Newsletter Winter 2018

Newsletter Winter 2018

Happy New Year! Welcome to our first newsletter of 2018.

Many thanks to all our wonderful volunteers who have helped with Christmas parties and fund-raising events over the last few months. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Several people have asked about accessible transport in the local area. We don’t provide transport ourselves, but there are various options available – these are listed in the Local Travel section starting on page 4.

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, please feel free to Contact Us.

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.

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

On 13th February it is planned to have a demonstration from Ian Watson of scented plants and growing them in pots. He is an enthusiast for this type of gardening.

There is a possibility to have some regular yoga sessions at the Society. This would be on a Thursday morning from 10.00 to 11.00 and would cost about £5 per session. There would be a maximum number of participants (about 7). The yoga teacher concerned is used to teaching people with sight loss. It would be helpful if people who would like to attend could let Pauline or Chris know by phoning us on 01254 233332.

We would welcome other ideas about how the sight support group would like to go forward into this new year. Suggestions so far have been a craft session with focus on tactile crafts , a cookery session, a talk from a local optician, an exhibition of new equipment available from our suppliers and a trip to a play or concert.

Sight Advice Centre

We have leaflets about various aspects of eye health, and lots of other useful information in our sight Advice Centre on 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.

Online Today

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.

To help you start your online journey, David Brown from the RNIB is running a one day Online Today event on Tuesday 6th February at our Bank Street premises.

The morning session 10:00am to 12:00 noon will be an overview and demonstration of a wide variety of equipment you can use to get online.
The afternoon session 1:00pm to 3:00pm will give you the opportunity to try out some of the equipment with the help of David and some of our volunteers.
You do not need any previous knowledge or experience of the Internet to take part.

Please contact us on 01254 233332 to book a place.

Keeping Up With Technology – One-to-One Sessions

Many thanks to Mark Healey, who has been giving one to one computer and tablet advice sessions while Claire has been on maternity leave.

Claire is returning in January and the one-to-one sessions 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.

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.

First Aid Course

Lancashire Adult Learning will be running a one day First Aid course at our Bank street premises soon – date to be arranged, but probably in February – which will enable those who attend to receive a First Aid certificate.

If you are interested in attending please Contact Us.

Family History Group

2nd Thursday Evening of each month.

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.

Local Travel

Several people have asked about accessible transport in the local area. We do not provide transport ourselves, but here are some available options.

Royal Voluntary service – Community Transport in Lancashire

In this service their volunteer drivers use their own cars to provide door-to-door journeys for people who are unable to use either their own private transport or public transport.

Journeys may be for any purpose, such as: appointments, social events or shopping.

The drivers are all volunteers. They will try their best to provide a driver for you, but it may not always be possible.
You can join the scheme if you are 50 or over and unable to access public or private transport for your journey.

Mileage charges are 60p per mile (minimum charge £4.00) You will be charged for the total mileage their volunteers incur in taking you on your journey including the distance from their home to your home and back. They reserve the right to make a cancellation charge of £3.00 if you cancel with less than three days’ notice. Passengers may be accompanied at no extra charge.
Although their contact address is in Clitheroe, some of their drivers do live in Accrington.

For further information please contact:

Royal Voluntary Service Community Transport
41A Moor Lane, Clitheroe BB7 1BE

Telephone: 01200 442513

Communicars – Burnley, Pendle & Rossendale

Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale CVS have a team of volunteer drivers that provide the Communicars service using their own cars. Communicars is available to people living in Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale. Passengers can travel within a 20 mile radius of their home address. It is a door-to-door service that can transport up to 3 passengers at any given time.

Communicars operates Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm..
Phone between 9am and 2pm for bookings. 01282 412096

Community Cars – Ribble Valley

The service is provided by volunteer drivers using their own cars and all journeys are coordinated by the Community Transport office, not directly with the volunteer drivers. It depends on the availability and willingness of the volunteers, Fares are £0.40 per mile whilst you are in the car. If there are two of you travelling, the shared fare is still £0.40 per mile. You pay the driver in cash.

The volunteers are expected to wait for you. However, if they have another person to transport then they will come back for you.

Booking requests must be made at least 48 hours in advance: Phone 01200 444484


The Dial-a-Bus service provides door-to-door services within their operating areas, using vehicles specially adapted to make them easy to use. Vehicles are equipped with lifts and passenger restraints so that wheelchair users can travel without having to transfer to a seat. Services may run to a broad route and timetable. Please contact the operator for up-to-date details. They will always try to help wherever they can.

Dial-a-Bus services will generally operate between the hours of 9.30am and 14.30pm. Some operators may run earlier or later.

Hyndburn Dail-a-bus

11 Avenue Parade Accrington Lancashire BB5 6PN
Tel: 01282 415310.
Provided by Travelcare.

Burnley & Pendle Dail-a-bus Service

LCC Travelcare, Brindley Close, Network 65, Hapton, Burnley, BB11 5TD
Tel:01282 831858 or 07584 217738
Provided by Travelcare.

Ribble Valley Community Transport

Unit 3 Upbrooks, Clitheroe BB7 1PL
Tel: 01200 444484 
Fax: 01200 429590
Operating as Little Green Bus

Rossendale Dail-a-bus

LCC Travelcare  Brindley Close, Network 65, Hapton, Burnley, BB11 5TD

Tel: 01282  415310
Supported by Lancashire County ouncil.

Bus Pass – concessionary travel pass (NoWcard)

(This can not be used on the Dial-a-Bus Service)

If you are blind or partially sighted and your sole or principal residence is in Lancashire (including Blackburn with Darwen) you are eligible for a NoWcard Concessionary travel pass and:
Each NoWcard holds details of your concessionary fare. The ticket machine on the local bus service will read the NoWcard, check its validity and ensure that you are charged as applicable.
NoWcard Helpline 0300 123 6737

You will be entitled to:
Free off peak travel (between 9.30am and 11.00pm Monday to Friday, all day Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays) on local bus services throughout England .
50p flat fare per journey on local bus services which start, end or are wholly within Lancashire (includes Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool) before 09:30 Monday to Friday.

(Passes are also not valid on certain. summer-only services.)

Disabled Persons Railcard

If you are blind or partially you can get 1/3 off adult rail fares for travel on the National Rail network in Great Britain.

If you’re travelling with another adult they will also get 1/3 off their rail fare, so you can save money for a friend or family member too.
There are no time restrictions on the Disabled Persons Railcard, so you can use it to get a discount on tickets at any time of the day.

A Disabled Persons Railcard costs just £20 for a whole year or £54 for a three year card.

Passenger Assist

If you need assistance when you travel by train, there is help available. You can book to get help at any station for any train journey. The train company can organise for someone to:

• meet you at the entrance or meeting point and accompany you to your train
• provide a ramp on and off your train if you need one
• meet you from your train and take you to your next train or the exit
• carry your bag (up to three items of luggage)

You can book help at short notice, but some companies may ask for up to 24 hours’ notice.

Planning Your Train Journey

to book assistance you only need to contact one train company and they will organise assistance for your whole journey.
You can book assistance by phone or online with the company directly or centrally here using the following contact details:


Tel: 0800 022 3720
 or 0845 60 50 600 textphone/minicom

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.

Many thanks to all who came to the Quiz Night (£300 raised), the Lancashire Luncheon (£675 raised) and who helped with the collection at Asda (£555 raised).

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
Facebook: accringtondistrictblindsociety

Please remember that the office is presently open Tuesdays and Thursdays10am to 4pm.