A leading veterans’ charity supporting ex-service men and women living with sight loss,has launched a new campaign addressing misconceptions about who is eligible for their free support…

The campaign entitled ‘We Don’t Care’ aims to raise awareness that Scottish War Blinded don’t care how veterans have lost their sight – but do care about supporting them, no matter what the cause of their sight loss may be, and regardless of when they served their country.

Scottish War Blinded was founded to support soldiers returning blinded as a result of their service in World War One. Today, their support is available to all visually impaired veterans living in Scotland. Many of the veterans who receive tailored rehabilitation with the charity have developed sight loss later in life, long after they served their country.

The campaign features the face of Bill Cooper, who completed National Service in the 1960s. He lost his sight over 30 years ago to age related macular degeneration. In 2012 he started to receive support from Scottish War Blinded, including one-to-one training to become more mobile out of the house. Bill commented:

“This training transformed my life, as since my sight had deteriorated, my wife and I had become very anxious about me leaving the house on my own. I had lost my confidence without her beside me, and had become very dependent on her to go out. Now I can confidently travel on public transport on my own, using the skills I’ve been taught by one of Scottish War Blinded’s rehabilitation officers.

“I was surprised at first that someone like myself was eligible, as my National Service was so long ago, and I didn’t experience active service. I really hope seeing my advert will encourage veterans, their families or carers to get in touch as 26 years was a long time for me to struggle with my loss of confidence, before I finally heard about the charity.”

The face of Tony Mulheron, also features in the campaign. Tony served in regular forces in the early 1990s and experienced sight loss after a fall. Tony said:

“I’m pleased to feature to highlight that Scottish War Blinded didn’t care that my sight loss wasn’t a result of my service. They helped me get back on my feet after a very dark time for me. I’m indebted to them as I’m now independent and enjoying my own volunteering work locally. I’d urge other veterans and their families to get in touch.”

The charity has launched a fleet of branded taxis in Glasgow, which will gain high impact exposure. The campaign is also being advertised on the radio and specialist press targeting relevant professionals to sign post veterans to Scottish War Blinded. The advertising will be supported by social media activity to raise awareness of the charity’s free, lifelong support for vision impaired ex-Service men and women.