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Latest News from the Royal London Society for the Blind

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					Latest News from the Royal London Society
for the Blind

LIFECHANCES

Volume 2 - 2006

Royal's Golden Seal

Patron marks School's 50th anniversary in
Kent

Registered Charity No. 307892
2
RLSB

Take the challenge: make a difference in
2007

By participating in a Charity Challenge
expedition you can help the Royal London
Society for the Blind create life chances in
education, training and employment for
people who are blind or partially sighted.
Whether it is cycling or trekking, we can help
you achieve your goal.

18th - 22nd April 2007: Andalucian
       Adventure Cycle 200 kms across
       Andalucia along quiet country roads
       through some of the best sights and
       scenery and witness rich Moorish
       cultural heritage.

5th - 13th May 2007: Great Wall Discovery
      Trek on the Great Wall of China, explore
      Beijing and its Forbidden City and
      witness Imperial China's frontline
      defence.

8th - 17th June 2007: Footsteps of the
      Maasai Trek
                                               3
  Trek with Maasai tribesman through the
  Great African Rift Valley to the foothills of
  the Crater Highlands, visiting Mount
  Kitumbeine and the Maasai settlements.

5th - 10th September 2007: High Atlas
      Summit Trek
      Trek at altitude across daunting peaks
      scattered with Berber villages, including
      Jebel Toubkai, Morocco's highest
      mountain.

19th - 28th October 2007: Escambray
    Encounter
    Trek through Cuban citrus groves and
    sugar plantations, visit Santa Clara and
    explore Old Havana.

30th - 9th December 2007: Rajasthan Tiger
      Challenge
       Cycle 480 kms through the Land of the
      Kings and stay in beautiful Maharajas'
      Palaces, seeking tigers in their natural
      habitat and visiting the Taj Mahal.

Please send me further information on the
following trek/cycle :
4
Name:
Address:
Post Code
Tel:
Mobile No:
Email address:

Please contact Amanda Tucker at the RLSB
Fundraising Department on 01732 592532
for information on these and other treks and
cycle challenges.

RLSB, Dorton House, Wildernesse Avenue,
Seal, Sevenoaks, Kent. TN15 0EB.

Registered Charity No. 307892
                                            5
Welcome to the Royal London Society for
the Blind

It is One Hundred and Sixty Eight years
since the Royal London Society for the Blind
was established and our first school set up
by our founder, Thomas Lucas, at Swiss
Cottage in London. Since that time, with the
help of our many wonderful supporters, our
Society has provided the highest quality
education and training for people who are
blind or partially sighted.

As times have changed throughout our
history, and as the needs of people who are
blind or partially sighted have changed, so
our Society has evolved and continues to
evolve to meet the needs of each generation.
This edition of Life Chances gives you an
insight into that history and evolution,
notably with an article on the 50th
Anniversary Celebration of the
establishment of Dorton House School in
Sevenoaks. Other articles give an insight
into the continuum of services we currently
offer, and the range of exciting new projects
undertaken by the Society, for example the
6
Ecological and Conservation Project at
Dorton College.

With your support, our staff continues to
provide a structured environment where
individual goals are developed, implemented
and monitored. We help each individual who
uses our services to identify his or her
strengths and needs. We recognise
individual achievements by acknowledging
and celebrating progress. Success of course
is different for everyone and must be
measured against an individual's profile but
what is clear is that, with your support, we
are able to help each one move towards their
highest potential. I hope you enjoy reading
how you, our supporters and benefactors
continue to enable us to create real life
chances.

