Former soldier from Fife stars in TV advert for Sight Scotland Veterans

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
An army veteran from Glenrothes is starring in a new TV advert for sight loss charity Sight Scotland Veterans.

The advert encourages veterans who are experiencing sight loss to contact the charity to receive support.

Derek Donaldson served in the Army’s Black Watch regiment from 1979 to 1989. In the advert, he is seen cooking a stew at Sight Scotland Veterans’ activity centre for veterans with sight loss, the Linburn Centre.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Derek (61) said he enjoyed filming the advert, which is on STV and on the Sight Scotland Veterans website.

Derek said: “I never thought I’d be in a TV advert. I had to put make-up on. I’ve got a bald head, so they put foundation make-up on it to stop it shining.”

Derek lost his sight just four years ago due to diabetic retinopathy.

Read More
Glenrothes mum raises funds and awareness for The Yard

Derek said: “I’ve been diabetic since I was 40, but just in the last four years it has affected my sight. I was driving a class one truck when it happened. I was working as a driver and all of a sudden, everything went all fuzzy. It was quite a shock.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Derek Donaldson can be seen cooking in the TV advert for sight loss charity Sight Scotland Veterans.Derek Donaldson can be seen cooking in the TV advert for sight loss charity Sight Scotland Veterans.
Derek Donaldson can be seen cooking in the TV advert for sight loss charity Sight Scotland Veterans.

Derek said: “I can see nothing at all through my right eye and with my left eye, it’s like looking into fog.”

Derek got in touch with Sight Scotland Veterans. The charity supports ex-servicemen and women, including those who did National Service, affected by sight loss in Scotland. Sight Scotland Veterans supports veterans to adapt to life with sight loss and to stay connected to the things that matter to them.

Derek said: “The difference has been night and day since I contacted Sight Scotland Veterans.

“At the moment, my wife and daughter are on holiday for a girls’ holiday, and I’m managing myself. I could never have done that before support from Sight Scotland Veterans. When cooking, I couldn’t read any labels or anything, or see what’s on a packet.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In the new TV advert, Derek is stirring a pot in the kitchen.

Derek said: “I was never a gourmet cook, but I was quite good at making a fry-up. When you lose your sight, you lose your confidence cutting vegetables and things like that.

“At Sight Scotland Veterans, you learn how to do it safely. I use a ceramic knife so I cannot cut myself. I have a set of scales that talks to you, which tell you the weight you’ve got, which works because I can’t see the numbers. I use a magnifier to read labels.

“I’ve now made pancakes, lemon drizzle cake, minestrone soup, and a jalfrezi curry too.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The advert was filmed at one of Sight Scotland Veterans’ activity centres, the Linburn Centre, which is in Wilkieston, East Lothian. At the Linburn Centre, veterans with sight loss are supported by experienced staff to become involved in many social activities, which help build crucial social connections, reducing the loneliness and social isolation that many veterans with sight loss experience.

To find out more about more about the charity’s support, call 0800 035 6409, email [email protected] or visit the Sight Scotland Veterans website.