Three blind veterans from Sussex have joined forces to send a special birthday card to Her Majesty The Queen on her 90th birthday.
Joyce Paice, 95 and from Eastbourne, made the special card at the Blind Veterans UK training and rehabilitation centre in Brighton with Elizabeth Sharpe-Nelson MBE, also 95, and a resident of the centre in Ovingdean.
The card will be sent with a special poem inside written by Marion Sharville, 94 and from Worthing, who wanted to share her best wishes as well as those of the charity Blind Veterans UK.
Joyce, Elizabeth and Marion are all registered blind and, as they have previously served in the Armed Forces, are entitled to support from Blind Veterans UK. The charity, formerly known as St Dunstan’s, has held The Queen’s Patronage throughout her reign and asked the ladies if they would produce a card and message to celebrate her 90th birthday.
All three ladies served their country during the Second World War. Joyce and Marion both served in the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF) and both have now lost their sight due to age related macular degeneration. Elizabeth served in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) spending time in Fighter Command and lost her sight later in life due to Glaucoma.
Joyce said, “It is such a privilege to have been asked to make such a special card and it was a real surprise.
“With my sight loss I can only see shadows now so I can’t actually see the end result but everyone has said it looks lovely.”
Blind Veterans UK was founded in 1915 and the charity’s initial purpose was to help and support soldiers blinded in the First World War.
But the organisation has gone on to support more than 35,000 blind veterans and their families, spanning the Second World War to recent conflicts including Iraq and Afghanistan.
For more than a century, the charity has been providing vital free training, rehabilitation, equipment and emotional support to blind and vision-impaired veterans no matter when they served or how they lost their sight.
Visit blindveterans.org.uk/support to learn more about the charity and how you can support the cause with its work.