In August, my friend Barry and I spent a week at Blind Veterans UK (BVUK) in Llandudno, teaching visually impaired veterans how to tie decorative knots. Yet again, just like last year, the guys and gals there demonstrated how determined and resourceful they were and the members kept us on our toes by picking things up so quickly!
Dragonflies, solomon bars and key fobs were just a few projects we covered. After a couple of days, some of our visually impaired “students” were even teaching others – now there’s an achievement worthy of note!
We found it quite ironic being thanked by everyone for helping out. Little did they realise just how much Barry and I gained from the experience. We were treated like royalty, and I for one came away with a very positive attitude and renewed enthusiasm.
Some members (not “patients”, not “clients” – members) not only suffer sight loss, but many also have to live with other disabilities, making their achievements even more remarkable.
Although Barry and I were there to teach knotting, the Arts and Crafts Centre is full of fabulous works of art produced by the members, none of which would be out of place in the better known galleries. I particularly like the mosaics being produced. Many young, able-bodied, sighted people would consider these items beyond their abilities, but if they could only witness what the BVUK members are capable of they would realise what is possible with the “can do” attitude of our veterans.
As well as the members, Barry and I were privileged to meet part of the team of managers, carers, housekeeping and catering staff, all of whom are absolutely dedicated to supporting the members. These folks represent a huge team that any businesses would be truly proud of.
A thoroughly enjoyable experience and I can’t wait to go back.
Find out more about Blind Veterans UK here – http://www.blindveterans.org.uk/