Brian Cooney
Chief Executive
                                               7
Contents

8. ............. Dorton House Jubilee
9. ............. A Right Royal Celebration
15. ........... College ECO project
18. ........... Hospitable Workbridge
21. ........... Stars of stage and screen
23. ........... Stars act for RLSB
26 ............ Hospitality suite
29.. .......... Fundraising news
33.. .......... Kent Partnership
37.. .......... Service area news
38.. .......... College Graduation
40. ........... RLSB makes an impact
43 ............ Willing to make a difference
46. ........... Forthcoming events

______________________________________

Society Information

Patron - Her Royal Highness The Duchess of
Gloucester GCVO
President - The Right Honourable Lord Baker
of Dorking CH
Chairman - David C Griffiths MA, FCA
8
Chief Executive - Brian J Cooney B.A.,
(Hons), MSc. (Econ), Adv.Dip. Ed. Special
Education, Dip. RSA

Royal London Society for the Blind, Dorton
House, Seal, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN15 0EB.
Tel: 01732 592500 Fax: 01732 592506
www.rlsb.org.uk
                                            9
Feature Dorton House School Golden
Jubilee

A right Royal celebration

To mark the Golden Jubilee of the official
opening of Dorton House School, Her Royal
Highness The Duchess of Gloucester, Patron
of the Society, visited the Seal campus on
Monday 15 May 2006 to celebrate the
occasion.

Nearly 200 distinguished guests, including
ex-pupils and teaching staff from the School,
joined the President, The Right Honourable
Lord Baker of Dorking, and RLSB Vice
Presidents Cheryl Baker and Gloria
Hunniford at a concert packed with a variety
of music from both current and ex-pupils of
the School.

En route to the concert hall, she took a
detour to meet pupils who were enjoying the
recently installed play equipment,
generously funded by the Vision Charity and
opened by their Patron, Katie Price. The
Duchess also had a tour of three "working"
classrooms, watching attentively as the
10
children demonstrated a variety of skills in
cooking, pottery and electronics
respectively.

Her Royal Highness marked the Jubilee by
unveiling a commemorative plaque and
signing the Society's Visitors Book.

Following the presentation of a posy to her
by pupil Madeleine Hawes, the Duchess
addressed the assembled guests,
highlighting the historical significance of the
occasion:

"Today is a celebration of the School's
Golden Jubilee, and is a good opportunity to
reflect upon the many people who have been
involved with the creation and development
of Dorton House School".

Her Royal Highness's words were a fitting
testament to the festivities that followed,
since her visit formed the start point of a
number of events to mark the past, present
and future of Dorton House School and all
those people connected with it.
                                              11
Lifechances If you have an event you would
like to mark... why not talk to our fundraising
department?
12
Feature Dorton House School Golden
Jubilee

50 years of memory and melody

Dorton House School's Alumni Association
held its own Golden Jubilee celebration on
13 May, when guest of honour Michael
Fallon MP joined 140 members to enjoy a
concert performed by pupils past and
present.

Among the audience was current School
Governor Mary Phillips, who was nine years
old when she and her twin sister Jane
attended the opening of the school at its
Seal address.

Mary recalled various antics that her
classmates would get up to, including the
fabled application of lipstick to the "Braille
Boy" statue that now forms the RLSB's logo.
However, schoolgirl allegiances remained
firm, even after 50 years: Mary still refused
to divulge the culprit's identity!
                                              13
Golden Garden Party

Continuing Dorton House School's Golden
Jubilee celebrations, the Golden Garden
Party was held on Father's Day in the
Mansion House grounds.

More than 1000 people flocked to Seal,
enjoying a great day out in the glorious
sunshine and helping the Society to raise
over £3,000.

In the spirit of a traditional English Garden
Party, visitors were able to pick and choose
their entertainment from meandering
through the craft fair, watching the Falconry
Displays, listening to live bands or drooling
over the selection of Classic Cars on the
Mansion House grounds.
____________________________________

Life's a ball at Dorton

It's not every year you're 50, so to mark the
School's special anniversary, the RLSB
hosted a glitzy Golden Jubilee fundraising
ball for 80 guests. Since it was the first ball
to be held at Dorton House for a number of
14
years, organisers were keen to "pull out all
the stops", so guests' arrival was marked by
a descent down the magnificent library
staircase to a champagne reception below.
Jazz band 'The Rhythm Kings' helped to
provide a suitably classy atmosphere.

