Newsletter Spring 2018

Newsletter Spring 2018

Welcome to our Spring 2018 newsletter.

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 are at the bottom of the page.

New To The Team

We are very pleased to welcome David Anderson to our team at Accrington Blind Society. David is our new Development Officer and is looking at ways in which we can extend and improve our services. If you have any ideas you would like to pass on to him, he can be contacted via our office in Bank Street on 01254 233332 or by email at
or mobile 07496 859673.

David says “As part of my new Development Officer role I am planning to draw together stories of visually impaired people so that experiences can be shared, help others and help the Society understand better the support we can offer people who have experienced different types of sight loss. If you would like me to speak to you about your story please get in touch.”

Can’t See Can Cook

Our ‘Can’t See Can Cook’ cookery course starts on June 5th at our resource centre at Bank Street. Places are limited so for more information, ring us on 01254 233332 and speak to Pauline.

As well as demonstrating many inexpensive ways to make life in your kitchen easier we will be using various pieces of kitchen equipment such as talking microwave, talking induction hob, talking weighing scales, talking measuring jug and talking food thermometer. Come along, pick up some tips and find out which items would help you most.

Sight Support Group (Including Macular Group)

This group meets at our Bank Street premises on the second Tuesday of each month 10:30am to 12:30 pm.

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 8th May, when we will be visited by representatives from “The Little Green Bus”, who will tell us more about the transport services they provide around the local area and beyond.

We have a varied programme of activities and speakers, including recreational activities, information about eye health, demonstration of equipment and information about other local services.

So far this year we have had a visit from Mark from Optelec demonstrating various electronic magnifiers, a practical session with Ian Watson learning about of scented plants and growing them in pots, and a lunch and visit from the Red Rose Ladies Singers.

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

Food Hygiene Certificate

Lancashire Adult Learning will be running a one day food Hygiene course course at our Bank street premises on Wednesday 18th July – which will enable those who attend to receive a Food Hygiene Certificate certificate.
If you are interested in attending please contact us.

Yoga Sessions

These are on the second and fourth Thursday morning from 10.00 to 11.00 and cost £5 per session. It would be helpful if people who would like to attend could let Pauline or Chris know by phoning us on 01254 233332.

Sight Advice Centre

We have leaflets about various aspects of eye health, and lots of other useful information in our sight Advice Centre in Bank Street.
You are warmly invited to pop in any Tuesday or Thursday to have a chat, a cuppa and have a look at the literature and equipment available for yourself or others.

We will be arranging visits from some of our suppliers later in the year, so if there is anything you would particularly like to see demonstrated please let us know.

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.

Getting Online

Technology can make life easier when you have sight or hearing problems, but knowing where to start isn’t always easy.

The internet is transforming the way we live our lives.  From how we shop, communicate with people and find out what’s happening around the world and in our community, to how we read books, listen to music and book our favourite restaurant.

If you need help starting your online journey, Please contact us on 01254 233332.

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.

You are also welcome to drop in at other times to look at computer software and tablets to see the many ways they can be used by people with sight difficulties.


We warmly welcome Sightline to Bank Street as they are now using a room in our building.

Staffed by people with sight loss, the Sightline confidential helpline offers practical and emotional support to those with sight loss, their family, friends and professionals.

The helpline is open 6:00pm to 10:00pm 365 days a year and can be called on 0800 587 2252.

If you have a sight loss and would like to help others with emotional and practical support by phone from your own home, call 01772 753701 or visit

Do You Want To Learn Braille?

Braille-IT are running classes at our Bank Street premises on Tuesday mornings in addition to their Saturday group. You would be very welcome to join them.

Family History Group

Lancashire Family History and Heraldry society meet at our premises in Bank Street on the second Thursday of each month at 7:30pm. If you are interested in finding more about your family background or the subject in general, you are very welcome to come along to a meeting.

Book Shop

If you are looking for 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.


