Award win for blind Leeds soldier

Blind veteran Simon Brown receives his award
Blind veteran Simon Brown receives his award

A Leeds war veteran has been recognised for serving his country with a national award.

Simon Brown, 38, from Morley was blinded during active service in Iraq and has now won the People's Choice prize at the Soldiering On Awards.

The winner is decided by public votes before a presentation at a London hotel.

“I am absolutely overwhelmed and so grateful to everyone in Leeds who voted for me and all the other equally deserving entrants,” said Simon.

The Soldiering On Awards provide national recognition for the outstanding achievements of those who have served their country and individuals and groups who work together with the armed forces community.

Simon was nominated for the award by national military charity Blind Veterans UK, which has supported him since he lost his sight.

Eight years ago, Simon started working full time in Blind Veterans UK's headquarters as a communications and engagement officer, responsible for reaching out to more blind veterans who could benefit from the charity’s support.

“I live independently in Leeds and travel all over the country helping blind veterans. I know what it is like to lose your sight and I think that helps when I speak to people in their homes and encourage them to lead full lives.

"I was delighted to be in the audience and I was having a great time listening to the inspirational stories about other people but to win is just incredible.”

Simon joined the Army in May 1997 as a mechanic in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. Ten years ago, while he was a corporal on tour in Iraq, he was shot in the face by a sniper. He lost his left eye and sustained severe damage his right eye.