The Blackpool team recently announced their support for Graham, a blind veteran who took part in a march at the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Sunday with the charity Blind Veterans UK.
Graham Ward from Fleetwood, attended the commemoration, joined by 100 other veterans, hosted by Blind Veteran’s UK.
Specsavers Blackbool store director Peter McArdle said: ‘We are all immensely thankful to our military service personnel. We are proud to lend our support to ensure that Graham is able to reach London and pay their respects to their fallen comrades by marching to the Cenotaph.’
Graham was discharged as a Leading Air Craftman on 15 September 1976, but it wasn’t until 3 January 2005 that he was diagnosed with glaucoma.
He explained: 'I was in the hospital, recovering from a heart attack, when I lost all the sight in my left eye. I remember thinking to myself, ‘It’s OK, I’ve still got my right eye so I’ll be fine’. Unfortunately, however over the past ten years that has started to deteriorate too.
'I’ve now got no peripheral vision, it’s like looking through the eye of a needle. It was extremely hard to come to terms with.'
It was in 2013 that Graham came across Blind Veterans UK, and it is the support of the charity that he says has been crucial in his acceptance of his sight loss.
Supporting Blind Veterans
Specsavers has supported Blind Veterans UK since 2012 and, as well as raising money for the charity, staff have referred a number of customers to them so they can access their support services.
Chief Executive of Blind Veterans UK, Major General (Rtd) Nick Caplin CB said: ‘Remembrance Sunday is always a very poignant time for our blind veterans and it is fantastic that Specsavers stores are able to support them so they can march at the Cenotaph.’