It was soon time for the gourmet dinner, and
guests drank, ate and chatted merrily whilst
a musical backdrop of classic 50's songs
was played. Mike Hatcher's appearance at
the top of the staircase to sing a number of
"Rat Pack" songs was warmly greeted, and
the audience was soon buzzing in
anticipation of the after-dinner
entertainment, which started with a "Money
can't buy " auction. Bidding for auction lots,
such as tea at the House of Lords and an Ice
Dance lesson with Jayne Torvill proved
frantic.

Many guests took to the dancefloor to
release their energy. The evening drew to a
close with guests bopping to the catchy
sounds of 'The Big Kahuna' or placing bets
in our special charity casino. It truly was a
classic 1950's evening.
                                          15
Feature Dorton College of Further Education

Ecological and Conservation Project

Dorton College forms part of a dynamic
partnership with West Kent, Bromley and
Hadlow Colleges. This involves the use of
residential life at Dorton College to develop
vital skills for independent living. Students,
with our support, are then integrated on a
range of courses at partnership colleges to
promote their social inclusion and develop
vocational and academic skills to enable
them to fulfil their aspirations and ambitions.
This partnership was recognised by the
Adult Learning Inspectorate's Chief
Inspector when Dorton College was cited as
one of the outstanding providers in the UK.

However, not everybody is ready to face the
formidable challenges of inclusion
programmes when they first enrol. Some
students initially access their programmes
on our Sevenoaks site. In the search for
excellence, college staff have developed an
exciting conservation and ecological project
to provide a greater challenge and stimulus
for them. This project will involve working on
16
the ancient woodland situated behind the
college. The objective is to protect and
develop a natural habitat and create safe
access to a managed woodland
environment, with all its fragrance, beauty
and mysteries. The students will also be
involved in cultivating fruits, vegetables,
herbs and wild flowers, native to Kent. They
will learn about the basic techniques of land
management and horticulture, develop their
basic skills by completing logbooks that
record progress and complete a range of
vocational options that will give them access
to recognised qualifications.

The first phase of the project had been
greeted with enthusiasm. We have received
support from corporate supporters, ranging
from raised flower bed construction for non-
ambulant students through to financial
assistance from long time supporters
Johnson Matthey plc. Our local parish
council has also given assistance,
particularly in relation to conservation
issues.

The second phase of the project involves
plans for a 'Gardeners Question Time' type
                                               17
of programme on Dorton Radio, broadcast to
the local community; the development of
links with local Allotment Societies; the sale
of produce through local market stalls and
the introduction of a recycling initiative. All
this is designed to stretch and challenge our
students so that they develop the type of
skills that will help them face the challenges
of adult life. We will keep you informed of
developments.

If any reader wishes to offer advice or
become more directly involved in any aspect
of this project please contact my office and I
will be delighted to discuss your ideas or
proposals.

My contact details are on page 5

Brian Cooney, CEO

____________________________________

If you've ever thought of volunteering... why
not try us? Call 01732 592532
18
Services in brief

Hospitable Workbridge helps Andrew
Andrew Hall is a Workbridge client with a
difference: he has set up his own web-based
hospitality business that caters for every
event, offering more than 1,000 different
products from party invitations to tableware
and decorations.

The Workbridge Employment Service
provided Andrew, who has limited vision,
with access to a personal business advisor,
IT support and specialist computer
equipment. Andrew is quick to acknowledge
their support:

"The advice and support I received from
Workbridge was second to none: they
helped me to get my business off the ground
and I hope
that they will be able to assist other people
who are blind or partially sighted in finding
their way in the workplace"

If you'd like more information about Hall
Occasions, please visit their website at
www.halloccasions.co.uk.
                                             19
Pupils keep an even keel

Dorton House School pupils from York and
Canterbury classes were given a thrilling
introduction to sailing, thanks to the Kent
Sports Development Unit and Bough Beech
Sailing Club.

