Annmarie worked in care for 21 years before deciding it was time for a change. 

"The job here was advertised and I really liked what it was about - how you can help people on a day to day basis," she says. 

Annmarie works with our veterans to support whatever activity they are keen to do - from our art room, to the skills kitchen, to the gym or even bowling. 

Annemarie standing in front of a window

In the video, Annmarie, and Denise who works at our Linburn centre, explain what their jobs involve - and why they're so rewarding.

You can find a full transcript of the video at the bottom of this page.

Our work supports veterans to regain independence following sight loss - so reskilling is a big part of Annmarie's job.

"Because quite often families are very protective and think, 'oh no, don’t go into the kitchen, you know, you can’t use knives because you’re partially sighted'," she explains. "And so it’s re-skilling people at times, things that they have lost. 

"Even in art, we’ve got people who’ve haven’t drawn or painted for years and they suddenly find that with a bit of support and lighting that they can paint again.  

"And that’s fabulous, it’s fabulous to see them coming on."

Our impact

"You see changes in people that come in at first, and they’re not quite sure what they’ll be able to do. And then they’re so proud of themselves when they achieve whatever it happens to be – even just going home with dinner for their wife, because they’ve made it in the skills kitchen themselves. 

"Even things you’d never think of, like bowling – they say 'oh I played bowls as a young man I can’t play it any more because I can’t really see' – we have support, we have guidance, we have equipment that they can use and they find that they can play bowls again. They can do it.   

"You see their confidence growing." 

Veterans and staff participate in a strength and balance class in the Hawkhead Centre hall

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Video transcript: 

Denise: A lot of people, in the beginning of their sight loss journey, they lose a lot of their confidence. 

And our job is to bring that confidence back, reassure the veteran that you know, there is other people in the same position as them, and we can help. 

Annmarie: Well there isn’t a typical day, because every day is different, and the members are different every day, so there’s a different dynamic in the centre every day as well. 

Denise: I think my favourite part of the job is greeting the veterans in the morning. You’ve got to make them feel welcome, feel at home. We have lots of different facilities, obviously we promote independent living, so we do have the Skills Kitchen and they’ll learn to cook things. Exercises as well in the morning, nothing too strenuous, just stretches, simple things that they could manage to do at home. 

A lot of the veterans go into the workshop, make all different sorts of things, bird houses, wishing wells, rocking horses. 

Annmarie: And it’s reskilling people at times, things that they’ve lost, because quite often families are very protective, and will think ‘Oh no, don’t go into the kitchen, you can’t use knives, you know because you’re partially sighted’.  

I’ve got people who’ve gone into art and haven’t drawn or painted for years and years and years, and then they suddenly find that with a bit of support, and lighting, that they can paint again. 

Denise: I’ve just finished making pom-pom blankets with one of the veterans. When she came in last week she was in quite a low mood, and getting her involved in it, showing her what to do, she was absolutely ecstatic by the time we finished. 

Annmarie: And you see changes in people, that come in at first and they’re not quite sure what they’ll be able to do, what they won’t be able to do, you see their confidence growing and then they’re so proud of themselves when they achieve, even just going home with dinner for their wife, because they’ve made it in the Skills Kitchen their self.  

Denise: This is the longest job I’ve ever had in my whole working life, I absolutely love it here. Seeing the veterans leaving here with a smile on their face, then I know I’ve done some good for the day. 


Video music credit: