Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.


Resource created by Blind Veterens UK

This resource explores the role played by St Dunstan's in WW1 and the importance of charities in wartime and modern Britain

Curriculum Links

  • KS2-4 - SMSC:  British Values
  • KS2-3 Citizenship: The roles played by public institutions and voluntary groups in society
  • KS2 History:  WW1 - Study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS3 History: WW1 - Challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day

Learning Objectives

  • Knowledge of the role played by St Dunstan’s during WW1
  • Understanding of the consequences of WW1 for individuals and the efforts to support blinded ex-servicemen and women
  • Skills to analyse and interpret a variety of historical sources

Discussion Ideas

  • Why were charities like St Dunstan's needed in WW1?
  • Can you think of any other charities that support service personnel today?
  • What support and services are available to blind people today that might not have existed in WW1?
  • What do you think life would be like today without the NHS or government support for disabled people?
  • Why do you think St Dunstan's focused on training members?
  • What does the history of St Dunstan's reveal about WW1?

Activity Ideas

KS2 -  Citizenship

Plan a fundraising campaign

Look at the examples of WW1 fundraising by St Dunstan's. Find out more about the work of Blind Veterans UK (as St Dunstan's is known today) via their website. Case studies of modern soldiers are available to read on the site (see link below). Linked activities might include:

- Design a collection box or poster for Blind Veterans UK 

- Plan a fundraising event for the charity

KS2-3 - Citizenship/Art & Design

Take a look at the characters used by St Dunstan's for publicity in WW1. Read the stories of David Melling and the case studies of modern Blind Veterans members. Create a character to represent the charity either today or in WW1. Think about:

- How your character reflects the aims of the charity

- How you can show the work the charity does

- How are disabled people represented in the media?

- Can you turn over any prejudices people might have about blind people and what they can do?

KS3-4 Citizenship - Volunteering/Community work

Using the example of Blind Veterans UK or focusing on another charity of their choice, pupils could investigate the role played by volunteers with UK charities. 

- Their findings might be presented as a presentation to the class. 

- After conducting research, pupils could also engage in a debate about volunteering for charities, for instance asking whether volunteering is always the right option. Should people be paid for some voluntary roles? Does charity work sometimes fill gaps the government should be covering?

Internal Links

Other resources on My Learning in this subject area include:

Christmas Gifts for WW1 Troops

Children Raising Funds During Wartime

First World War Charities

British Values in Action: Tea for the Troops