ROYAL Air Force veteran Marjorie May is looking forward to a fun Christmas, thanks to Blind Veterans UK.
The 93-year-old from Worthing could have faced a Christmas alone, as her daughter moved to California earlier this year.
But the charity stepped in and now Marjorie will be celebrating with other veterans at Blind Veterans UK’s Brighton centre.
“I am looking forward to the wonderful entertainment that will be put on. I’ve not been to the Blind Veterans UK’s Brighton centre over Christmas before but I know it will be fantastic,” she said.
“I am very much looking forward to going. There is always great food and I know there will be a lot to do.”
Marjorie served in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force during the Second World War. Joining at 18, she enjoyed her time serving her country and is proud of what she helped to achieve during her four years of service.
She said: “As part of the Motor Transport Repair Unit, I had a role to play in the war effort. I took over from a flight sergeant who was called up to become air crew.
“I was part of a team that helped keep the store functioning and one of my responsibilities included counting the vehicles that came and went from the hangar.”
She is looking forward to celebrating Christmas and new year with other Armed Forces veterans, which came about due to the change in her family circumstances this year.
Many years after serving her country, Marjorie began losing her sight. In 1972, Marjorie lost an eye as a result of an operation to remove a brain tumour. Then around 15 years ago, she began losing the sight in her other eye, which has deteriorated over time to the point she has virtually no sight at all.
Marjorie said: “I can no longer recognise faces, I just can’t see details. First I lost my eye and then more recently macular degeneration has robbed me of the sight I had left.”
She found out about the support Blind Veterans UK could provide back in 2009, through a helper who visited her. The helper’s son was an ex-Navy veteran who was a beneficiary of Blind Veterans UK and he spoke highly of the support he received, so Marjorie made contact.
Marjorie said: “It is a wonderful charity. Getting in touch with them is one of the best decisions I’ve made and now I go to their Brighton centre every week.
“Being at the centre is very social and it’s reassuring to have the staff around. It is always pleasant chatting to other veterans who are affected by severe sight loss.
“Everybody talks to everybody else. I don’t know what life would be like without Blind Veterans UK’s support, it certainly wouldn’t be as enjoyable.”
Blind Veterans UK is the national charity for blind and vision impaired ex-service men and women, providing vital practical and emotional support to help veterans discover life beyond sight loss.
The charity has three training centres, in Brighton, Sheffield and Llandudno, North Wales, and a network of welfare officers around the UK.
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