Blind Veterans UK profile

Founded in 1915 during The First World War by Sir Arthur Pearson, Blind Veterans UK is a charity serving members of the Armed Forces who have lost their sight.

Blind Veterans UK provides vision-impaired Armed Forces and National Service veterans with the person-centred services and tailored support they need to discover life beyond sight loss. The charity’s work ranges from helping veterans relearn vital life skills and providing them with the tools they need to be independent in their own homes, to offering new learning, training and recreation opportunities and providing long-term nursing, residential and respite care.

Today, Blind Veterans UK not only cares for ex-Service men and women blinded in action, but for veterans who have lost their sight through accident, illness or old age.


In its centennial year, Blind Veterans UK embarked on some important developments. Whereas the charity’s services had historically been delivered primarily from the three centres in Brighton, Sheffield and Llandudno, Blind Veterans UK worked to significantly increase its local presence through a community outreach project. Trials were run in both Bristol and Northumberland.

It had been some time since Blind Veterans UK’s current information reporting capabilities were developed and the charity felt they needed to be revisited in order to enable reporting on ways of working that have changed and been extended.

Coupled with the need to provide community services, the charity identified a need to measure its own performance in terms of its effectiveness as perceived by their beneficiaries. In order to achieve this they looked to move away from only reporting the more traditional measurements of good service and resource utilisation, instead endeavouring to also measure progress in outcomes as perceived by the beneficiaries of their services by implementing an “Outcomes Star” programme.

The benefits

Through partnering with Red Olive, Blind Veterans UK have been able to adapt to the changes they foresaw by delivering a robust and adaptable Information Management system which conforms to recognised industry standards.

Whilst Red Olive initially identified skill and knowledge opportunities for Blind Veterans UK we implemented a knowledge transfer and training programme in order for the charity’s own staff to pursue those opportunities during the early phases of the project.

Subsequently, Blind Veterans UK’s own staff took on more responsibility for the on-going development and support of the new Management Information system.

This enabled Blind Veterans UK to achieve its Management Information goals whilst ensuring that the charity’s solution would be fit for the coming challenges and future changes in how they deliver their services.

The Red Olive approach

Whilst Blind Veterans UK wanted to develop and maintain its own solution, the charity recognised it could benefit from the experience of a partner who understood recognised industry good practices and had delivered other such Management Information solutions.

In partnering with Blind Veterans UK, Red Olive undertook to deliver the following services:

  • Capture the information requirements of the front-line Welfare directorate staff.
  • Recommend a technology solution suitable for the organisation as a whole.
  • Design and deliver at least part of the scope required by Welfare.
  • Help Blind Veterans UK to develop its in-house skills so staff can gradually take on future development themselves.

We applied our in-house developed Data Warehouse agile delivery methodology in order to capture and prioritise the requirements that the Welfare section had. We then implemented the highest priority requirements, working with the IT team in order that they learnt from our methodology and so were able to gradually take over responsibility and ownership of the later requirements.

In addition we also provided training in the Dimensional Modelling methodology and techniques used to design the data model along with technical tool training on their chosen ETL platform.

Above Red Olive

Red Olive is a London-based consultancy delivering work throughout mainland Europe and the UK. Set up to help businesses extract value from the data they hold by making information accessible and understandable, Red Olive’s approach is based on data being instrumental to a business strategy rather than confined to technology implementations.

Red Olive specialises in Analytics and Data Management. Our services include advising on and implementing information and data strategy, predictive modelling, delivering Big Data platforms and data warehouses.

Information is made accessible throughout a client’s organisation so that knowledge can be shared in a variety of ways including dashboards, reports and advanced visualisations.

The team at Red Olive has experience of working with companies in many sectors including Unilever, Telegraph Media Group, Bank of China, Centrica Energy, Home Retail Group, Thames Water, Novartis Pharmaceuticals and the NHS.

Red Olive has a number of vendor and technology partners and looks to provide the best advice for each of its clients.


“Red Olive forged a very successful partnership with Blind Veterans UK to guide us through the process. We found that they really made the effort to understand our needs and to fit with our way of working.”

Umesh Parekh, Head of Information Services at Blind Veterans UK

“Red Olive has very good contacts with suppliers, they helped negotiate a new licensing agreement with our current software supplier to help us upgrade.”

Debbie Campbell, Information Services Project Manager at Blind Veterans UK

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