FORMER Seaman Torpedoman Lewis Albert Matkin has spoken about how much he is looking forward to Christmas this year, now he will be spending it with friends thanks to Blind Veterans UK.
The 93-year-old, who lives alone in Solihull will be sharing his Christmas day with other blind veterans at one of the charity's life-changing centres in Llandudno.
Lewis, who is living with severe sight loss and lost his wife three years ago to Alzheimer’s, would otherwise be alone this Christmas, but instead he is looking forward to spending it with other veterans Lewis said Blind Veterans have been very good to him and he is looking forward to spending this Christmas with his friends at the centre in Wales.
He added: “It’s comforting to know I will not be spending Christmas alone this year. "It’s always great fun going to the centre as they have such brilliant social events. "I make friends easily and get on well with most people. "
The World War Two veteran was brought up in Birmingham and was first employed as an apprentice engineer for a local company producing aero engines. He joined the Royal Navy in November 1943, training at HMS Ganges and qualifying as a Seaman Torpedoman. It wasn’t until he retired that Lewis’ sight dramatically deteriorated.
He lost his sight in 2000 and developed macular degeneration and his eye specialist referred him to Blind Veterans UK. Blind Veterans UK offers free services and support to vision-impaired ex-Service men and women and their families.
It doesn’t matter how long ago they served, or even how a veteran lost their sight - it could be due to old age, illness or an incident while in Service - if they are now battling severe sight loss, Blind Veterans UK can help.
The charity also provide emotional support and a wide range of equipment and social activities through its UK-wide network of welfare officers and community services as well as its service centres.
By Sarah Judkins