Newsletter Autumn 2019

Newsletter Autumn 2019

Welcome to our third newsletter of 2019.

There have been one or two changes in times and groups recently and the Sight Village event is back again, so please make a note of the times and dates and come along and join us.

If you want to get in touch with us about any of the items mentioned in this newsletter, or if you have suggestions you would like to make, our contact details at the bottom of this page.

Our Podcast

David Anderson, our Development Officer produces our podcast, called HYNDSight. Please keep a look out for it if you are an Internet user.

Living with Sight Loss Course

Many people have benefited from the Living With Sight Loss courses we have run in partnership with the RNIB.

With their new Confidence Building Co-ordinator Kalsum Akhtar we will be holding another two day course on Monday 23rd and Wednesday 25th September.
If you are struggling with your vision and would like to find out more about what help is available locally and nationally, please contact us to book a place.

Sight Support Group – Including Macular Group

New Start Time

Due to the increasing size of groups using our Bank Street premises on Tuesday mornings our Sight Support Group has now moved its start time to 12:00 noon to make space for the other activities.

Some members of the group bring a sandwich or a pie with them, but if you wish we can get something for you from one of the local shops.
All of these meetings are friendly informal gatherings, sometimes with a guest speaker or a demonstration of equipment helpful to those with sight difficulties.

If you would like to meet up informally with other people who are experiencing sight problems, you are very welcome to come along any Tuesday.

In the autumn the group is planning a visit to Townley Hall, where there are trained staff available to help people with sight loss enjoy their visit.

Sight Support Advice Centre

Pauline and her team are always happy to help you in our Sight Advice Centre in Bank Street. We have various items of equipment to help with daily living, leaflets about different aspects of eye health, and lots of other useful information.

You are warmly invited to pop in any Tuesday or Thursday between 10:00am and 4:00pm, or the first Saturday morning of each month between 10:00am and 1:00pm to have a chat, a cuppa and have a look at the literature and equipment available for yourself or others.

If we don’t know the answer to your question or don’t have the equipment you want, we will do our best to find it.

Better Vision Drop In

Do you live in or near Haslingden?

Having difficulty seeing clearly?

Why not visit our Better Vision Drop In, where you’ll get advice and tips on improving eye health and improving low vision?

On the second Thursday of each month between 10:00am and 12:00 noon at Haslingden Methodist Church at their “Place of Welcome”.

Sight Village Manchester

Tuesday 1st October

Sight Village is an exhibition of equipment and support available to people with sight difficulties. You can speak with the suppliers, see demonstrations of equipment and try items yourself.

Sight Village North West will return to the Marriott Renaissance Hotel, Blackfriars Street on 1st October 2019.

Doors open at 9.30am and close at 3.30pm.

Sight Village events are free to attend. Pre-booking tickets is not essential however it is advised as it does speed up the process upon your arrival. You can pre-register online via Eventbrite or call 0121 428 5041 and ask to register.

Several people from Accrington Blind Society will be travelling to the exhibition on the X41 bus. Please contact us if you would like to meet and travel with us.

Through My Eyes Photography Group

This group is no longer meeting at Bank Street and group members are now being encouraged to join local photography groups to continue to improve their skills.

If you would like information about local photography groups please contact David Anderson 01254 233332.

Can’t See Can Cook

Our next 6 week series of ‘Can’t See Can Cook’ cookery sessions with tutor Bill Wynn from Lancashire Adult Learning, will start on Tuesday 10th September. The sessions are from 10:00am to Noon.

Places are limited, so if you are interested please contact us on 01254 233332 for further information or to book a place.

VIEW – Working Age Group

Several “working age” people have shown interest in meeting and taking part in social activities together.

They have met several times already and will be getting together again on the first Saturday in August, so if you are interested in getting involved, please contact us and we will put you in touch.

Keeping Up With Technology

One to One technology sessions with Claire from the RNIB will continue to be held on the third Tuesday of each month at our Sight Advice Centre on Bank Street. Ring us for further details or to book a one hour session with her.

Welcome to Tim

Claire now has a new volunteer, Tim, working with her. After an initial induction period, Tim will also be available to help you with your laptop, tablet or smartphone queries, so don’t be afraid to step out and try something new.

Making IT Work

Due to his busy workload Andrew from Galloway’s is now having to focus his attention on central and west Lancashire and is unable to fit in visits to Accrington.

We are very grateful to Andrew and to Galloway’s for allowing him to spend time with us. You will still find lots of helpful information from Andrew on the Galloway’s website.

Continuing technology support will be provided by Claire and Tim as mentioned earlier, and by our staff and volunteers.

Do You Want To Learn Braille?

