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Blesma News

Latest news from Blesma, The Limbless Veterans


  • Home Office/MOD Policy consultation - Settlement fees for non-UK personnel

    12 June 2021

    The Home Office and MoD have launched a public consultation on proposals for the UK Government to waive the fee charged by the Home Office for Non-UK Service Personnel who have served for at least twelve years and wish to settle in the UK. There are over 10,000 non-UK citizens serving in the UK Armed Forces from countries including Australia, Canada, Fiji, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, St Lucia and South Africa, many of whom may consider applying for indefinite leave to remain in the UK when their service ends. Currently non-UK Service Pe

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  • Learning new skills restores sense of self

    10 June 2021

    Blesma Member Gavin Brechany has launched a YouTube channel to teach and inspire others how to restore a range of items. “I served in the Royal Navy for 12 years before joining Hampshire Constabulary in 2005, but I sustained an injury on duty in 2016 that led to the amputation of my left leg,” said Gavin. “I decided to use the skills I’d gained in the Navy to do some restoration jobs. You can have an identity crisis when you lose a career, so it was a chance to reinvent myself.” Gavin has already restored a number of bicycles and developed new skills

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  • Kelly is back on Two wheels

    Kelly Garfield
    8 June 2021

    At the age of 23, Kelly Ganfield developed a rare autoimmune disorder that led to her losing her sight. Seventeen years later, a tandem bike joint funded by Blesma and Blind Veterans UK is helping her regain her passion for cycling. “I loved riding before I lost my sight,” said Kelly, who received the bike in January. “Now I can be on the back while my wife, Sarah, steers. It has given me back some of my independence – it’s wonderful.” Kelly has already set herself a challenge: to ride the equivalent of Land’s End to John O’Groats in 69 days

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  • A Day in The Life: Andy Allen

    Andy Allen
    6 June 2021

    I was 17 years old when I joined the Royal Irish Regiment. Serving gave me a sense of purpose and achievement. I travelled to Kenya, Iraq in 2007, and Afghanistan in2008, where I was subsequently injured in the July. We were on a foot patrol and had stopped for a short break. As I got ready to set off, the Taliban detonated a device. It took my right leg and badly damaged my left one. Ten days after getting back to the UK, my left leg was amputated. When I woke up in Selly Oak Hospital a lot of emotions were going through my head. I think the main one wa

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