The Scottish Conservative Party leader, Douglas Ross MP MSP, has praised Sight Scotland Veterans for all the outstanding help and support it provides to veterans living with sight loss across the country.
Sight Scotland Veterans provides support to all veterans in Scotland who are experiencing changes to their sight, regardless of the cause. The charity aims to ensure that veterans and their families and carers have access to the support that they need when they need it. The charity recently expanded its service in the North of Scotland, with its Independent Living team and Rehabilitation and Mobility team now assisting veterans affected by sight loss across the region.
Douglas Ross, MP for Moray and MSP for Highlands and Islands, who visited Sight Scotland Veterans’ Hawkhead Centre in Paisley earlier this year to see first-hand the great help and support the charity provides, says the support the charity is providing in his constituencies is just so important for our veterans.
He explains: “I found my visit to the Hawkhead Centre in Paisley truly inspiring. They are doing terrific work to support our veterans, particularly in overcoming feelings of isolation.
“Those issues are exacerbated in the rural and remote areas I represent in Moray and the Highlands and Islands, so it is fantastic to hear that Sight Scotland’s service have expanded in the North of Scotland.
“This support will help many local users of Sight Scotland’s services overcome the challenges they are facing on a daily basis. I will continue to highlight their work both in my own region and across Scotland so veterans know where they can turn to for crucial support.”
Jenny Liddell, North of Scotland Independent Living Team Lead with Sight Scotland Veterans, comments: “We are supporting veterans across the Highlands through home visits, community activity groups, and via our freephone information line. We help veterans to learn the new skills needed for adapting to life with sight loss. Our team instil the confidence to manage everyday tasks that can seem overwhelming after sight loss. We provide one-to-one support at home and out and about.
“People with visual impairment can lose their confidence, self-esteem and their ability to do many day-to-day activities. For families and carers, they have huge concerns about how to best support their loved ones and often don’t have the support themselves in coping, particularly following the initial diagnosis.
“For many, providing a simple piece of equipment and a guiding voice on how to make the most of it can transform their life. From mobility and long cane training, to reading that first piece of mail in a long time or making a loved one a cup of tea safely once more, time and time again we support veterans to make the first step towards being as independent as possible.
Liddell adds: “In addition to the support provided in veterans own homes, our Support Hub is a new service giving help to veterans in their local communities, over the phone and online. There are three strands to this service; our Sight Loss Information Service, our Community Service and our Financial Wellbeing Service. The Information Service is aimed at providing responsive, person-centred support and information over the telephone to veterans living with sight loss when they need it.
“Our Veterans Community Service and Sporting Partnerships team is increasing opportunities for individuals to access activities in their local areas, while our digital hub offers the opportunity for veterans to get together in groups for support and information both over the phone and online. Finally, our new Financial Wellbeing Service provides advice and information on financial matters including concessions, grants application, budgeting, and benefits.”
For more information on Sight Scotland Veterans please visit www.sightscotlandveterans.org.uk or call their information line on 0800 035 6409.
Headline photo: Douglas Ross visited Sight Scotland Veterans’ Hawkhead Centre in Paisley earlier this year