Blind former Signalman joins campaign to raise awareness of help sight charity offers to veterans

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Donald Baron with wife Maureen Donald Baron with wife Maureen

A blind former Royal Signalman from Bradford is helping to raise awareness of a charity's work after it supported him in his time of need.

Donald Baron, 71, joined the Royal Signals in 1961 but it was not until many years later that he began to lose his sight.

Mr Baron, who lives in Queensbury, damaged his right eye while playing cricket and developed advanced open angle glaucoma in his left eye.

He said: “Losing your eyesight is very difficult indeed. With glaucoma, I found that the medicine I was given for the condition eventually stopped working, so I had to go to a specialist and have an operation on my eye.

“I was satisfied with the results – though I know that my eyesight will only get worse, it is at least in a stable condition for the time being.”

As a former member of the Royal Signals, Mr Baron was eligible for support from Blind Veterans UK.

The charity, formerly known as St Dunstan’s, offers emotional and practical support to ex-servicemen and women, regardless of when they served or how they lost their sight.

Across its centres in Brighton, Sheffield and Llandudno, the charity offers rehabilitation programmes, art and craft classes, sports and recreation, clubs and societies, information technology, care and welfare to blind veterans.

Mr Baron, who was born in Bradford and has lived in the district for his whole life, is backing the charity's No One Alone campaign, which aims to reach out to the estimated 68,000 blind veterans who do not realise that they are eligible for the charity's support.

Many will have done National Service and may not consider themselves to be veterans.

Mr Baron said: “I am an amateur artist and through the charity I have been able to continue this despite being blind. I have also had the opportunity to try out new things such as soap stone carving.

“My wife has seen a significant difference in me since I first joined the charity. .

To find out more about the No One Alone campaign, visit noonealone.org.uk or call 0800 389 7979.

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