Veterans

Scotland To Ensure Visually Impaired Veterans Get Support Sooner

Those applying to be registered blind in Scotland will be asked if they served in the Armed Forces.

The Scottish Government has issued a new initiative to ensure blind or partially sighted veterans get support sooner.

Those applying to be registered blind in Scotland will now be asked if they have served in the Armed Forces.

The aim of this initiative is to ensure veterans have quicker access to the tailored services on offer.

Scotland aims to highlight these services in new plans to help those who have served.

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Scottish War Blinded’s sonic shooting range is one of the many activities and support services the charity offers.

"We always have a duty of care with someone who has placed themselves in the duty of arms for the country," said Scottish Veterans Minister Graeme Dey.

"This is an example of a small thing that can be done - it can make such a difference to people."

He added initiatives like the ones pursued by Scottish War Blinded have "great potential" and it is "the right thing to do" to direct those in need to them.

Anyone applying for a Certificate of Visual Impairment in Scotland will now be asked if they have served in the forces in a bid to refer them to charities like Scottish War Blinded quicker.

"For many people, it is a really difficult moment when they realise their sight is not going to get better," explained Rebecca Barr, Director at Scottish War Blinded.

"Knowing that there is a charity that can be a lifeline for them and link them in with the right services is really, really important."

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Woodwork workshops are also offered at the Scottish War Blinded centre.

Centres like Scottish War Blinded provide a close support network to those whose sight is deteriorating.

It is hoped this new guidance will make it easier for veterans with sight issues to get the support they need and make sure they are aware of the services out there that offer vital help.