A Carnmoney supporter of the Blind Veterans UK charity who recently attended a royal garden party is urging locals to support the organisation.
David Sales has been a donor to the charity, formerly known as St Dunstan’s, for the past 15 years.
On June 4, the local man attended a Buckingham Palace garden party hosted by Sophie, Countess of Wessex, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the charity’s work supporting blind veterans and their families.
David told The Times: “Blind Veterans UK was set up in 1915 to support those who had lost their sight in conflict. It was set up before World War 1 and has been operating throughout the Korean War, the Falklands, the Troubles and into modern conflicts such as Afghanistan.
“It helps soldiers, sailors and airmen.
“The charity creates poppies for Remembrance Sunday as well as crosses and wreaths, employing blind veterans to give them work and fellowship with one another.”
David says that it was an honour to meet injured veterans during the recent garden party.
“There were 2000 people there including the charity’s supporters, blind service personnel and their families.
“These included World War 2 veterans although there weren’t many of those around.
“To lose your sight must be such a life-changing event for the person and their families and to do it in the service of your country is the ultimate sacrifice.
Greeting the veterans and guests was Sophie, Countess of Wessex, who represented the royal family.
“She showed a great respect for the veterans and spent a lot of time speaking with them,” revealed David.
“It was very moving to see that sacrifice first hand and to speak to some of the veterans, who were delighted at the recognition they received.”
Guests were entertained by two bands, the Coldstream Guards and the Household Cavalry, which played alternately.
“The lawn at Buckingham Palace was so big that one band couldn’t hear when the other had finished, so they each put up a flag to notify the other when they were playing,” recalled David.
“The veterans were delighted to be in that atmosphere.”
David is now calling on more local people to support the work of Blind Veterans UK by supporting the charity.
To donate or fundraise, visit http://www.blindveterans.org.uk/how-you-can-help/