Lots of people are taking a break from their everyday lives and experiencing different places. In addition to ordinary hotels and holiday companies there are several who specialise in providing a relaxing or activity based holiday for those who have difficulty due to their eyesight problems. Here are a few.

Holidays In The UK

Windermere Manor

Windermere Manor, Rayrigg Road, Windermere, LA23 1ES
Phone 01539 445801

This magnificent Victorian stone manor used to be run by Action For Blind People, so is well equipped to make it easier for visually impaired people to feel at home.

Holidays For All

Phone 0845 124 9971

Holidays for All is a consortium of voluntary organisations that offer quality holidays for people with various disabilities. with or without their friends, family or carers.

There is something for every taste, ability and budget.  Holidays with care and assistance are also available if required, along with specialist equipment and detailed access information.
An example member organisation

Holidays With Help

31 Kilnhurst Road, Todmorden, Yorkshire OL14 6AX
Phone 01706 815251

They are offering:
Summer in Llandudno  Friday 24th Aug. – Friday 31st Aug.
Blackpool Illuminations  Monday 22nd Oct. – Friday 26th Oct.

Holidays At Residential Homes

A short break at a residential home could be a good option if you or your partner need more care and attention because of mobility problems or other disabilities.

Here Are Some Examples:

Healey House

(Hastings and Rother Voluntary Association for the Blind)
3 Upper Maze Hill, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex TN38 0LQ
Phone 01424 436359 / 433762

Read House

Read House (Essex Blind Charity)
23 The Esplanade, Frinton-on-Sea CO13 9AU
Phone 01255 673654

Christian Holiday and Retreat Centre

Torch Holiday and Retreat Centre

4 Hassocks Road, Hurstpierpoint, Hassocks, W. Sussex BN6 9QN
Phone 01273 832282

There’s a great diversity in Torch Holidays – from book weeks to activity weeks, craft and music, walking and simply taking it easy in the summer sunshine.

Another special feature of a Torch holiday is the daily opportunity for guests to take time to think about their spiritual wellbeing and be refreshed physically and mentally. The centre welcomes blind and partially sighted people of all faiths and none

Short Courses at Residential Colleges

Here are just two of many residential colleges throughout the UK that welcome blind and partially sighted participants, on courses of one day or longer ranging from poetry to Tai Chi, and languages to local history.

Hingham Hall College

Bassenthwaite Lake, Cockermouth, Cumbria CA13 9SH
Phone 017687 76276

Knuston Hall

Irchester, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire NN29 7EU
Phone 01604 362200

Activity Holidays

For example, three Calvert Trust Centres offer options such as abseiling, archery and swimming for people with disabilities, including blind and partially sighted people.

Exmoor: 01598 763 221
Kielder: 01434 250232
Lake District (Keswick),: 01768 772255

Holidays Abroad


Phone 01138 346094

Groups are a mixture of both blind and sighted travellers. As a sighted traveller, they simply ask that you share your eyesight by describing the wonderful world around you to a blind partner and in return, for those sharing their vision, travellers receive up to 50% off.

As a blind traveller, you’re able to book a holiday with freedom and independence. What’s more, you don’t have to bring anyone with you, as you will be joining a group of like-minded explorers.

Loire Valley August 21 – August 28, 2018
San Francisco and Yosemite May 3 – May 15, 2018
Romania Walking September 4 – September 11, 2018


Accessible active holidays.

Phone 0207 749 4866

Holiday destinations for visually impaired include: Scilly, Slovenia, Rome and Cyprus.

Holidays are for individuals, couples, families or groups of friends. They organise tailored individual holidays abroad. You can travel alone or with friends or family. They offer a local chaperone service that will assist you during the entire holiday in their destinations.

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.

We have a vision for the future where the Sight Advice Centre is open 5 days a week and outreach services are developed across the community to ensure people with a sight loss lead full and independent lives. Unfortunately, this costs money and our long term future depends on increasing our income through having a higher profile in the community and attracting more donations and legacies.

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.