Peterborough Association for the Blind (PAB) was established in 1913 by local vicars’ wives and has been supporting local visually impaired people ever since. Our aims are to help blind and partially sighted people to maintain their independence and quality of life by providing social events, access to information and advice on useful equipment available, opportunities for learning, a befriending service for isolated people and most recently, a one on one sighted guiding service called ‘My Guide’ to encourage people back into the community.
The PAB was run entirely by dedicated volunteers until June 2013, when we secured funding for one paid member of staff to manage our office in Westgate on a part time basis. We need many more volunteers to ensure that we can maintain our level of service and improve our ability to add to our services.
Through their involvement with the PAB, we believe that our members will become much better informed people, who will meet many other people with sight loss, with whom they may share their problems and possibly become firm friends. Many of our volunteers have some degree of sight loss themselves so can provide first hand help and support.
We already support and provide services to around 300 members and that number is growing each year, mainly due to an aging population. The RNIB estimated that in 2020 there will be around 5,400 Peterborough residents with uncorrectable sight loss and 640 of these will be severe sight loss. In reality, this will only be a fraction of Peterborough residents suffering from sight loss as many people choose not to register as partially sighted. The need for our services and support will only increase and why we are dedicated and determined to making a difference.
Over the years the PAB has been based in several different locations around the city, but has recently moved back into the City centre and the refurbished premises are ideally situated opposite the bus station and Queensgate, which provides excellent access for local visually impaired people.