A blind veteran who has received vital support from Blind Veterans UK will be celebrating the centenary of the charity at a Buckingham Palace Garden party.
Ken Maidens (83) from Salesbury will visit the palace with more than 1,000 other veterans helped by Blind Veterans UK, to mark the military charity’s 100 years of service and support to blind and vision-impaired ex-Servicemen and women.
I’m absolutely thrilled to bits and so is my wife. It’s going to be an outstanding event. We’re bound to meet someone we can natter away toKen Maidens
Ken joined the Royal Air Force in 1952 and was posted directly to Singapore. After being given a job in technical stores, he joined the RAF Changi Jungle Rescue Team. Just before he was demobbed in 1954, with the rank of Leading Aircraftman, the team moved to Kuala Lumpur.
Ken has received help and support from Blind Veterans UK since 2007. He lost his sight due to age-related macular degeneration, a major cause of blindness and visual impairment in older people.
He said: “It stopped me driving, which felt like having my legs cut off. The first fortnight after I lost my licence, I did cry – openly and quite a lot.”
Ken has since devoted his time to helping other and has been the chairman of the Ribble Valley Visually Impaired Group for twelve years.
Speaking of his palace visit he said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to bits and so is my wife. It’s going to be an outstanding event. We’re bound to meet someone we can natter away to.”