BBS Have a Go Day

British Blind Sports Have a Go Day

Date: 25th June 2018

Time: 9:45am – 2pm

Venue: White Horse Leisure & Tennis Centre, Audlett Drive, Abingdon, OX14 3PJ.

This taster day will allow all participants to try out a variety of different sports, including archery, rock climbing, trampolining, roller hockey and others.

Booking in advance is essential. The link for registration is:

Alternatively, contact Alex Pitts, Participation Officer at British Blind Sport on 07929 356 428 or email

Gene Therapy could treat Blindness

Surgeons in Oxford have used a gene therapy technique to improve the vision of six patients who would otherwise have gone blind.

Read more on this story from the BBC website.

Corporate Partnerships

Corporate Partnerships

As a local organisation working across the county of Oxfordshire, there are many ways that we can support companies who are kind enough to raise money for us.

We can assist with volunteering opportunities for staff and the provision of places for local sponsorship events and activities.

If you work for an Oxfordshire based company why not consider making us your Charity of the Year?

We are also keen to offer local companies the opportunity to participate in visual-impairment awareness training so we can all offer a better service to the people in our communities who are blind and partially-sighted.

For more information please call 01865 725595 or email

Oxford Bus CompanyWaitrose Community Matters

Newsletter Page 7

[audio:|titles=[ Newsletter Page 7 ]

Summary of OAB Services

OAB works, in collaboration with the Visual Impairment Team of Social & Community Services, the Oxford Eye Hospital, the Sensory Services Team of the

Education Department and the other agencies and groups in Oxfordshire, to support sight impaired people and their carers in Oxfordshire.

In summary we provide:

–  Advice and Information – on any matter relating to sight impairment.

 Emotional Support and Professional Counselling to sight impaired people who are distressed with the situation in which they find themselves.

–  Specialist Equipment Demonstration – an opportunity to try out a wide range of specialist equipment, which may help a person to live a more independent life.

–  Free 2nd hand equipment provision – we are often able to provide free of charge, electronically tested equipment which has been donated to us, to people who would otherwise not be able to afford to purchase the equipment.

–  Sight Advisory Service at the Eye Hospital information and signposting to sight impaired patients who are attending appointments at the Ophthalmology Department of the John Radcliffe Hospital. 12

Home Visiting – home visits, by trained volunteers, to offer practical support to people in and around Oxford, Kidlington and Abingdon.

Social Groups – a chance to meet other people with similar difficulties.

Technology – information and training sessions in using computers, tablets, smartphones and other technologies, for sight impaired people.

Radio/CD/Cassette Players – provision of sets to people who meet the criteria of the Wireless for the Blind Fund.

Practical Sessions – Opportunities for groups to try out specialist equipment with guidance on retaining independence and cooking for fun sessions.

Children, Young People and Families – individual information and activity programme.

Newsletter – of useful information in large print and listening versions.

Training – for organisations whose staff would benefit from being skilled in assisting a sight impaired person.

Website – of useful information:

Facebook – Please follow us on Facebook:

Fundraising – of course all of these services have a cost. If you would like to donate to one or all of these services, or assist us with fundraising, please do give us a call. We do not receive any grants from the government or the national charities for sight impairment.

Newsletter Page 6

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Gurjeet’s challenge


Consultant Ophthalmologist Gurjeet Jutley will be taking on the gruelling 3 peaks challenge for O A B. Here is what he had to say about it: “At an early stage at medical school, I had a passion for voluntary work. Whether organising fundraising events or helping build orphanages, helping those in need was the main reason I read medicine.

As my career progressed, I took the skills I accrued to use them in the most useful way possible. As a trainee surgeon, I volunteered in eye camps in India and worked in Bangladesh, affording insight into how satisfying helping those who have great need is.

More over, by engaging in conversations with these patients, I fully began to understand the impact of sight loss, both the physical and mental aspects. I vowed I would give back as much as I could.

Since March 2017, I have been associated with the O A B. Initially through Ana and Mark, although now I feel as though I know the whole gang and am part of the family! The work they do is awe inspiring and give hope/love to those who truly need it. It’s my honour to have the opportunity to go to the O A B and give monthly talks: the inner joy I get cannot be matched. I hope we can raise awareness and funds for the noble ideals the O A B stand for through the three peaks challenge by two unfit doctors!

You can sponsor Gurjeet by going to: or contact the fundraising team.

