Former mechanic Marguerita, 84, thanks charity Blind Veterans UK for support
- Credit: Archant
An 84-year-old woman from Brandon has thanked sight loss charity Blind Veterans UK for the support she has received.
Marguerita Scarrat, who has received free support from the charity since December, has shared her story as part of National Eye Week.
Ms Scarratt joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service in 1951 as an aircraft mechanic and completed four years of service. During this time she was posted at Yeovil in Somerset and Londonderry in Northern Ireland before being discharged in 1955.
Marguerita first experienced sight problems when she was 76 and found that she had to shut one eye when doing the crossword. She was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration in one eye and had to have injections every six weeks.
She said: “It was a bit of a shock to leave the service. I really missed the communal life and suddenly had to adjust to living very differently.
“When I lost my sight I had to give up bird watching and I thought that I would never be able to do watercolour painting again. It was a great pity. I couldn’t see any detail. I couldn’t distinguish one bird from another.”
She then sought the help of Blind Veterans UK, who gave her a CCTV reader so that she could read her letters.
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“Support from Blind Veterans UK has been very useful,” Marguerita said.
“I’ve now been to the charity’s training and rehabilitation centre in Brighton. It is a magnificent place and it was very helpful in lots of ways. I took part in the arts and crafts activities and was able to paint once again. I made three acrylic paintings.
“On my next visit I am hoping to do an IT course and learn so much more.”
Blind Veterans UK is hoping to use stories like Marguerita’s to reach out and offer its free service to visually-impaired veterans in the UK.
For more information on Blind Veterans UK, visit www.noonealone.org.uk or call 0800 389 7979.