Reading Association for the Blind

Supporting visually impaired people of Reading since 1883

We are a charitable association offering services to the blind and visually impaired in Reading Berkshire UK.

  A group from Young at Heart enjoying lunch out at the Goring and Streatley Golf Club in October 2014
  RAB sight impaired person with his guide walking through woods June 2016


About Reading Association for the Blind

Reading Blind Aid Society was formed in 1883 and then changed to Reading Association for the Blind in 1926 and has supported the sight impaired people of Reading ever since. Our objective has been to enable sight impaired people to live full and active lives by providing the opportunity to take part in activities that they may otherwise not be able to, such as visiting our social club, rambling, taking part in our craft club, social outings, theatre trips, sport, holidays, learning new skills such as IT or accessing support from our home visiting service. People suffering from sight impairment often suffer with isolation and social exclusion and we do all we can to promote social interaction and inclusion in society. In many cases it can be difficult for them to leave their homes, to get out and meet people, so the service we provide is vital for their physical and mental wellbeing. Older people with sight loss are almost three times more likely to experience depression than people with good vision.

How you can Donate and help us

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Latest News


Poto of Kerry running the Half Marathon Local woman, Kerry Haynes, has smashed her fundraising target and has already raised £950 after completing the Vitality Reading Half Marathon on Sunday, 19 March in 2 hours, 17 minutes. Kerry wanted to raise funds to help keep services running at the Day Centre, in Walford Hall, Carey Street, Reading, and she was supported by family, friends, and service users to exceed her fundraising target. Kerry said “I am so grateful for all those who have supported me to raise this incredible amount for RAB. I ran a good half marathon and was extremely pleased with my time and don’t ache too much! I look forward to sharing my success with service users who I am sure will be grateful for everyone’s support.”

Kerry’s Mum, Marion Haynes, who is the Community Fundraiser at Reading Association for the Blind, said “I am so proud of Kerry for her personal achievement, and am delighted that she has chosen such a worthy charity to support in her fundraising and volunteering. Thank you to every one of our supporters who lined the route to cheer Kerry to the finishing line!”

For more ways to support sight impaired people who live in Reading, and Reading Association for the Blind, then please contact Marion on 0118 957 2960, or

RAB has been successful in winning customers votes in local Tesco stores

Marion is delighted to say RAB has been successful in winning a customer vote in over 20 TESCO Stores in the Caversham, Emmer Green, Henley, Shinfield, Southcote, Woodley, Whitley, Tilehurst, Twyford, and Central Reading areas.

Tesco champion
Tesco's Community Champion, Maria Page, presenting Marion with some of the donations last week

If you know of anyone who shops in Tesco, and it can also be the small Tesco Express Petrol Shops, then please encourage them to collect their blue tokens and deposit them in one of the three voting slots, one of which is supporting Reading Association for the Blind. We are hoping to raise money to make mosaic tiles for display at Walford Hall. If anyone is unable to deposit the tokens then please encourage them to collect them and give them to Marion at Walford Hall Carey Street, and she will see these are deposited. in the Reading Association for the Blind slot.

The voting takes place between 1 March and 29 April and we will know whether we have been awarded either £1,000, £2,000 or £5,000 during May.

We have again been supported by our Community Champion, Maria Page, who works from the Reading West, Portman Road Store, and she has kindly donated many items to us, on two recent occasions which will help us with our forthcoming parties, events and sales.

Marion Heynes community fundraiser

Making a difference to Sensory Garden!

Lionel Voke from Berkshire Masonic Charity and Eric Moyse from the Rotary Club of Reading, joined supporters and service users to launch the opening of Reading Association for the Blind’s newly improved sensory garden on Friday, 23 September 2016. The Day Centre at Walford Hall, Carey Street, Reading, provides services to sight impaired people in Reading. Members enjoy taking part in arts and craft activities, going on outings, joining the rambling group, gardening and socialising together.

Marion Haynes, Community Fundraiser, said that the provision of a garden awning, raised flower beds, new garden furniture has made the garden enjoyable and accessible for members who are sight impaired, and who have physical disabilities. Bright sunlight is sometimes difficult for people who can see to cope with and sight impaired people suffer even more.

Enjoying the RAB Sensory garden refurbishment – left to right: Cynthia Beard, Lionel Voke - Berkshire Masonic Centre, Eric Moyse - Rotary Club of Reading, Marion Haynes – Community Fundraiser, Ricky Josey – Grants and Trusts Fundraiser. Lower left to right: Virginia Weeks, Gladys Mace, Wendy Gibson, Barbara and Alf Turner.

Gladys Mace, from Southcote and Virginia Weeks from Reading, both agreed that the awning gives shelter and shade from the sunlight. They said it has really made a difference for friends to meet in the garden for drinks and lunch. The raised flower beds allow members to plant, grow and water plants whilst sitting in chairs or wheelchairs.

William Kennedy, Treasurer of Reading Association for the Blind said that the charity was grateful to all the supporters who had donated funds to enable the garden improvement scheme to be completed this year, and it was lovely to see so many people enjoying being together in the garden.

Check out a full description of our services here

Reading Association for the Blind (RAB)

Company no. 3354127 Charity no. 1062433

Reading Association for the Blind (RAB)
Walford Hall
Carey Street
Phone: 0118 957 2960

This website was constructed by one of our blind members Bob Bristow

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