Military charity Blind Veterans UK have enlisted the help of Jeremy Paxman in their hunt for a team of volunteers across the country to help with home visits, activities and companionship that make such a difference to blind veterans’ lives…

The appeal for volunteers will play on BBC iPlayer before being rolled out across the country, and features Jeremy Paxman in full University Challenge character with Blind Veterans UK volunteer Lynette in the hot seat. The appeal reveals how many blind veterans there are across the UK and just how many volunteers are required to provide them with crucial services.

The charity wants to hear from anyone who is interested in sparing some of their time for a very worthy cause. Their mission is to rebuild lives after sight loss and volunteers play a huge part in making that happen. From helping run activities that combat social isolation to just opening post or having a cup of tea, there are opportunities available to suit all schedules.

Jeremy Paxman commented: “It’s been a pleasure to learn more about the work of Blind Veterans UK and it’s clear that the charity’s dedicated volunteers make a vital contribution to communities across the country. I hope everyone who listens to the appeal and has an hour or two to spare will be encouraged to think about volunteering.”

Ken, 94, is a blind veteran who has been getting weekly home visits from volunteer Sue for the past two years: “Through Blind Veterans UK I was introduced to Sue, who visits me once a week and it has become, without doubt, the highlight of my week. She helps me with various bits and bobs and it’s great just to have a cup of tea and a chat.”

Sue started volunteering after she saw the life-changing impact the charity had on her father: “Blind Veterans UK brought my father out of depression and completely transformed his life. I wanted to give something back so I started volunteering. It’s truly a wonderful thing and so rewarding to do something not only for Ken but for the community.

“I think the more you give to others the happier you become in yourself. Seeing the difference I’ve made to Ken’s life fills me with joy. After his wife passed away he was low and lonely so we just sit down for two hours on a Tuesday and have a chat. I sit in awe as he tells stories from his time with the Royal Navy during World War II.”