If you would like to start learning Braille or improve your skills you would be very welcome to come along to Braille-IT, who will resume their classes at our Bank Street premises on Tuesday mornings and alternate Saturdays from September.

Orbit Reader Braille Display

For more experienced Braille users

The Orbit Reader 20 has been produced in conjunction with the Transforming Braille Group, of which RNIB is a member. This product has been created for blind people and offers an easy way to read books and note-taking at an affordable price.

The Orbit Reader 20 is portable and features 20 refreshable eight-dot braille cells. It offers reading books via SD card, simple note-taking, Bluetooth and USB connectivity.

As a stand-alone device, you can read content stored on an SD card that simply inserts into the back of the unit. Prepare and download your pre-translated materials as brf, brl or txt files and transfer them to the SD card provided.

The Orbit Reader 20 from RNIB comes with pre-installed content, including a variety of books and a dictionary.

Use Bluetooth to connect to your Apple, Android or Kindle device and access a world of books through reading apps such as Kindle®, Adobe Digital Editions® or iBooks®. The translation into braille is performed by your device’s screen reader to give you a quick braille output on your Orbit Reader 20.

If you would like a demonstration of this device or would like to try it for yourself, please contact us to arrange a session.


David, our Development Officer, is available to speak to various local organisations and, using a new simulation app called Eyeware, increase their awareness of what it is like to be visually impaired.

If you have any contacts within organisations that may be interested, please encourage them to get in touch with us.

Yoga Sessions

These are continuing on the second and fourth Thursday mornings of each month from Thursday 8th August. The cost is £5 for a one hour session. It would be helpful if people who would like to attend could let Pauline or Chris know by phoning us on 01254 233332.

Jubilee Sailing Trust

The following information was provided to us by Graham, who co-ordinates the teams of readers for the Hyndburn Talking Newspaper.

The Jubilee sailing Trust is an international, United Nations accredited charity. Their two specially designed tall ships make their voyages totally unique – empowering people of all physical and sensory abilities to discover what they can do rather than what they cannot.

A voyage with the Jubilee sailing Trust is far more than an adventure holiday Not only will you learn how to sail these magnificent ships they’ll help you strengthen life skills, develop leadership and team working skills, and most importantly, have fun.

Aboard their ships people become deeply immersed in an inclusive sailing experience. Diverse teams work together to sail the ships and perform tasks with real responsibilities. The adaptive design of their ships creates an accessible and enabling environment. On their ships everyone is seen and treated as equal and contributes to the best of their ability. Many people who sail with them are complete sailing novices, whilst some are passionate tall ship sailors.

The voyage fees they charge help to cover the costs of their charity However, they know that not everyone can afford to pay the full price and they want everyone to have the chance to sail with them. To achieve this they subsidise their voyage fees through their fundraising activities. They also have bursary funds available upon application.

If you are interested in finding our more – either with a view to going on one of their voyages or to support them you can phone 023 8044 9138, visit their website at or email

Book Shop

If you need something new to read, pop into our bookshop in the Arndale Arcade. The shop has a wide selection of printed books and also some audio books on CD. Good quality books are always welcome, so if you or your friends have any to spare please let us know.

We are really grateful to our volunteers who give so much of their time to welcome visitors to the shop.

The bookshop has now extended its opening hours to include Wednesday mornings.

Annual Quiz Night

Our Quiz this year takes place at Enfield Cricket Club on Thursday 10th October. As usual, your Quizmaster is our patron BBC Lancashire’s Gerald Jackson.

Teams can be up to 6 people and tickets are £5.00 per person including pie and peas supper. If you would like an entry form please contact our Bank Street office.

Volunteer Roles

We are looking for a volunteer driver to help David and others visit various events in the local community to talk about our activities, display information and demonstrate equipment.

We are also looking for a Handyperson to do small maintenance jobs at our Bank street premises and liaise with visiting contractors.

For further information please contact us.

Thank You For Your Support

Please tell your friends about Accrington & District Blind Society and, if possible, arrange or take part in an event to support our work. You could
make a big difference and help ensure the future of our charity and the development of services across the community to ensure people with a sight
loss lead full and independent lives.

Our long term future depends on increasing our income through having a higher profile in the community and attracting legacies and donations.

Keeping In Touch

If you would prefer to receive this newsletter in larger print, in Braille, or by email or audio recording, please let us know.

Our Contact Details

Accrington and District Blind Society,
32 Bank Street, Accrington BB5 1HP

Telephone: 01254 233332


Please remember that the office is presently open Tuesdays and Thursdays10am to 4pm and the first Saturday morning of each month 10:00am to 1:00pm.