On Tuesday, March 21, our Sight Scotland Veterans' at Hawkhead Center offered a memorial bench to the Hawkhead Bowling Club representatives.  

Veterans standing outside Hawkhead for celebration of memorial bench

Before the pandemic, our veterans would often visit the Bowling Club, always with a warm welcome. As a token of appreciation, a group of veterans decided to participate in the woodworking sessions at the Hawkhead Centre and create a memorial bench for the bowling club. 

Tommy Carruthers, one of the veterans says: "We absolutely love going to the bowling club, and before covid, we were up there any chance we could. We have always been treated incredibly well and cannot wait to return in April. 

"When we go to the club, we always bring a packed lunch and eat outside, sitting on one of the benches. This is where the idea came from: to create a commemorative bench for the club.  

"We want to thank them for all the hospitality given over the years. And it will be great to think that when the bowling season starts again, we can all return and sit on the bench we have made. “ 

Tommy, a former army Lance Corporal enjoys woodworking classes because they enable him to continue pursuing a hobby that he assumed was gone to him after losing sight. Tommy has crafted various items, such as planters, wheelbarrows, and a wishing well. He also contributed to the creation of the Memorial statue in the garden of the Hawkhead Center and the trophy case in the corridor. Army veterans Peter Ramsay and Jim Stevenson assisted Tommy in building the bench. 

Veterans Peter Ramsay, Jim Stevenson, Ian Graham, and Tommy Carruthers

"We are always searching for opportunities to be involved within our local community" says the Hawkhead Centre’s deputy manager, Alison Grey. 

The bowling visits are always well-attended, and it is lovely to see the camaraderie and friendships that have developed among our veterans. The veterans enjoy their visits to Hawkhead Bowling Club, so this was an excellent way to express their appreciation for the organisation with which we have such a good connection. We hope to enjoy many more trips to the club and cannot express our gratitude to the bowling club enough for their ongoing support over the past several years. 

'We are happy to be working in cooperation with the Seeing Scotland Veterans' Hawkhead Centre and are looking forward to hosting the veterans again when the bowling season starts in April,' says Moira Bryan, executive chair of Hawkhead Bowling Club. Our bowling league takes pride in being inclusive. Therefore, we should consider creating a specific membership category for visually impaired people in the future. 

Veterans with sight loss can re-engage in the neighbourhood, regain their confidence, and maintain their independence at the Hawkhead Centre, which opened in 2017. The activity hub gives people the tools and support to adjust to living with sight loss and try new things by providing various activities and outings. Several veterans who attend the activity hub claim that the contacts they have made and the things they do there has changed their lives. 

Moira Bryan, executive chair at Hawkhead Bowling Club, Tommy Carruthers of Sight Scotland Veterans and Douglas Carruth, honorary president of Hawkhead Bowling club

Get support

We're here for all veterans who are blind or partially sighted, no matter the age or cause. Get in touch today to get back to an activity you love, or for free advice and support. 

Our free information line is open for calls 10am - 4pm Monday to Thursday and 10am - 3pm Friday.  

We're here for you, and the whole family.