Blind veteran Steve, from Exmouth, marched at the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Sunday

PUBLISHED: 16:28 14 November 2017

Pictured here is Steve Sparks with Ria Heskins, Specsavers Exmouth store director, and staff

Pictured here is Steve Sparks with Ria Heskins, Specsavers Exmouth store director, and staff

Archant

Steve Sparks, aged 56, from Exmouth marched at the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Sunday, thanks to by Blind Veterans UK, and the support of Specsavers in Exmouth. He joined more than 100 other blind veterans supported by Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-service men and women.

A blind veteran from Exmouth marched at the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Sunday with the help of military charity, Blind Veterans UK and his local Specsavers store.

Steve Sparks, aged 56, attended the commemoration, hosted by Blind Veterans UK, with the support of Specsavers in Exmouth. He joined more than 100 other blind veterans supported by Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-service men and women.

Ria Heskins, Specsavers Exmouth store director, said: “We are all immensely thankful to our military service personnel. We were proud to lend our support to ensure that Steve and the other blind veterans were able to reach London and pay their respects to fallen comrades by marching to the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.”

To help raise funds for the Blind Veterans Cenotaph fund, staff at the Exmouth branch of Specsavers, in Exeter Road, collected donations, held a bring-and-buy sale, with book and cake stalls. Staff also collected donations for repairing glasses.

Steve lost his sight following a training incident after applying to join the Special Boat Service (SBS) in 1982. He was starved of oxygen and, despite making a full recovery, his sight deteriorated over the next couple of months.

His sight continued to get worse and he had to be discharged 18 months later.

Steve said: “The sight loss was very gradual. I was told I had a lazy left eye so thought I would be alright. I carried on putting up with my eye condition by covering it up. I was absolutely gutted to be discharged and ended up moving to Malta for ten years to get away from it all.”

Steve found out about Blind Veterans UK while living in Malta, almost a decade after losing his sight.

“I can honestly say that Blind Veterans UK rescued me. I was going nowhere and had lost my morale. They gave me purpose in life again and opened up a number of opportunities which helped me move forward,” said Steve.

Visit the Exmouth Specsavers to donate to the Blind Veterans Cenotaph fund; see more about how Blind Veterans UK can help on 0800 389 7979 at blindveterans.org.uk.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 17:00

A judge has questioned why it has taken more than two years to prosecute a charity volunteer who was found with child abuse images on his computer.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00

A traffic order banning campervans and motorhomes from parking overnight on part of Exmouth seafront has been approved.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:27

Exmouth’s recycling centre has been evacuated after a chemical was dumped on the site this afternoon.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:00

An Exmouth Slimming World consultant who completed the London Marathon said it was a case of ‘mind over legs’.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:44

Police are saying that there is heavy traffic after a two-vehicle incident blocked the B3178 near East Budleigh this morning (Wednesday, April 25).

Read more
Yesterday, 07:14

Firefighters from three towns attended the incident at Douglas Avenue

Read more
Tue, 11:03

Time is running out to vote for a cause you would like to see benefit from funding raised at Exmouth Kite Festival.

Read more
Mon, 17:00

Project leaders behind an ambitious multi-million-pound realignment of the River Otter have expressed their disappointment at a failed funding bid.

Read more
Mon, 07:00

Acknowledging ‘amazing’ local business achievements underpins the annual Exmouth Business Awards according to one of this year’s sponsors.

Read more

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 7°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel


Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications