A STATE-of-the-art refurbishment of the Blind Veteran’s UK building will include new bedrooms thanks to a £50,000 donation.

A spokeswoman for the charity said the £1.87 million project is essential for ensuring the charity can accommodate the blind ex-service men and women it helps to train and rehabilitate.

On Thursday Martin Mitten, Sussex Freemasons deputy provincial grand master elect, presented a cheque for £50,000 to Bob Strickland, a blind veteran and secretary of Blind Veterans UK’s masonic lodge, at the charity’s centre in Ovingdean, Brighton.

A spokeswoman for Blind Veterans UK said: “Blind Veterans UK has had a longstanding relationship with the Freemasons of many years.

“The Freemasons has provided funding for a number of the charity’s capital projects based at two of its rehabilitation centres in Brighton and Llandudno.”

The money will fully fund a state-of-the-art bedroom as part of a refurbishment of the centre’s permanent residential care facilities.

Jackie Ball, Blind Veterans UK’s group manager for relationship fundraising, said: “This most recent gift of £50,000 from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity is a further example of its generosity and philanthropic culture.

“This donation takes the total raised for Blind Veterans UK by the Grand Charity and the many individual Freemason lodges throughout the UK to an impressive £250,000 over the past 10 years.

“We are exceptionally grateful for this extraordinary support and welcome the fact that so many of our blind veterans have also been welcomed into Freemasonry, which is demonstrative of the fact that the Freemasons is an organisation that embraces diversity.

“We are looking forward to our continuing relationship with the Freemasons which will help Blind Veterans UK to continue providing services for blind veterans.

“We do so underpinned by our belief that no one who has fought for our country should have to battle blindness alone.”

For more information about Blind Veterans UK, formerly St Dunstan’s, a national charity which provides support to blind ex-servicemen and women regardless of when they served or how they lost their sight, visit