Visit to Sight Scotland's Hawkhead Centre in Paisley
I very much enjoyed my visit to the Hawkhead Centre, and it was a privilege to meet and chat with many of the veterans who attend. Sight Scotland Veterans’ does an outstanding job supporting veterans with vision impairment and makes a huge difference to their lives.
The work the charity does is vital, in terms of fighting isolation and loneliness, boosting confidence and improving mental health. Hearing the chatter and laughter during many of the centre’s activity sessions is just so uplifting and inspiring.
As a society we need to look after our vulnerable veterans. We know the Covid 19 pandemic had a profound impact on social isolation, and many of our older veterans across Scotland are still struggling with seclusion and loneliness. This is why it is so good to see veterans back in safe spaces where they can socialise again.
During my visit to Hawkhead I managed to have chats with many of the veterans, and better access to healthcare is something they are concerned about. Ophthalmology waiting times can be long, and our older veterans with a treatable vision impairment just don’t have the time to wait.
Sight Scotland Veterans play such an important role in improving our veteran’s mental health. It is not just in its centres, but also its Independent Living Team through home visits, community activity groups and via its helpline; all these services play such a vital role in supporting our veterans to maintain their independence and wellbeing.