Brother and sister’s praise for city charity

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Two sibling veterans have thanked a military charity with a Sheffield base for supporting them in their battle with sight loss.

Derek Illingworth, aged 80, and his sister Frances Shaw, 84, of Bradford, began to lose their sight more than 20 years ago due to optic atrophy.

The pair have received support from Blind Veterans UK, formerly St Dunstan’s in Fulwood, which provides rehabilitation and training to ex-servicemen and women.

Former Royal Signalman Derek, of Durham, has been registered blind for 27 years.

He said: “Blind Veterans UK has been brilliant, and I’ve really enjoyed learning how to use computers at the Sheffield centre – so much so that I now teach computing classes twice a week to others with vision impairment.”

Derek encouraged his sister to contact the charity after she began to lose her sight.

Frances, who served as a nurse in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, said: “I was apprehensive before I went to the Sheffield centre for the first time, but Derek had told me all about Blind Veterans UK, so it set my mind to rest.

“It was such a relief to meet others just like me and find out about the things that could help. The support has really improved my confidence.”