Eliminating isolation with pots of tea, cake and music

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A South Yorkshire veteran has credited a Sheffield charity with helping to give him his life back.

Stewart Haywood, of Barnsley, plunged into depression after macular degernation, glaucoma and Charles Bonet syndrome left him unable to perform the most basic of everyday tasks.

The 79-year-old said: “I would just sit around feeling immensely sad and felt that life was not worth living. I have been married to Doreen since 1957 and, although we never argued, I was not the person I used to be. I could no longer drive or do anything for myself. I wanted to die.”

But Stewart got the help he needed, thanks to Blind Veterans UK, which helped him re-learn skills he thought were lost.

He added: “They taught me how to shave, how to microwave and encouraged me to take up painting. Blind Veterans have not only given me my life back, they have given me something to live for and, most importantly, they gave my wife her husband back.”

Stewart will attend a fundraiser for Blind Veterans UK being held next month by Barnsley Rockley Rotary Club. The Superjam Tea Party, at Barnsley’s Holiday Inn on November 12, will provide an afternoon of music, laughter and tea.

Organiser Kathy Markwick, of BRRC, began the monthly Superjam Tea Parties a year ago with the aim of bringing together isolated people across the region in an effort to eliminate loneliness.

This month’s guest speaker will be Fraser Doherty, ‘The Jam Boy,’ entrepeneur and found of the Superjam brand, which now supplies over 2000 supermarkets around the world.

Tickets are still available for the 3-5pm event. If you would like to attend, and hear Fraser talk, visit www.superjam.co.uk or call Kathy on 0114 2830827.