Why I’m leaving a legacy to O A B

Leave a Legacy

Being a volunteer with Oxfordshire Association for the Blind has literally been an eye opening experience that has made me truly thankful for the wonderful gift of sight, which, like most people, I had always taken for granted. I realise that I am very fortunate. Not everyone will have the chance to meet O A B’s inspiring clients. Not everyone will see first- hand the dedication and hard work that the staff put in to helping their clients live happy, fulfilled and normal lives. But there is something that everyone can do. Like me you can leave O A B a legacy in your will. It’s quick and simple to do and will make a huge difference to the lives of blind and partially sighted people. Please don’t wait until it is too late.

Jackie Orchard
O A B Volunteer Home Visitor.

Newsletter Page 5

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Audio Described Theatre Trip

Wednesday 20th June 7.30pm HairSpray the musical will have an audio described performance at the New Theatre Oxford. Tickets are £14 each please call Gwen Cruden for more information: 01865 373378.

British Blind Sport Have-A-Go Sports Taster Day

Date: 25th June 2018
Time: 9:45am – 2pm
Venue: White Horse Leisure & Tennis Centre, Audlett Drive, Abingdon, OX14 3PJ.

This taster day will allow all participants to try out a variety of different sports, including archery, rock climbing, trampolining, roller hockey and others.

Booking in advance is essential.

The link for registration is:

Alternatively, contact Alex Pitts, Participation Officer at British Blind Sport on 07929 356 428

Dreaming Spires Ten Pin Bowling

We have just qualified for the BBS Trios finals in Sheffield. We are the defending champions from last year. We will be starting our summer league soon. Come and join us at the bowling alley near the Kassam Stadium. All levels of bowlers are welcome. Why not come along and try a great sport. Contact: Kevin Pamphilon – 01869 331778.

Sculpture Exhibition

We have been given special permission to touch and feel the sculptures that are on display; access that is not normally available to the general public.

Prior booking is essential to qualify for the discount. Limited transport is being arranged from O A B.

Date: 27th June 2018
Time: 12 noon
Venue: Asthall Manor, Asthall, Burford OX18 4HW
Cost: £5 (with the O A B group); £10 otherwise

Guy Lawfull ( or call O A B.

Newsletter Page 4

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Breaking news for AMD research

The first patients to receive a new treatment derived from stem cells for people with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) have regained enough vision to be able to read. The study is a major milestone for the London Project to Cure Blindness, which was funded by the Macular Society in 2008.

The two patients who underwent the procedure, a woman in her early 60s and a man in his 80s, had wet AMD and declining vision.

The study investigated whether the diseased cells at the back the patients’ affected eye could be replenished using the stem cell based patch. A specially engineered surgical tool was used to insert the patch under the retina in the affected eye of each patient in an operation lasting one to two hours. For more information contact the Macular Society on: 0300 3030 111.


RNIB Living with sight loss course

– Have you or a family member been diagnosed with sight loss?
– Would you like to share experiences with other people in similar situations?
– Are you interested in finding out about services available to you?

Our free, informal, community-based courses and phone groups provide information, advice, support and practical solutions for people adjusting to sight loss and those close to them.

We aim to help you adjust to your sight condition, increase your independence and boost your confidence. You’ll get the chance to meet and share experiences with others in similar situations.

Sessions include:

– Welfare rights
– Getting out and about
– Tips and gadgets for everyday living
– Assistive technology – computers, tablets, phones
– Eye health
– Wellbeing
– Leisure, hobbies and interests

Plus, you’ll hear about a range of organisations and local groups about services out there to help you.

It’s taking place on Thursday 7 and Thursday 14 June 2018, 10.00am to 3.30pm at Oxfordshire Association for the Blind, Bradbury Lodge, Gordon Woodward Way, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 4XL

You are welcome to bring along a family member or friend with you.

Book your free place today!

Call us on 0300 123 3933
Email us at
Visit our website


[audio:|titles=[ Volunteering with OAB ]

Volunteer with OABOAB has over 100 volunteers, who are vital to our work.  They help in the office, send out our newsletter, run our groups and staff the OAB Sight Desk at the Oxford Eye Hospital.  Many are part of the Volunteer Home Visiting Scheme, giving around an hour a week to visit a visually impaired person at home.

There is no ‘typical’ OAB volunteer.  Some are in their teens (18+), others retired years ago.  Some have personal experience of visual impairment, most have none.  But between them, their contribution enables us to offer an array of services that would be impossible without their help.

The organisation is committed to good practice in all aspects of our involvement with volunteers.  Volunteers are given clear role descriptions and appropriate training.  They are covered by our insurance policy and their out-of-pocket expenses are reimbursed. Each volunteer has a named member of staff who is responsible for their work and for ensuring that their experience of volunteering is as positive as possible.  Through volunteering with OAB, you can help to make a real difference to people’s lives.  Below you will find more information on some of the specific roles carried out by our volunteers.

