Essential ‘Sight Centre’ Opens in Halifax Town Centre.

One of Halifax’s oldest charities, the Halifax Society for the Blind, celebrated the monumental grand opening of its brand-new Sight Centre in the heart of the town after two years of development on Friday 23rd June.

The charity has been supporting people with sight loss and vision impairments in Halifax and surrounding areas since 1888, first starting out by teaching braille to now offering a wide variety of services including home visits to combat loneliness and isolation, guide dog groups and technology support.

The move from its hub on Clare Road to Corn Market was made possible through the legacy left to the Society by the late John Woodward, meaning the charity can continue to offer accessible practical and emotional support and meet more needs due to the increase in size.

The addition of the café and the exceptional Sight Centre which is well stocked with a wide, varied range of daily living aids and equipment will be imperative to those in our community with sight loss.

Speaking with Muriel, a regular volunteer at the Society, who began attending with her son when he lost his eyesight three years ago, spoke of the difference the organisation has made in her son’s life, the friendships they have both formed and the cheery nature of the expert Sight Support Advisors.

The grand opening was attended by notable figures The Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Ed Anderson, and the Mayor of Calderdale, Ashley Evans, to commemorate the special occasion with members, volunteers, staff, trustees and partner organisations.

The Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire opened the building by unveiling a commemorative plaque and presenting the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services which the Halifax Society for the Blind received in June 2022, it was the last award Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II approved before her passing.

Halifax Society for the Blind can only run because of the dedicated time and support received from their team of volunteers.

Upon receiving the award, Volunteer Manager, Faye Herbert gave the following speech:

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organisation and I personally think we have the best volunteers in Calderdale or the world…

We are so grateful to each and every one of you for your hard work and dedication and without our volunteer family we would not be able to offer the amount of services we do…

I could not single out any particular volunteer because no matter how big or small each of you has offered your time freely to support others and that is very worthy of this recognition.”

It is certainly a well-deserved achievement. Their 135-year commitment to the people of Calderdale is unwavering and the outpouring of support seen at the grand opening gave confidence that the Halifax Society for the Blind will continue to be strong and committed to their cause for many years to come.

With more new services on offer, now is a perfect opportunity for anyone who has time to be involved as a volunteer.

For anyone who would like further information on getting involved with the Charity and the services it offers, please contact the office on 01422 352383 or email info@halifaxblindsociety.org.uk.