A new sports hall and housing for veterans has been officially opened by the Scottish War Blinded charity’s president, The Duke of Buccleuch.
The hall was officially named ‘Centenary Hall’ to celebrate its opening in an important year for the charity, which throughout 2015 has celebrated a hundred years of support for veterans. It is located alongside the Linburn Centre in Wilkieston, West Lothian.
A plaque commemorating the opening of the charity’s new multipurpose sports was unveiled by The Duke of Buccleuch, who has a home at Bowhill outside Selkirk, followed by a tour of the new facilities and housing.
The opening event was attended by members of the charity - which aids war veterans from across Scotland - and their families, local councillors and the architects of the project. The Opening of the Centenary Hall marks the beginning of a period of expansion for Scottish War Blinded, which provides free support to veterans with sight loss, irrespective of the cause of their sight loss.
Further expansion is planned in 2016, with the building of a new centre, modelled on the successes of the Linburn Centre, to be sited in Paisley.
The charity has increased its membership in recent years, and now provides an expanded range of activities to members, with the new sports hall to become a hub of activity for members from across Scotland.
The modern, fully accessible facilities will complement the current range of sporting activities on offer in and around the Linburn Centre.
Veterans will soon enjoy increased opportunities for archery, acoustic shooting, indoor and outdoor bowls, football, judo and goalball, amongst other sports.
Alongside the new centre is new accessible housing built specifically for visually impaired veterans, equipped with accessible features to make independent living easier for residents.
Davina Shiell, Marketing Manager of Scottish War Blinded said: “We were delighted to welcome His Grace the Duke of Buccleuch to officially open our new facilities.
“This marks an important milestone in the history of Scottish War Blinded. Going forward, the charity is seeking to share the use of these facilities with many more veterans who develop visual impairments.’
Scottish War Blinded celebrates its centenary in 2015, having been founded in 1915 to provide rehabilitation and training to blinded soldiers returning from the First World War.