The Brighton centre
Our centre in Brighton is more than 75 years old and was the first purpose-built rehabilitation centre for the blind.
We moved into our centre at Ovingdean in October 1938 which overlooks Brighton and the English channel. Vision impaired veterans have been coming to our centre for years, where they have their initial assessment and many members regularly return for holidays, respite, residential and nursing care.
Below: The Brighton centre during construction in 1937
The centre has undergone many changes in its 75 year history and now has a whole host of facilities for our members, including an IT suite, art and craft workshop, gym, swimming pool and other sports and recreation facilities. Our Brighton centre also has 85 bedrooms for permanent residents who need the support, comfort and security of a nursing and residential environment.
The centre has a fantastic history, being located outside the small village of Ovingdean, which was built for us in the 1930s and designed especially for blind veterans. The grounds have designated pathways and it's a short walk from the seafront and the South Downs. Each floor of the building has the same layout to help people keep their bearings.
A tray made by blind veterans during WWII and embellished by Japanese Fighter Pilot Harry O'Hara
For 100 years we have been supported by dedicated volunteers.
Reunions have always been an important part of the support we offer to blind veterans
100k walk medals from 1923 to 2015
Our oldest veteran to have ever lived had a bus named in his honour in Brighton and Hove
Our famous London to Brighton 100k walk has been a Blind Veterans UK tradition since 1923.
Braille printers are revolutionary pieces of technology that allow texts to be translated into Braille.
Screen reading software both magnifies and read texts to allow blind veterans to read on their computer, use the internet, send emails and magnify documents and letters.
Ann Quin was a Sussex novelist who worked for Blind Veterans UK as a short-hand typist
Being able to tell the time without sight is an important step towards independence for the blind.
"If people want to hear music - music with a large capital "M" - let them come to St Dunstan's some day.." The Review, 1917
A signed address by Helen Keller from the World Conference on Work for the Blind. This address was given to Ian Fraser, our chairman at the time who was in attendance at the conference.
Fundraising has always been vital to the work of Blind Veterans UK.
During WWI, we sold postcards to raise money to continue our services for blind veterans.
The Old Bill Fraternity was a subscription scheme for products made by blind veterans.
The winged victory is a sculpture above the chapel at our centre in Brighton.
Sink the Bismarck is a 1960s black & white war film about the chase and sinking of the German battle ship the Bismarck.