For most of the group, sailing was an
entirely new experience which was met with
understandable trepidation. However, any
nervousness was soon doused when pupils
took part in a real-life comparison between
sail and engine power that saw them racing
across the water in power boats!

P E Teacher Moira MacQuarrie said "we've
had a wonderful introduction to sailing and a
huge thank you must go to everyone that
enabled the children to sail, to speed and
above all, to have fun on the water!"

____________________________________

Seagulls soar at Dorton

Working in partnership with the RNIB, the
Society was lucky to host a day's football
20
training run by 3 PFA coaches from Brighton
& Hove Albion FC (The Seagulls). During the
morning session, keen pupils from Dorton
House School were excited to work with the
coaches to hone their already 'match
winning' skills. They certainly weren't shy in
grilling the coaches for their 'Top Tips'.

The afternoon sessions also included pupils
from 2 local primary schools whilst Dorton
College students also received a coaching
session later in the day. Dorton House
School pupil Declan Dexter was brave
enough to test his goalkeeping skills against
all of the squads.

At the final whistle, pupils went home with
certificates in hand, eager to show their new
skills whilst the Society was very grateful to
have had the opportunity to kick off a
relationship with the Seagulls.
                                               21
Feature Stars of Stage and Screen

Four months of fame

As part of the National Portrait Gallery's
'Reaching Out, Drawing In' series, five pupils
from Dorton House School drew and
sculpted images of their favourite celebrities
both past and present, including Princess
Diana, England cricketer Andrew 'Freddie'
Flintoff and members of the BBC's 'Top
Gear' Team. The exhibition, entitled "Fame!"
explored the concepts of fame and celebrity
from the perspective of the blind and
partially sighted people who had created,
designed and interpreted it.

The Dorton House pupils' artwork formed
part of a wider collection designed to
provide visitors with a fully accessible art
experience, with a descriptive audio guide,
tactile images, large print, and Braille
information books all available in the
exhibition.

With support from the Heritage Lottery Fund
and these young artists are and how
inspired they guidance provided by Art
22
Teacher Jo Wooltorton, have been by their
work." the collection represented the six
months work, attracted 25,000 visitors in its
four month showing. Fittingly, the pupils
themselves were in the spotlight when a
BBC crew filmed their achievement and
interviewed them. Mariam Mahmood, the
blind 12 year old creator of a sculpture
featuring Daniel Radcliffe (AKA Harry Potter)
said "It's amazing that my work is here in the
National Portrait Gallery: it's not really sunk
in!"

Catherine Bromley, the Gallery's Press
Officer added "Visitors to the "Fame!"
exhibition have loved the pieces by pupils
from Dorton House School. Hundreds of
people have commented, in the Visitors
Book and to our staff, on how talented these
young artists are and how inspired they have
been by their work.

______________________________________

Is your business looking for a charitable
cause? If so, call James Brumer on 01732
592526
                                              23
Feature Stars of Stage and Screen

Stars act for RLSB

The RLSB is delighted to announce that an
established actress, another status was both
Anita Dobson and Cheryl Baker have given
to me, that of 'celebrity', and I was asked
agreed to become Vice Presidents of the by
various charities to help bring awareness to
Society, and have already promoted the
charity their at a number of functions. We
asked Anita to explain why she had decided
to accept the role: "Along the road to
becoming an established actress, another
status was given to me, that of 'celebrity',
and I was asked by various charities to help
bring awareness to their causes. Over time, I
realised I could be of greater use if I focused
on two or three causes and didn't spread
myself so thinly.

In supporting the RLSB, I have found what I
was looking for: I see the wonderful effect
this charity has upon the blind and partially
sighted people we work with, and am so
proud to be a part of it. It is an honour to be
24
Vice President and to champion such a
fantastic cause."

