Alec Newman supports No One Alone

Alec Newman and Billy Baxter
Alec worked with Blind Veterans UK member Billy Baxter to understand life beyond sight loss.

Actor Alec Newman, star of BBC One's Waterloo Road, is backing Blind Veterans UK's No One Alone campaign,  which aims to reach out to an estimated 68,000 ex-Service men and women who do not realise they are eligible for the charity's support.

Alec said: "Having seen the work of Blind Veterans UK at first hand and met some of its truly inspirational veterans, I feel it is vital that more vision impaired ex-Service men and women are made aware of the fantastic support they could be getting from the charity. There are literally thousands of veterans who simply don't realise that Blind Veterans UK is here for them".

If you know an Armed Forces or national Service veteran battling sight loss, we can help. Visit www.noonealone.org.uk or call 0800389 7979 to find out more.

"I am particularly pleased to be supporting the No One Alone campaign, which aims to reach veterans needing Blind Veterans UK's help through their family and friends. It might not always be the blind veterans themselves that are most receptive to hearing that there is support available. Often it takes a family member or a partner to say 'look, that's there, so make use of this facility that is already there waiting for you to use it'." - Alec Newman

An exclusive preview clip of Alec braving the elements in North Wales to train with a long-cane, taken from our upcoming short film. Based at our centre in Llandudno, Alec lived as a blind veteran for two days accompanied by Blind Veterans UK member Billy Baxter, and rehabilitation officer Vince Godper.

Alec first became aware of Blind Veterans UK when preparing for his latest role - a blinded Afghanistan veteran in the British film Greyhawk. The film's lead character made an instant connection with Alec: "When I first saw the script for Greyhawk a little over a year ago, as something that matters to me personally, I was immediately drawn to it. The thing about sight loss is that it is not something that we think about - we take our sight for granted."

 

Alec Newman cane training

 

To better understand living life beyond sight loss, Alec spent two days living with a simulated vision impairment at our centre in Llandudno. Alec worked closely with Blind Veterans UK member Billy Baxter in order to develop his knowledge of the strategies that our members use to live independently. "I asked Billy 'is there ever a moment that you are not aware of your blindness', and the answer is no. It's something that you are aware of constantly. There is a very deep background stress involved in adapting to life and living life without your sight - particularly if you are totally blind, which the character is" explains Alec.

 

"I think that one of the reasons that Blind Veterans UK is so vital is that the families of members also feel the differences made by the charity's support. There is a way to live positively, and who knows, in some instances more positively in the light of a situation where somebody has lost their sight. That makes this organisation very inspirational, and that's something that is quite emotional to be around."

 

To find out more about how Blind Veterans UK can support a vision-impaired Armed Forces or National Service veteran that you know, please visit our dedicated No One Alone website, or call us free on 0800 389 7979.

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