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

Head nurse and practice manager at East Devon’s Raddenstiles Veterinary Surgery is taking on a 15,000 foot skydive, in which she will freefall for around two miles, to help abandoned and unwanted dogs find their new forever homes.

Read more
06:55

A trio of fundraising events have been announced for this year in the build-up to 2019’s Budleigh Salterton Food and Drink Festival.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:00

Don’t miss this week’s gallery of readers’ photos.

Join in at iwitness24.co.uk and send us your East Devon pictures.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:00

Curator Neville Evans explained that many botanical gardens were closing and giving away their collections due to funding issues – despite their conservational value. He added that Bicton’s 300 year-old landscape was ‘pretty special’, with ‘plants here that you will never see anywhere else’.

Read more
Fri, 12:30

Guest of honour Conrad Humphreys said: “I very much enjoyed the Exeter College awards evening and celebrating the success of the students.

“As a former student and rugby player at the college - I have very fond memories of my time there before heading off to sail around the world in the 1993/4 Whitbread.”

Read more
Fri, 12:11

Our Devon quiz is back for another round!

Read more
Fri, 06:55

Exmouth Town Council will be temporarily closed from January 29-30 while office equipment and phones are moved to its new home.

Read more
Thu, 17:00

Artist Anna Fitzgerald, of Seadog Gallery, in Gussiford Lane, Exmouth, is calling for a bra army of support; she needs 4,000 over-shoulder-boulder-holder donations for the display, which will celebrate the suffragette movement and women winning the right to vote.

Read more
Thu, 12:00

“We are going to find it very hard to balance our books without changing things significantly. We need teachers, but all the other things schools do – all the things that are not our statutory responsibility – we are looking at cutting. We are talking about the life chances of children being damaged,” said Exmouth’s Exeter Road head teacher Paul Gosling.

Read more
Thu, 11:04

There’s good news for Exmouth’s Famous Old Barrel pub, which has been closed since last October.

Read more

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 8°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