___________________________________


"Sofa" so good for Partnership

Since 2002, the RLSB and the Milton Margai
School for the Blind in Freetown, Sierra
Leone, have forged close links as part of
'Global School Partnership' designed to
utilize shared skills, knowledge and
experience to make a positive impact on the
curriculum in both schools.

Activities have grown steadily, from initial
staff exchanges through to last year's visit of
5 Milton Margai pupils to meet pen friends at
Dorton House School.

The latest stage of the Partnership took
place in February 2006, when 3 pupils (Nick
Taylor, Leighanne Quinney and Kyle Jones)
spent 10 days at Milton Margai, accompanied
by Dorton's Head teacher Jude Thompson,
Mobility Officer Jim Stopforth and Learning
Support Assistant James Cox. Primary aims
                                           25
of the trip were to introduce art into the
Milton Margai's pupils' curriculum, to
compare and learn from the children's
different mobility techniques and to further
strengthen the bonds between the schools.

The trip proved an enormous success, not
least because it was conducted under the
watchful gaze of a film crew from BBC1's
"Breakfast" programme. The resulting
footage was aired to the nation during the
week following the group's return. Its
culmination, a live interview with Jude and
Kyle on the famed "Breakfast" sofa, has
been highly beneficial for both the
Partnership and the RLSB, since it has
helped to generate national public and media
interest in the Society.
26
Services Estates

New hospitality venue a hit

The RLSB is pleased to announce the
completion of the major refurbishment
programme of Dorton House's Main
Reception, Library and two Meeting Rooms,
which are now available to hire. Suitable for
a wide range of occasions including
wedding receptions, conferences and
tailored special events, the versatile
accommodation is sure to impress even the
most distinguished guest.

Happily, it will also provide the RLSB with a
new source of income and offers further
opportunity to engage with new and existing
businesses and supporters.

Such was the quality of work carried out by
the Society's own maintenance staff that
they won a place as Finalists in the Special
Inter Category of the Johnstone's Painter of
the Year Award 2005. The judges
commented that "all materials have been
carefully and lovingly applied by skilled
painters… resulting in a first class
                                           27
transformation… completed to the highest
standards".

Fittingly, the first major event held in the
new facilities was the annual Summer Dinner
of the Kent Branch of the Institute of
Directors (IoD) at which the Rt Hon David
Blunkett MP was the guest speaker. Alyson
Howard, Chairman of Kent IoD, commented
that the Summer Dinner has become one of
the finest evenings in their calendar whilst
this rare opportunity to hear from such an
inspirational figure caused much
anticipation amongst guests.

In the spectacular surroundings, more than
80 guests enjoyed a Champagne reception
on the sun terrace before enjoying a
magnificent three-course dinner prepared by
CaterLink, the event sponsors. Tony
McKenna, Cater Link's Managing Director,
said "It's been a delightful evening and
fitting launch of these marvellous new
facilities at Dorton House". A more detailed
account of this event is on the opposite
page.
28
If you would like to enquire about hiring
these facilities, please contact Katie
Broadhurst on (01732) 592511 or e-mail
katie.broadhust@rlsb.org.uk
                                           29
Feature fundraising

RLSB Corporate ties

On 29 June 2006, the RLSB hosted its first
Corporate event in Dorton House's newly
refurbished hospitality suite, entertaining
The Institute of Directors, Kent Branch, at
their annual Summer Dinner. James Brumer,
the RLSB's Corporate Partnerships officer,
reflects on a highly successful evening:
"For me, the event was a chance to
demonstrate to Kent's finest business brains
that the RLSB was able to host top class
functions, so it was a real boost to secure
the Rt.Hon. David Blunkett MP as the
evening's guest speaker. The combination of
his attendance, a champagne reception,
RLSB Corporate ties magnificent 3 course
dinner and idyllic surroundings meant the
event sold out weeks in advance, but the
pressure was on to meet our guests'
expectations."

