Veteran won’t let blindness stop his love of gardening

Partially sighted gardener Stanley Grace from Northchurch
Partially sighted gardener Stanley Grace from Northchurch
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A blind military veteran has not allowed his condition to stop his love of gardening, after being treated to a trip to the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

Stanley Grace, 88, from Northchurch, visited the gold medal-winning Blind Veterans UK show garden with his wife Catherine.

The trip was part of a special week of gardening activities for blind veterans with green fingers.

Mr Grace’s passion for gardening started at a young age. He said: “My mother’s family come from a farming background, and my father’s brother used to come over and help with our garden. I became hooked.

“For as long as I can remember I have loved gardening. It’s the being outdoors, it’s the wonderful therapy of it all. It’s also fantastic for your physical fitness.”

Mr Grace’s military career saw him serve in the Royal Army Catering Corps from 1946-49 as part of his National Service.

He started to lose his sight ten years ago due to age related macular degeneration (ARMD) and glaucoma.

But Blind Veterans UK have supported him with equipment such as CCTV – magnifying equipment which he used to read letters and look at family photos.

Stanley added: “When I’m out and about, something has to be within 25 yards for me to see it properly. Similarly, when I meet people, they often have to remind me who they are as everything is blurred.”

Blind Veterans UK supports veterans regardless of when they served or how they lost their sight. Founded in 1915, it now supports more than 4,500 veterans.