Blackburn and District Blind Society

BDBS EYE

Society Background Details

Blackburn & District Blind Society is a registered charity number 519938. We are a local society providing a number of services that support people in the community who are partially sighted, blind and may often have other disabilities.

We attempt to meet the needs of people of all ages, ethnicity and backgrounds.

We operate a telephone befriending service that provides weekly telephone calls to people with a visual impairment and may have other disabilities or be isolated or lonely. We also provide home visits for people who may have mobility difficulties.

We provide information, advice and signpost people and their families or carers to appropriate support services, we can provide information in various formats including large print, audio and Braille.

We are the official agents for the British Wireless for the Blind, providing accessible radios free of charge to people who are registered blind.

We have a range of equipment to purchase, talking clocks and watches, magnifying glasses, LED and Daylight lighting units, white canes, rollerball and assorted tips, liquid level indicators, bump-ons. We obtain specific items of equipment on request.

We loan Perkins Braille machines to registered blind or visually impaired people for a small quarterly charge.

We run Vision Loss Support (VLS) sessions to provide advice and information for people with a sight loss, their family and carers and provide an opportunity to meet people with similar experiences. The sessions cover topics such as eye health, certification and registration, maintaining and improving independence, benefits and your rights and how to access statutory services and lots more including recreation activities, large print and talking books.

We provide classroom presentations to schools and colleges to promote awareness of living with a sight loss and to other groups on request.

Our teams of volunteers operate the Blackburn and District Talking Newspaper based on the Lancashire Telegraph. We work with the pupils of Witton Park Academy in producing a monthly talking magazine. Both are available digitally each week for a small annual subscription.

We host coffee mornings each 2nd and 4th Thursday in the month including specialist information talks and trade equipment demonstrations. We have a number of computers for training or use by our members.

We host the local Macular Support Group for people with this condition where they can meet with other people with a similar condition and hear about ways that could improve their experiences. The group invites guest speakers from trade, social service, Blackburn with Darwen Council Support Services, Action for Blind People, other support agencies, charities and other suppliers of equipment demonstrations.

We run a varied number of events and outings for our blind or visually impaired members, shopping trips, Museum visits, canal/lunch walks, fairs and street collections.

We publish a quarterly newsletter containing society news and events, local and national news regarding vision related topics, including the latest developments in treatment and eye care.

The Society does not receive any funding support from council or government and is dependent upon donations, legacies, and collections to continue its work in supporting local blind and visually impaired people.