"Happily, we had secured generous
sponsorship from CaterLink Ltd., one of the
UK's leading contract caterers, so the food's
quality was matched only by that of Mr
30
Blunkett's speech, which combined humour,
anecdotes and gravity in perfect balance. He
spoke candidly about his experiences as a
blind person, and closed with reference to a
recent report that stated 90% of employers
would consider it difficult or impossible to
employ a blind person. It was certainly food
for thought for all those in attendance."

Following this success, the RLSB aims to
run similar evenings both at Dorton House
and in London. If you would like to learn
more about such opportunities, please call
James on 01732 592526, or email
james.brumer@rlsb.org.uk.

_____________________________________


Payroll Giving

If you are an employer or employee, one of
the most tax efficient ways of donating to
charities is through use of Payroll Giving
schemes, also known as 'Give as you Earn'
(GAYE). These schemes, which are actively
encouraged by the Inland Revenue, are
                                             31
simple to establish and highly effective in
use.
The basis of the scheme is that employees'
donations are deducted from their salaries
before the earnings have been taxed: the
benefit is amazing – if you are a basic rate
taxpayer, and decided to give £5 a month,
your donation would actually only cost
£3.90. As a higher rate taxpayer, the effect is
more dramatic - that same £5 donation
would cost you just £3.00!

You might think that Payroll Giving would be
widespread, but incredibly, only 2% of UK
employees currently give through GAYE
schemes. To combat this, the Government
has recently launched three Payroll Giving
Quality Marks, signifying 1%, 5% and 10%
staff participation, in order to encourage
companies to set the schemes up for their
employees.

The RLSB has produced a pamphlet and
application form explaining the Payroll
Giving benefits for both employees and
employers, and we are happy to offer
guidance and assistance to those
32
companies and employees who are
interested in getting involved.

If you would like to learn more, please
contact Amanda Tucker on 01732 592532 or
email her at amanda.tucker@rlsb.org.uk.
                                           33
Feature Kent Partnership

Outreach and Partnership Working

With increasing numbers of blind and
partially sighted children being educated in
mainstream schools, RLSB's Dorton House
staff have been developing partnerships in
order to bring their considerable expertise to
a wider audience.

Such activity enables them to meet the
Government's agenda for social inclusion
whilst developing the role of special
schools.

Since 2004, staff in Dorton House Nursery
have been working with Kent education
professionals to enhance its inclusive pre-
school provision for visually impaired
children. Those children already at the
Nursery are supported by Dorton House staff
and as they near readiness to receive their
education in their local community, they are
offered additional preparatory sessions. This
might include working hands-on with a child
to demonstrate good practice, or providing
written individual education plans and
34
training for staff on particular eye
conditions. Whilst the scheme has been
highly successful, developmental
opportunities still exist to further assist
those children with complex medication
needs.

Dorton House Nursery's weekly Drop-in
Days continue to be well attended and the
Drop-in Day leaflet now includes mention of
the Partnership. These leaflets are sent to
visually impaired children's parents, Health
Visitors, feeding clinics and therapists.
Parental suggestions have prompted the
launch of massage sessions and visits from
osteopaths and therapists. However, most
parents cite the greatest benefit to be the
chance to chat with other parents, carers or
extended families in a relaxed, friendly and
non-clinical atmosphere.

The Drop-ins also provide a visually
impaired peer group for those children
attending a mainstream nursery.

The outreach scheme undertaken by Dorton
House School staff is part of the wider remit
of a Kent/RLSB partnership called "Shared
                                            35
Vision" which was set up to share skills,
expertise, training and resources between
the RLSB and Kent Specialist Teaching
Service.

The scheme's basis is that RLSB teachers
are seconded to Kent as visiting teachers of
the visually impaired: at present, they have
approximately 60 pupils, aged from 5-18, in
mainstream and special schools. Our staff
will not only work with each of these pupils
at their own school, but also with their
teachers, teaching assistants and parents.
They will write reports on the children,
attend their Annual Reviews, support them
through secondary transfer and arrange
equipment and resources for the children.
They also provide inset training for teaching
assistants and mentor those Kent teachers
training in visual impairment.

