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Blind veterans march through Colchester town centre to raise awareness

PUBLISHED: 18:04 03 April 2019 | UPDATED: 18:04 03 April 2019

The 12 blind veterans marched for a mile along Colchester High Street as part of Blind Veterans UK 'March for Veterans' awareness month. Picture: VICTORIA PERTUSA

The 12 blind veterans marched for a mile along Colchester High Street as part of Blind Veterans UK 'March for Veterans' awareness month. Picture: VICTORIA PERTUSA

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A group of blind veterans from across Suffolk and Essex marched along the streets of Colchester as part of a series of events in a bid to raise awareness.

Veterans get in line to start marching towards Colchester town centre. Picture: VICTORIA PERTUSAVeterans get in line to start marching towards Colchester town centre. Picture: VICTORIA PERTUSA

The 12 former servicemen, who have an average age of 74, from Colchester, Basildon, Walton-on-the-Naze, Felixstowe, Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds, took to the streets of the town centre on Thursday, March 28 for charity Blind Veterans UK.

Dressed in blazers and berets and wearing their service medals, the veterans marched alongside six serving soldiers from the Army 16 Medical Regiment. They were also accompanied by military band Colchester Pipes and Drums.

Organiser Neil Hildred said: “Blind Veterans UK are running a series of events countrywide called march for veterans. The idea behind that is to bring greater awareness in the community and reach out to some veterans that aren’t members - who could be living isolated out there in their own communities.

“The outcome of the event - is I hope - that people watching are inspired by seeing the great comradeship that is brought together by the charity and members, and how they support each other.

Blind veterans Jim Clavier and Colin Penalune. Picture: VICTORIA PERTUSABlind veterans Jim Clavier and Colin Penalune. Picture: VICTORIA PERTUSA

“I would also hope that if there is anybody in the community who sees this today and is aware of any veterans that have sight impairment, that they would be able to direct them to support from Blind Veterans UK.”

The charity, which was formed in 195, provides rehabilitation, training, practical advice and emotional support to help rebuild the lives of ex-service men and women after sight loss.

Although the charity currently supports more veterans than ever before, a spokesman for the charity said that there are many more who still need the charity’s support.

Ipswich-based Combat2Coffee, run by a former Royal Anglian Regiment solider, was also in attendance at the march providing refreshments.

To get involved, or to find out more information about the charity, please visit their website.

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