The poetry of a sight-impaired Renfrewshire veteran has inspired a drama production.

RAF veteran Dave Phillips, who lives in Paisley, is one of around 50 wounded, injured and sick Veterans supported by Help for Heroes to feature work in two Creative Force exhibitions organised by the charity.

The first took place in Fife last month and a second exhibition is being held close to the famous War Poets Collection at Edinburgh Napier University, which launched this week. 

The Creative Force exhibition includes paintings, woodwork, engraving, pottery, photography, poetry, music, and drama, all displayed in the home of some of the greatest war poetry ever written by fellow veterans Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon at Craiglockhart War Hospital - now part of Edinburgh Napier University - during the First World War.

Dave was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that causes severe visual impairment, while serving in the RAF. 

He has been writing poetry since he was a teenager and has several poems and photographs in the Creative Force exhibition. 

Dave said: "I've written poetry for several years, my condition is progressive and there are moments when I get dark and depressed. 

"It helps me express my condition to people and calms me. 

"I also do photography for my wellbeing, it’s my passion and it calms me. 

"I have very limited vision but when I take a photo I have a full image in my head. 

"I am humbled to have my photos and poems among so much talent here in the iconic surrounding of the former Craiglockhart War Hospital close to the War Poets, it’s magnificent."

All the Creative Force exhibitors are members of Help for Heroes peer support networks Band of Brother and Band of Sisters, which have over 800 members in Scotland. 

Many created their exhibits at a series of Help for Heroes activities, including Pottery Workshops, Craft Days and Bushcraft sessions.

Gerry McGregor, Help for Heroes’ Band of Brothers/Sisters Coordinator for Scotland, put together the exhibition after using art to help her own recovery from injury. 

She explained: “Those who have served our country and their families experience struggles that some of us will never understand." 

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