An inspiring week at Blind Veterans UK - X-Forces Enterprise
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An inspiring week at Blind Veterans UK

X-Forces and Blind Veterans UK joined forces this week to deliver our first ever Business Experience Programme specially adapted for veterans that are blind or visually impaired.

X-Forces have brought our Enterprise and Business expertise to Blind Veterans UK with a bespoke 4-Day Business Experience Programme to support entrepreneurial members. Chief Executive of Blind Veterans UK, Major General (Rtd) Nick Caplin CB, said: “Helping our blind and vision-impaired veterans keep their independence is the most important thing Blind Veterans UK does. Our founder, Sir Arthur Pearson, encouraged the blinded soldiers and sailors returning from the First World War to train in new skills enabling them to get back into employment.

100 years ago those trades included basket weaving, poultry farming and working as cobblers. Today, the skills may have changed but the principal remains the same and, working in partnership with X-Forces, we are able to continue that legacy that is so important in achieving victory over blindness.”

The hands-on X-Forces programme delivers bespoke support tailored to each individual, their visual impairment, circumstances and ideas.

 

The delegates preparing for Day 2 with Ren, Roger and Eddie the guidedog!

Mike from Massageworks said: “I’ve had a business before, but since my impaired vision I have needed different support and I feel this has been enhanced by X-Forces, for example guiding me through purchasing a domain name.

The course goes through the each area of Enterprise, which are life skills for business, whether they ultimately decide to go into self-employed or employed or a combination of both.  These incredible individuals are fast-tracking their learning in Business and are able to gain proven insights and confidence when making important decisions about starting a business or working within a business whilst accessing a network of like-minded people beyond the 4 day programme.

Pitch Your Idea session with Nick Caplin, Blind Veterans UK CEO and Martin Wing, X-Forces’ Chairman

Confidence is a huge take-away from the programme for the delegates, as emphasised by Mark and Chris who are both photographers: “The confidence X-Forces and Blind Veterans have given me will be invaluable for me taking my photography to the next level” and “I was anxious about the course, but X-Forces put me at ease. I have learnt a lot including the place my photography has in the market and I have progressed so much since we started on Monday with clear areas to focus on such as marketing.

Mark at work photographing the Royal Marines Band

Following the course the entrepreneurs will be able to access individual ongoing support from both X-Forces and Blind Veterans as their businesses develop and grow. The programme supports the delegates assess their strengths and the areas they will need further input, Steve said: “understanding where I need help and the support available is really important, for me it will be the website, brand and logo.

Blind Veterans UK was founded in 1915 and the charity’s initial purpose was to help and support soldiers blinded in the First World War. But the organisation has gone on to support more than 35,000 blind veterans and their families, spanning the Second World War to recent conflicts including Iraq and Afghanistan.

For more than a century, the charity has been providing vital free training, rehabilitation, equipment and emotional support to blind and vision-impaired veterans no matter when they served or how they lost their sight.

Blind Veterans UK was founded in 1915 and the charity’s initial purpose was to help and support soldiers blinded in the First World War. But the organisation has gone on to support more than 35,000 blind veterans and their families, spanning the Second World War to recent conflicts including Iraq and Afghanistan.

For more than a century, the charity has been providing vital free training, rehabilitation, equipment and emotional support to blind and vision-impaired veterans no matter when they served or how they lost their sight.

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