Wetherby Lions have responded with a donation of £1,000 to the Special Appeal by the UK and Irish Council of Governors to raise £100,000 towards completion of facilities at Llandudno’s Blind Veterans UK Centre for the Homeless Sight Impaired and Limbless Service Personnel.
The money will be used to facilitate the completion of the building work required to refurbish three currently disused outbuildings at the Blind Veterans UK Centre (BVUK) at Llandudno. When completed this complex will be used to provide Life Skills for Independent Living - a tailored programme of counselling and training in purpose-built accommodation for those younger veterans needing this vital support - not only for the veterans served by Blind Veterans UK itself but also those served by BLESMA, The Limbless Veterans Association.
Rationale for the New Facilities
Blind Veterans UK is a partnership organisation with the UK and Irish Lions Clubs (LCI) and is proposing to expand its rehabilitation facilities to assist not only its own veterans but those of BLESMA serving our country's ex-servicemen and -women who have been severely wounded and disabled in protecting our country.
Both organisations are reacting to research carried out by the King's Centre for Military Health into the mental health and social well-being of disabled ex-servicemen and -women. The research identified that many struggled with mental health issues including depression and anxiety, that there was an increased prevalence of self-harming behaviour including substance abuse and alcohol misuse, and that many veterans struggled with social relationships after the loss of sight and/or limbs leading to the loss of independence becoming a major worry for them.
The research highlighted that these concerns were of greater prominence amongst younger veterans under the age of 50. The Life Skills for Independent Living Project evolved from the needs identified by the research as a means of providing a tailored programme of counselling and training in purpose-built accommodation for those younger veterans that need this vital support so providing a lifeline for working age ex- Service men and women.