Dancing at St Dunstan
Dancing was a not only a form of excercise for the blind veterans but was also the most popular indoor recreation at St Dunstan's.
Dancing at Blind Veterans UK has its origins in our early days at St Dunstan's Lodge in Regent's Park. The blind veterans decided to give a dance in honour of the V.A.D.'s (the British Red Cross volunteer nurses who helped care for them) but were not sure whether they would have the skills. So they roped in a dancing teacher and assistant who were tasked with teaching the veterans - some who had never danced a step in their life. They would often practice with the V.A.D's (who didn't know of the veterans plan to honour them) until the invitations were finally sent out.
The ball was such a success that dancing became the most popular indoor recreation at St Dunstan's. Veterans had at least two dances every week, one for beginners including one for beginners. Competitions were included and other famous dancers took part in teaching, judging and presenting prizes.
Dancing continued to be popular over time with the blind veterans and new styles were taught. In 1957 Miss Marguerite Vacani, one of the original dancing teachers in Regent's Park who also founded the Vacani School of Dance and whose pupils included the Queen, returned. She taught a Charleston class at our centre at Ovingdean, Brighton and had the veterans rock and rolling all night
2013 saw the arrival of bees at our Llandudno centre. However, this is not the first time that Blind Veterans UK has been involved with bees.
The glass was originally placed in the chapel at our centre at West House, Brighton, and was later transferred to the new chapel where it remains today.
The only Victoria Cross awarded to a blind veteran.
A memorial tribute to our founder, Sir Arthur Pearson.
Over one hundred blind veterans from the First World War were trained to become telephone operators.
The memorial that signifies the strong friendship between United Kingdom and Holland.
Blind veteran, Ted Miller, from Leamington Spa, had his stunning doll houses featured on BBC Television.
The history of joinery and carpentry at St Dunstan's.
Blind veteran sets up his own business repairing boots and making clogs.
A celebratory concert in honour of St Dunstan's After Care work.
A plaque to mark the strong relationship between the town of Church Stretton and St Dunstan's.
A beautiful sculpture presented to the owners of St Dunstan's Lodge by Sir Arthur Pearson.
Blind veteran Maria Pikulski completes a wing walk.
A memorial commemorating Blind Veterans UK Chairman, Lord Ian Fraser.