Did you know that around 200,000 Londoners are impacted by sight loss? For many of these individuals, their vision impairment compromises their independence and can lead to social isolation, vulnerability and mental health issues.

Which is why on Thursday 5th September, we will celebrate International Charity Day by supporting the Greater London Fund for the Blind!

Greater London Fund for the Blind works with nine member charities in London to provide specialist support to those in need – from supporting a family with a blind child, to training a young adult for a job interview, to running social clubs for the elderly.  Your donations will contribute towards improving access to education and employment opportunities, supporting individuals’ mental health, eye care services and specialist work supporting visually impaired individuals facing particularly challenging circumstances such as domestic violence, homelessness or refugee status.

We’re proud to be the recipients of their first ever contactless donation point, which was installed just a couple of weeks ago! You can donate through our brand-new contactless donations box in practice, making it quicker, simpler and more secure for you to make a difference to the lives of partially sighted and blind residents of our great city.

As your independent opticians in Marylebone, London our two most local GLFB member charities are CLARITY and the Middlesex Association for the Blind.

CLARITY has been championing employment for blind and disabled people since 1854.  The charity employs over sixty blind and disabled people in its London soap factory, providing meaningful work and accommodation for those who’d otherwise face discrimination. It also operates a personal development programme to empower employees with the skills and confidence to progress in the workforce.

Middlesex Association for the Blind offers support to visually impaired and deaf-blind people across Harrow, Enfield, Ealing, Richmond and beyond. 16 professional staff members and 300+ trained volunteers provide education and advice in hospital eye clinics, rehabilitation services and a telephone helpline that handles over 2,000 queries.

So how has GFLB’s work directly helped individuals?

Meet Charmaine

Last year Charmaine suffered a sudden stroke that resulted in severe hearing and sight loss. As a mum of two, her circumstances drastically changed and she found herself unable to make her daughters packed lunches, pick them up from school, take them to the playground – all the routine activities she’d taken from granted.  GLFB was there to get her life back on track, teaching her how to use assisted technology to complete day-to-day tasks and feel more connected to her friends and family.

Meet Ashleigh

Now 15, Ashleigh was born blind, on the autistic spectrum and with hearing difficulties, but never let that get in the way of her passion for making music. Her parents were struggling to find her a music tutor able to cope with her additional needs when they came across the Amber Trust. With a grant funding from The Greater London Fund for the Blind, the Amber Trust provides music tuition to blind children in three London schools. Thanks to their help, Ashleigh’s musical capabilities have radically improved and she now plays the saxophone, piano, guitar, drums and organ to a very high standard and even composes her own pieces. She has performed in the House of Commons, the Bank of England and with the National Open Youth Orchestra and is now set on becoming a professional musician.

As one of the best independent opticians in London, Infocus is proud to support Greater London Fund for the Blind as they continue to make such a difference to the lives of those who call this great city home. Find out more about this amazing organisation here and to make a donation, simply tap on our new contactless donations box the next time you visit the practice!