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A new report is shedding light on the huge psychological toll blindness places on U.K.'s veterans. A study recently released by the charity group Blind Veterans U.K. showed that six in ten veterans report feelings of depression and isolation after being diagnosed with a serious vision problem.
In order to address this problem, Blind Veterans U.K. is calling on all veterans to contact them for help as soon as possible. Blind Veterans U.K. has been joined by actress Barbara Windsor on this campaign to help U.K.'s finest veterans get the help they need during their darkest hours.
Thankfully, it looks like Blind Veterans U.K.'s work is helping veterans facing visual impairments. Blind Veterans U.K. also found that 86 percent of 516 veterans said they felt much better after being contacted by a charity member. Also, this survey showed 71 percent of respondents felt increased independence after talking with a volunteer worker, plus 75 percent of veterans said they found it easier to increase their social circle.
While these statistics are a good start, Blind Veterans U.K. knows there are many more veterans out there not receiving the care they need. Members of the Blind Veterans U.K. staff believe there are at least 59,000 veterans with vision loss who haven't reached out to their services yet.
One British Navy veteran, Andrew Hussey, said Blind Veterans U.K. has changed his life for the better. Hussey, who lost his sight on December 24th of 2007, told reporters he hopes Blind Veterans U.K. will get more publicity so more veterans know about all the positive services they offer.
Executives working at Blind Veterans U.K. said they were happy to see their services are making a real difference in the community. Fran McSweeney, the community services manager for Blind Veterans U.K., said the survey helped prove there are easy steps available for helping veterans cope with their visual impairments and stay connected with the community.
Although these findings show many things that are going right with Blind Veterans U.K., it also shows a few areas in need of improvement. McSweeny said one in seven beneficiaries felt they couldn't take part in Blind Veterans U.K.'s many events because they couldn't find transportation for long distances. In the future, McSweeney hopes to change how Blind Veterans U.K. serves its local communities.
Blind Veterans U.K. was very proud to have the support of Dame Barbara Windsor on this campaign. Windsor is one of England's most famous actresses, appearing in numerous stage and film productions. A few of the most famous films Windsor was in include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Too Hot to Handle, and ten Carry On films.
Blind Veterans U.K. was recently honored for its charitable work with a milestone feature story in Optometry Today's October issue. The volunteers at Blind Veterans U.K. hope to provide comfort and support to all U.K. veterans through various activities.