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 ramblers walking through a wheat field June 2016


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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

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.

Celebration Cake at Caversham Court

Thank you cake made by Suzanne Weston – Craft TutorA celebration Pimm’s and Afternoon Tea was arranged by Reading Association for the Blind to thank its volunteers and trustees for all their support and hard work over the past year. Over 40 volunteers, trustees and staff enjoyed the afternoon spent in the beautiful gardens of Caversham Court by the River Thames on Friday 2 September 2016. Bunting and balloons decorated the gazebo which sheltered a superb array of savoury food, Eton mess and a celebration cake! Suzanne Weston, Craft Tutor, kindly made the ‘thank you’ cake and Wendy Whitehead, Visiting Officer, arranged the flower displays in the garden troughs which had been made by service users who attend Walford Hall Day Centre, in Carey Street, Reading.

Chimene Fitzgibbon, William Kennedy, Suzanne Weston, Brian Wigham and Robert O’Neill, about to cut the cake made by SuzanneBob Bristow, Chairman, said it was lovely to be able to thank the trustees and volunteers for all their help over the past year in providing services to sight impaired people in Reading.

A raffle was held for all to enjoy and raise funds for the Association, and Maria Page, Community Champion at Tesco Reading West, in Portman Road, had kindly arranged for the raffle prizes to be donated. Marion Haynes, Community Fundraiser said “It was lovely to have support from Caversham Court and Tesco Reading West to make the party such a success. The Association provides services through the Day Centre and by its visiting officers to sight impaired people in the Reading community. Local fundraising is a large part of helping to keep services maintained and added to, and if any community group or individual wishes to help in any way then please contact her on 0118 957 2960 or

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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