Blind Misterton veteran Brian has got helping frontline care staff all sewn up
A blind army veteran from Miserton is sewing personal laundry bags for NHS and care home staff to help contain coronavirus in the community.
Brian Bailey, 80, is putting his sewing skills to use by producing laundry bags that frontline staff can store their overalls in at the end of each shift before washing at home.
His first batch went to Blind Veterans UK’s rehabilitation centre in Brighton where 26 of his fellow blind veterans are being cared for during the crisis.
The second batch has gone to Llandudno to be distributed to NHS hospitals in the local area.
Brian says: “Blind Veterans UK have done so much for me over the years so I was thinking about how I could give back during these challenging times.
“I’m delighted to offer some practical support to the charity’s carers and our NHS heroes too.”
Brian learnt to sew in the army but after his sight loss didn’t think it would be a hobby that he would be able to maintain, until a visit to Blind Veterans UK’s rehabilitation centre rekindled his love of it.
He continued: “I was in Brighton for a week of woodworking when I saw a sewing machine in the corner of my eye.
“I went back later and ended up making some cushion covers that week.
“I use the limited sight that I have to sew which makes it tricky but very enjoyable nonetheless.
“I have a little bit of sight left in the bottom of my eye so when I’m sewing I’m always looking down to see what I’m doing.
“The charity has been fantastic.
“Through visits to their rehab centre I’ve got back into sewing and woodwork which has given me a great outlet and hobby during my years with sight loss.
“I’ve met lots of my fellow blind veterans who I speak to regularly on the phone and I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to chat with people in the same position as yourself.”
Nicky Shaw, Blind Veterans UK’s director of operations said: “There is so much that we can and must do to support blind veterans to help them maintain physical and emotional wellbeing, and to feel safe, reassured and cared for during this crisis.”
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