The First World War led to the birth of nearly 18,000 charities, of which just 10 still exist today. Blesma is one. Blesma, The Limbless Veterans, is dedicated to assisting serving and ex-Service men and women who have suffered the loss of limbs or the loss of use of a limb(s), an eye or loss of sight, either during or after service. We support these men and women in their communities throughout the UK.
We work tirelessly for our Members when the conflicts that have affected their lives are no longer a focal point in the nation’s media. Since 1932, we have been the only national Service charity that supports limbless veterans for the duration of their lives. Our Members range from the youngest amputee veterans to those who fought in WWII, some having lived with limb loss for more than half a century. Modern medicine may have come a long way since then, but there is still a vital need for Blesma to support the younger generations, and their families, who have survived complex trauma injuries and will need our specialized support as they face the long journey ahead.
Fellowship Members have been supporting their fellow Members since the very first days of Blesma. This lies at the heart of what we do and allows us to draw upon a shared knowledge base of experience; of traumatic injury, recuperation and eventual stability. Our offer goes beyond fellowship though, so our expert Welfare Team offer precise professional support when it is needed.
Prosthetics Blesma does not generally pay for Members’ prosthetics, but we do help prosthetists develop their skills at undergraduate and PhD level. We also work closely with the NHS to ensure the latest advances in the relevant medical fields are converted into practical solutions that can benefit all our Members, and often the civilian population. Our dedicated BSO (Prosthetics) stays abreast of the latest developments in the field, liaising across multiple organisations to transform the latest technological advances into practical solutions for our Membership.
Advice We are experts in the War Pension and Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS), as well as a whole range of other allowances. Our team of Blesma Support Officers offer advice and assistance on applications for entitlements, benefits and allowances. They also aid our Members and Widows at War Pension Tribunals and AFCS Hearings.
Grants We offer our Members financial assistance with the additional costs and hardships of disability. We regularly contribute to the provision of wheelchairs, stair lifts, and home and garden adaptations so that they can remain mobile and independent in their own homes, for as long as possible.
Employment Since our inception, Blesma has campaigned successive governments for equal employment rights, opportunities and practices. Today, we still strive to help Members find fulfilling employment.
Independent advocacy We believe prosthetics and provision should meet the needs of every individual Member. Our advocacy networking to local and national representatives ensures this is the case.
Members’ activities Staying active after injury is essential to continued health and well-being. Our activities and courses range from the cerebral to the adrenaline-fuelled and are specifically tailored to our Members’ needs.