These partnerships' successes are
testament to the collaboration and
determination of their participants: when
their outcome is that more visually impaired
children are enabled to fulfil their
educational ability, they can only have a
positive future.
36

If you're looking for a new challenge... why
not take on one of ours? See page 2
                                            37
Services in brief

Sparkling times for Industrial Services

On 2 March 2006, staff at the RLSB's
Industrial Services Division celebrated the
unveiling of its new Industrial Washer at its
factory in Willesden, North London. Funded
by The Cloth workers' Foundation and
supplied by Vixen, the new washer replaces
the existing manual 'wash and rinse'
process, increasing cleanliness and
productivity. Specially adapted audible
warnings have also been incorporated to
protect staff.

The division currently has approximately
50% of the UK's Keg Extractor refurbishment
market, refurbishing 300,000 extractors of 25
different types and sizes per annum.

Sales Manager Rob Kershaw says "the new
machine has enabled us to clean up our
business - we are thrilled with the benefits
that it has brought, both to our customers
and us".
38
A fast track College Graduation

Staff and students were delighted to
welcome back ex-Dorton College of Further
Education (DCFE) student Kevin Alderton as
he presented prizes at the College
Graduation on 30 June 2006. Kevin came to
DCFE as an adult student in 1999 after a
street attack the previous year left him with
only 6% vision.

Addressing assembled guests, Kevin
described how studying Business
Administration had helped to rebuild his
confidence, enabling him to return to the ski
slopes and his eventual quest to set a
downhill speed skiing world record by a
blind person.

After months of training, Kevin achieved his
aim, setting a world record of 100.94mph
on the slopes of Les Arcs in France.

Following his success, Kevin said "without
DCFE, I wouldn't be the world record holder.
I've now got a place with the British Adaptive
Ski Team and have set my sights on the 2008
World Championships and the Paralympics".
                                           39

One thing's certain: Kevin will have the
support of all the College's staff and
students in his exploits.
40
Feature the Society

RLSB makes it's impact

The RLSB has joined some of the largest
charities in the UK to form the 'Impact
Coalition': the 'Impact' acronym stands for
'improving accountability, clarity and
transparency', and the coalition's main aims
are to raise awareness of modern charities'
activities, make clear to the public the
benefits that charities provide for society
and to communicate clearly and openly.

In our case, during year ending 31 July 2006,
the RLSB educated and trained 180 children
and young people, employed 32 blind or
partially sighted people in its factory and
assisted 57 visually impaired adults in their
employment at more than 30 organisations.

In keeping with the Coalition's intentions,
this and other information will form the basis
of a restyled RLSB Annual Review that will
outline the Society's original aims for the
2005-6 financial year and measure its
success in achieving them.
                                              41
The Society has also recently joined the
'Remember A Charity' campaign, in which
more than 140 charities aim to raise public
awareness of the importance of making a
Will, and to encourage people to consider
supporting their favourite causes with a
legacy.

Including a charitable gift in your Will is an
easy and cost-effective way to make a
lasting difference. For further information,
please contact our Legacies team on 01732
592522.

_____________________________________


Pupils get up and go!

With a media which is obsessed by body
image, and a population that is becoming
ever more sedentary, the adoption of a
healthy diet and regular exercise has never
been more important. However, being blind
or partially sighted can be an
understandable deterrent to people's
participation in sport, so in June 2006 the
42
RLSB's Physiotherapy team decided to
tackle the problem head-on.

Under the banner of "Prevention being better
than cure", the Physiotherapy team
organised a Healthy Living Week, with each
Dorton House School pupil receiving a
"Healthy Passport". Each day, the pupils
were able to earn two stickers, one for
choosing a healthy option at lunch and one
for taking part in 30 minutes' physical
exercise. These activities gave pupils the
opportunity to discover a new sport
including walking, cycling and various team
games. Some took to these straight away;
others found motivation in the thought that
more stickers meant more goes at soaking
the physiotherapists who were locked into
temporary stocks.

