A BLIND veteran has been giving an award by a military charity in recognition of her work.

Vivian Yates, who lives in Durham, was given the Life Beyond Sight Loss award by charity Blind Veterans UK.

The 86-year-old, who is originally from Corbridge, volunteers for the charity, helping in the arts and crafts department, with its Christmas social media campaign and mentoring at an IT training group in Ferryhill.

She said: "When I lost my sight, my life came to a standstill. I was stuck in a hole and Blind Veterans UK lifted me out of it. The support I’ve had has given me a new lease of life.

"I have done an IT course, a sewing course and the charity have provided me with a mobile phone which I use to the fullest extent. I would like to thank all the Blind Veterans UK staff – what a life I have gained.”

She was nominated by Jo Cliff and Carol Johnston, who are both part of the charity's North-East community team.

They said: “Her first response to any request is ‘Yes, no problem’ and she is a wonderful ambassador for Blind Veterans UK. Vivian is so kind in her expression of thanks and never fails to notice and acknowledge the actions of other people, however small."

"At her core is a desire to help and support others”.

Chief Executive of Blind Veterans UK, Major General (Rtd) Nick Caplin, chief executive of the charity, said: “Our Founder’s Day Awards are the highest honour Blind Veterans UK gives to the veterans we support.

“Every year we recognise the achievements of veterans like Vivian who have really demonstrated the values we hold as a charity. Vivian, along with the other nominees and winners, are the shining examples of all that can be done to achieve victory over blindness.”

Blind Veterans UK helps vision-impaired ex-service men and women of every generation rebuild their lives after sight loss.