Home Visiting Scheme 

Many of OAB’s volunteers are Home Visitors.  This scheme partners a volunteer with a visually-impaired person who they visit at home, to spend some social time together and to help with everyday tasks that become difficult with impaired sight.  Depending on the individual’s needs, this may include dealing with correspondence and personal finance. Some volunteers go out with the person they visit, perhaps to the local park or shops. Others help with things like writing cards, wrapping presents or sorting a CD collection, while for some people, a visitor for a chat and a cup of tea is a weekly pleasure and can help to relieve social isolation.

Key facts:

  • Volunteer Home Visitors need to be literate and numerate.  Most important, you should be patient, reliable and honest.
  • Most volunteers visit once a week for about an hour.
  • All volunteers are police checked and OAB will take up two references.
  • At the moment, this scheme operates in Oxford, Abingdon and Kidlington.

Please email our Volunteering Coordinator, at for an information pack.

Group Volunteer: OXVIC

OXVIC is OAB’s social group in Oxford.  About 20, mostly elderly, people get together for a chat and an afternoon tea.  There may be activities such as a crossword, and recent meetings have included a talk from the Guide Dogs Association about training a puppy, and a visit from a raconteur who played, sang and told stories.  The group is run by volunteers, who set up the room, serve refreshments, help members in and out of the building, and run the activities.

Key facts:

  • We are looking for people who are friendly, sociable and patient. You also need to be reliable and honest.
  • The group meets twice a month on Tuesday afternoons.
  • The group meets at our Bradbury Lodge premises.
  • All volunteers are police checked and OAB will take up two references.

Please email our Volunteering Coordinator at for more information.

Other volunteering roles

In addition to the volunteering opportunities described on this page, volunteers work with OAB in: administrative support at OAB’s offices; helping with tasks such as sending out newsletters; supporting social groups in various towns throughout the County; managing collecting boxes around the county; staffing the OAB Sight Desk at the Oxford Eye Hospital and fundraising.  Please keep an eye on these pages if you are interested.

We also have a team of volunteers who are highly computer-literate and provide an IT support service to visually-impaired people at home.  If you are suitably qualified and would like to know more, please email  our Volunteering Coordinator at or call 01865 725595.

Eye Hospital – Sight Advisory Desk

[audio:|titles=[ Eye Hospital – Sight Advisory Desk ]

Patients attending the Oxford Eye Hospital face either initial or progressive diagnosis about their level of vision; sometimes they must face very bad news.

Losing your sight is a very real form of bereavement.  The process of being diagnosed as sight impaired or severely sight impaired leaves many people distressed and very anxious about what the future holds.

To support people through this initial crisis we run a Sight Advisory Desk at the hospital itself.  Working within the outpatients department, we are perfectly placed to provide on-the-spot help and advice.  With over 50,000 patient attendances every year, we reach a large number of visually impaired people, just when they need us most.

The desk is managed by Judith Wood, a qualified counsellor with over 35 years experience as a nurse (with personal experience of sight loss), assisted by a number of volunteers.  Our dedicated team can provide you with help in the following areas:

  • Basic counselling and reassurance.
  • Demonstration of daily living aids.
  • Products for visually impaired people that are on display.
  • Information on benefits and social services.
  • Referral to OAB’s support services.
  • A listening ear and a practical head!

The desk can be found in the waiting area of the Ophthalmology department (i.e. the Oxford Eye Hospital in the West Wing of the John Radcliffe).  It is open from Tuesday to Friday, 9am – 5pm.  You can also contact staff at the desk on 01865 231598.

People living in the west of the county who are referred (due to location) to the Eye Hospital at Swindon have access to a similar advisory desk operated by our Wiltshire colleagues.  However, all the services of OAB are still available to you, even if your treatment is carried out in Swindon.

Counselling and Emotional Support

[audio:|titles=[ Counselling and Emotional Support ]

Being told that you have a visual impairment can be devastating.  Losing your sight is a very real bereavement.

We run a Sight Advisory Desk at the Oxford Eye Hospital within the outpatients department, where we are perfectly placed to provide on-the-spot help and advice.

From our offices we also run a telephone based counselling and emotional support scheme to help people come to terms with their visual impairment.

The service is provided by OAB’s Senior Sight Advisor, Judith Wood.  Judith is a qualified counsellor and nurse who’s own experience of visual impairment is one of the many things that help her to empathise with her clients.

A face-to-face version of this service is now available in the Campoli Centre at Bradbury Lodge where both the person with a visual impairment and their carer can be seen in privacy.

If you would like to see our qualified counsellor, please telephone for an appointment on 01865 725595.