Local Royal Marine veteran, Jon White, joined members of the Mid Devon Messenger to celebrate the charity’s 42nd year of making a difference to people living with sight loss. 

The son of a Devon-based Royal Marine, Jon was determined to follow his father’s footsteps. However, his career came to an abrupt end, when posted to Afghanistan, he trod on a landmine.  Tragically, Jon lost both legs and an arm, and was set on a long road to recovery. 

Helen McIntosh, Chair of the Mid Devon Messenger, said, “Jon first came to our attention when, after the accident, he appeared on the television programme, Grand Designs.  He was building a house in Halberton to accommodate his specific needs and those of his young family.”

Helen added, “Despite significant set-backs in 2015, when he had 17 major operations in 2 years, Jon has set his sights on competing in the kayaking event in the 2028 Los Angeles Paralympics.  His courage, commitment, and determination to achieve his goal is inspiring.”

During the meeting, Mid Devon Messenger recipients, volunteers, sponsors and friends heard the latest news from this local charity.  The finances are healthy, the recording equipment is fit for purpose, and the volunteers are experienced and supportive. 

Yvonne and Nigel Tupman have joined the team, Yvonne as a Visitor and Nigel providing helpful technical support when visiting new listeners.  Mandy Winterson is a welcome member, and will be developing services for people who are otherwise unable to read.  Both Yvonne and Mandy previously worked for the West of England School for the Blind in Exeter.  Catherine Roughton, retired art teacher and twice President of the Tiverton Rotary Club, was elected as Vice Chair. 

Helen said, “We are extremely grateful to our wonderful team of volunteers, who go the extra mile for our recipients.”