A blind veteran in her 90s can now get online and chat with her relatives across the pond, thanks to IT training.
Marjorie Hanson, 94, of Poulton, now regularly Skypes her grandson in America and her nephew in Canada, a skill she developed during a week’s stay at the Blind Veterans UK centre in Brighton.
Marjorie first took IT training with the charity last year, and has since benefited from regular IT support and respite stays at the charity’s centres in Llandudno and Brighton.
She joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) in 1941 and was stationed in Didcot, where she worked as a filing clerk until 1945.
Marjorie said: “It was a period I look back on with very fond memories. I met my husband and some of my lifelong friends in the Armed Forces. One of the girls I worked with in the ATS moved out to America and I went out to visit her nearly 40 years after we first met. Despite the time that had passed, we laughed and joked as if we were 18 again.”
Marjorie has choroidal neovascular membrane and high myopia, and although she maintains a very can-do attitude to her sight loss, it has had an impact on her daily life.
Blind Veterans UK gave Marjorie special equipment including a magnifier to enlarge texts, an LED lamp and a tablet to help her keep in touch with family and friends.
“I went to an introduction week in Brighton and had the most wonderful time meeting other blind veterans who are all in the same boat as me.
“The support from Blind Veterans UK has really given me a new lease of life. Even my grandson is impressed at how well I can navigate my tablet.”
Blind Veterans UK estimates there are currently 1066 blind veterans in Lancashire who would be eligible to access its specialist support, most of whom are not currently aware of it. Call 0800 389 7979 or visit www.noonealone.org.uk