We’re a nationwide company with branches across the UK, and we take great pride in supporting charities local to our stores. This week, we’d like to highlight the work done by Blesma, The Limbless Veterans charity. They provide emotional, financial and practical support for serving and former military personnel who have lost their limbs or use of their limbs, eyes or eyesight; they aim to enable those they help to live fulfilling, independent and active lives.
In the years following the First World War, men who had lost limbs began to club together to support each other, meeting others with the same challenges that they faced brought great comfort. By the late 1920s, several branches of LESMA (Limbless Ex-Service Men’s Association) had opened and in 1932 those branches came together to form the British Limbless Ex-Service Men’s Association (BLESMA).
During the Second World War, countless more were injured and BLESMA rose to the challenge of providing support for those who needed it and put pressure on the government to provide adequate care (especially a decent pension) for those who were harmed defending our country.
In the intervening years, Blesma has continued to campaign for better state support for injured veterans; they’ve also opened specially adapted homes to accommodate wounded men and women serving personnel and veterans of all wars and conflicts.
Blesma’s Members have taken part in all sorts of activities throughout the years to raise funds for their cause. From swimming the Channel to yacht racing or rowing across the Atlantic; from climbing mountains to the D-Day 44 Challenge (a 44-mile run or 22-mile walk across Omaha, Utah, Sword, Gold and Juno beaches): Blesma has given members and volunteers plenty to strive for and raised much-needed funds to provide —
- Support officers to provide advice and guidance;
- Prosthetic support;
- 75 yearly funded activities (they recently took a large group on a skiing trip to France);
- Grants to pay for things like wheelchairs and adaptations to homes;
- Advice on benefits, compensation, pensions and other finances;
- Assistance with returning to work;
- Education in schools.
Blesma and safestore
We’re delighted to be able to provide storage for Blesma’s equipment at our Fareham
branch. They keep their specially adapted ski equipment and ski bikes with us when it’s not being used on their trips to the slopes.
If you’d like to find out more about how Blesma helps its members and their families, click here
, or to find out how you can help to support them, find out more here