Bill currently volunteers for Blind Veterans UK with his wife
Maureen, and he says it 'gives us the opportunity of getting out
and meeting people'.
Bill speaks about his experiences of volunteering with Blind
Veterans UK: "We were involved right from the beginning,
starting the first 'Friends of St Dunstan's' as it was then. We
had a group of about 15 to 20 local volunteers, and then some of
the Loins joined. I do a few things outside like Citizens Advice
Bureau, and it feels like we are doing good and important things.
We prefer to go out with the veterans, taking them to places they
haven't been, that's what we like. What we have said is that if you
need anybody or if you're short, then just give us a ring.
"We only live down the road, and have seen the centre from its
infancy - before it even started to be built. We chose Blind
Veterans UK because it is local, it is a great help to those who
are blind, and because I served in the Armed Forces myself. You can
appreciate that in Afghanistan, the damage that can be done to the
eyes from bombs, that blinded people do need help.
"I've learnt how to work with people who are disabled or blind,
and the big thing I find is talking to them. The
veterans always have something to talk about, and a lot of
them could be lonely and therefore need conversation, which is
something that I like. When we go out on the trips, we can
socialise together and it is a good chance to chat to them
"Being in the Citizens Advice Bureau, so I've got a lot of
information which could help them alongside their welfare officers.
I was given the chance to help someone that was terminally ill by
putting his paperwork and finances in order. Problems had been
building for a long time, because he had nobody else where he
lived, and I like to do anything like that to help the people here
and make myself available for whatever I can.
"I was in the forces for three years, National Service, and I know
that will entitle me to come here if I ever have trouble
with my eyes in the future. It's all about talking and getting to
know people, so they know you. And I will say that all of the
people here who help out are very good, marvellous and very
friendly. So I think that all of the veterans who come to
Llandudno will be very impressed with the setup as well as the
people. All of them are very pleasant.
"Volunteers, whatever they do, be they bankers or computer
experts, can help and give advice. It seems like a small thing,
having a chat with someone, but if people are living on their own
it could be the only contact they have on a regular basis.
"Some of the volunteers are older, such as myself, and we can
appreciate some of the problems that the older veterans have;
whilst some of the veterans appreciate speaking to younger
volunteers. So it's a good thing to have a mixture of ages.
"If you're able to talk to people, bring them out and converse
with them, it's a big starter above anything else. If you have got
skills or are just interested in helping people that are in
difficult positions, then volunteer."
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