Whilst the week proved to be great fun for
the children, it was also deemed an
educational success since it introduced
them to new activities and dietary
information. The intention is now to replicate
its success on an ongoing basis, with more
break-time activities for the children and
wider awareness of healthy eating options.
                                             43
Feature fundraising

Willing to make a real difference

This year, the RLSB received more that it
has ever done before from the generosity of
those people who remembered the Society
with a gift in their Wills - legacy gifts, both
large and small, have reached a massive
£1.8 million. These gifts will help us to
continue to make a real difference to the
lives of people who are blind or partially
sighted and we are extremely grateful for the
kindness of those who support our work in
this way.

For information about the difference a legacy
can make, please contact Sarah Dean on
01732 592522 to request a free copy of our
new "Share Our Vision" booklet. It explains
the importance of legacies to the RLSB, with
useful information about "why", "when" and
"how" to make a Will.
44
Personalised Christmas Cards

If you are searching for high quality personal
or corporate Christmas cards that give a
little extra, then the RLSB has the answer for
you.

If you order personalised Christmas cards
from Charity Choice, they will donate 50p for
every card bought to the RLSB. You can
view and order on-line
(www.charitychristmascards.com) or obtain
further information from Amanda Tucker on
01732 592532.

______________________________________

A chance to donate

If you would like to help the RLSB in its work
for blind or partially sighted people, please
complete the following form:

I enclose a gift of £

Name
Address
Postcode
                                              45
Signature

I enclose my cheque/PO payable to RLSB or
please debit my
Mastercard/Visa/Amex/CAF
card/Switch/Maestro (delete as appropriate)

Expiry Date / Valid from /

Issue No (Switch/Maestro only) Security No
Date // (Last 3 digits on the signature strip of
your card)

I am a UK taxpayer and wish the RLSB to
reclaim tax on all donations
I have made since 6th April 2000 and any
donations I make in future.

Please complete and return this form with
your donation to RLSB, FREEPOST
SEA1277, Sevenoaks, TN15 0BR.
46
FORTHCOMING EVENTS

As always, we have been busy creating a
variety of events for the coming months, and
have something for everyone from the
mayhem of a Rock n' Roll party to the
serenity of a classical concert. Young or old,
individual or corporate, why not give us a
ring to find out more?

14th October 2006 - Rock and roll party
Dorton House Kent

19th October 2006 - Golf Day Hever Golf
Club Kent

31st October 2006 - Halloween Fire and Ice
Walk Dorton House

14th November 2006 - Sackville Singers
Concert Dorton House

20th February 2007 - Scalextric Grand Prix
corporate event Dorton House

8th March 2007 - Local corporate networking
evening Dorton House
                                           47
For further details, please call Amanda
Tucker on 01732 592532.
or email amanda.tucker@rlsb.org.uk

____________________________________

TEAM RLSB

Are you up for a challenge? Do you want to
change the future for blind and partially
sighted people?

The pages of this magazine have, over the
years, contained lots of stories about
parachute jumps, cycle rides, marathon runs
and all sorts of exciting things that people
have done to raise money for the work of
RLSB. We want to make sure that we thank
all those people properly, support them in
their efforts and, quite frankly, encourage
more people to do even more things.

We thought long and hard about how we
could do this and we are very excited now to
announce the formation of TEAM RLSB.

Anyone who takes part in our varied activity-
based fundraising programme can become a
48
member. In addition to all the usual t-shirts
and support you will receive training tips;
invitations to get-togethers and training
days; help with your fundraising and a
regular newsletter full of useful and
interesting information.

If you would like to join TEAM RLSB we can
arrange anything from a marathon place to a
fun run or a parachute jump to a trek
through Africa, but what we do need is YOU.
If being active and helping visually impaired
people appeals to you contact Amanda or
Tim on 01732 592532
(Amanda.Tucker@rlsb.org.uk)

				
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