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 a day at Quarr Abbey on the Isle of Wight in June 2015
  RAB ramblers walking threw a barley field June 2016

More about us plus contact details

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

Double Celebrations for 90 years!

Two Royal tea parties were held at Walford Hall, Carey Street, Reading, on Friday, 3 June and Tuesday, 7 June to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th Birthday along with 90 years of Reading Association for the Blind.

Maureen Tegg, Club Member, Marion Haynes, Community Fundraiser, Dee Teeka, Community Champion
Over 50 service users, staff and volunteers enjoyed the festivities each day, and dressed in red, white and blue. Flags, bunting, and flower arrangements had all been made in the day centre in the weeks before, and everyone entered into the celebrations in party mood. Maureen Tegg, who lives in Wensley Road, Coley, Reading, is pictured wearing her Union Jack top pushing the cake trolley with Marion Haynes, Community Fundraiser for Reading Association for the Blind and Dee Teeka, Community Champion for Tesco Reading Extra.

Maureen said “coming to the partially sighted club is a fantastic way of meeting others like myself with sight impairment, and the parties held for the Queen’s Birthday were brilliant. It was nice to see what we have made being used by us all.”

Dee Teeka, volunteered her day going out on the Association’s mini bus to collect people from their homes to bring them into the Day Centre for the parties, and then helped serve the Coronation chicken sandwiches and other savoury delights, along with cakes kindly donated by Tesco and Warburtons.

Marion Haynes, said “It was wonderful for staff to arrange the parties which over 100 service users and volunteers enjoyed, and they were a double celebration. 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

Reading Association for the Blind Rambling Group turns 25 on June 6 2016

RAB Past and present ramblers out side the Red Lion PH at Peppard Common

Reading Association for the Blind Rambling Group celebrated its anniversary on June 6, 25 years after Pat Davis and her sight impaired friend Wendy Clayton christened the club. Ms Clayton decided to set up the group because her eyesight stops her from driving, which in turn restricts her ability to get out to typical walking groups in the countryside.
“You have to meet out in the country which is no good because you have to have a car,” said Ms Clayton. “So we set up our own group and now we meet once a fortnight and walk five or six miles. It is so nice to go out in the countryside and to meet with everyone. We have got some really wonderful volunteers.”
Over the course of its quarter of a century the group have wandered further afield than their usual paths in West Berkshire and North Hampshire to the Seven Sisters, Devon and Wells.

Wandering through the blue bells
Marion Haynes Community Fundraiser at Reading Association for the Blind, said: “The visually impaired ramblers really enjoy being in the open air, getting exercise, making new friends, and recently ramblers were delighted at the fragrance of bluebells in the woods of the Chiltern Hills.
“The exercise from the walks helps to keep our members fit. One carried on walking until he was 94 and another to 90. Guide dogs also enjoy the walks as for them it is playtime as volunteers escort ramblers which allows the dogs to run free.”

Of course, the main talking point for the group is when things go wrong. We never heard the end of it when we lead the group across a field that was in the process of having manure spread over it. So far as the walk leader and helpers are concerned, walking with visually impaired people brings a different perspective as to how one thinks about rights of way and in particular stiles. However, the most rewarding element of this activity is the appreciation shown by members of the group due to the fact that you are facilitating their access to the countryside and enabling them to enjoy the fresh air.

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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