’s life was turned upside down when his eyesight started to fade and he found doing everyday things increasingly difficult. Eventually he was registered blind and lost his job and ability to drive. A few years on, he has a thriving business and is an exhibited artist thanks to Blind Veterans UK.
Ally, from Stonehaven, is now on a mission to help Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for blind ex-Servicemen and women, to reach out to the estimated 68,000 veterans who could be benefitting from its support but don’t realise that they are eligible.
He said: “Initially I was very nervous about joining the charity. I just kept thinking to myself, “Well, what can they do for me?”. It was four years after I first heard of the charity that I decided to join. In retrospect I was an idiot during those four years.
“The single most important thing that the charity has given me is confidence and independence. It has quite simply changed my life. I had been on a downward spiral before I became a member of the charity, and this really impacted on my family too.
“I believe that the right attitude is that people can do things - this should be the focus. I now travel the world playing golf as Vice Chairman of the International Blind Golf Association. Just this afternoon I played and beat a friend who was fully sighted. I now feel that I actually don’t care that I am blind. I honestly feel that I am on the same par as everyone else – if not a better one”.
Blind Veterans UK recently launched its No One Alone campaign which aims to reach out to the estimated 68,000 plus ex-Service personnel who could be benefiting from the charity’s services. To find out more about the No One Alone campaign go to go to: www.noonealone.org.uk or telephone: 0800 389 7979.