About Royal Blind Society
The Royal Blind Society was originally formed 150 years ago in 1863 as the Protestant Blind Society to help blind and partially sighted people in charitable need. Its sister organisation, The Eyeless Trust, is much younger, having been formed just 25 years ago by the late Lillian Ramsay MBE to help children with anophthalmia, microphthalmia or coloboma and related disabilities, and is able to boast being one of the pioneers in the use of Family Support Workers.
In January this year, 2013, after working closely together for a number of years, the two organisations formally merged under the banner of The Royal Blind Society for the United Kingdom and remain committed to helping those with visual impairments to lead fuller, happier, more independent lives.
WHAT WE DO
For a number of years The Royal Blind Society has run two hotels specially adapted for the needs of blind and partially sighted people, one in Llandudno, North Wales, and one near Littlehampton on the West Sussex coast. The hotels cater for both groups and individuals and all staff receive full visual awareness training.
Many of our guests are elderly and for those losing their sight taking holidays often seems too much to cope with. Our aim is to break the social isolation which blindness causes by offering a safe and friendly environment specifically tailored to their needs - a haven which they can feel as confident enjoying as a sighted person would.
We also offer family weeks which have grown out of those offered to children historically supported by The Eyeless Trust, and are developing special weeks for those with particular interests or particular age groups such as ramblers and our popular 18-35 breaks for younger visually impaired adults.
The hotels give families and individuals the opportunity to meet and benefit from understanding the way others in a similar situation to them have coped, creating friendships and support networks that last for years.
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES SERVICE
The Eyeless Trust has offered a family support service, through appropriately qualified and experienced Family Support Workers, to families who have children with anophthalmia, microphthalmia or coloboma and related disabilities. Now, as part of the The Royal Blind Society we are able to extend this service to all children with a severe visual impairment, while remaining committed to our original user group of families and children.
Families with a child affected by severe visual impairment face a range of challenges, whether practical, financial, educational or emotional. Our Family Support Workers, located throughout the UK, offer on-going support while appropriate services are put in place through other agencies, and until the family feels our involvement is no longer necessary. We work in partnership with families, children and young people to enable them to maximise their full potential, particularly at diagnosis, through education, enhancing life skills and at times of crisis.
Everything we do is motivated by our three core values
• We are user-focussed - here for those we serve
• We give a high quality service – whether it is professionalism on the part of our family support workers, or the personal service offered at our hotels
• We are trustworthy – if you commit your time or money to us as a volunteer, donor or supporter you can be assured that we will use it to help blind and partially sighted people