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2019 Update

Photo montage of people doing different activities with SRSB

As one of Sheffield’s oldest independent charities, SRSB is gearing up for its 160th Anniversary which will be in 2020. 

Our charity has been providing vital services for visually impaired people in the city since 1860. Over the last 159 years we have helped people to come to terms with their sight condition, offering a range of activities and advice, and working with many other organisations both locally and nationally,  to improve the lives of people with sight loss.

We have had to adapt to many changes since 1860, and one of our most significant changes in recent years was the demolishing of our old building on Mappin Street, which was replaced by a purpose built new centre which they moved into in 2009.

Even more recently in 2017, we took the step of extending our services to Rotherham and the new, much needed sensory service, has been very well received by the town’s hearing and/or sight impaired people. The Rotherham Sight & Sound (RSS) centre was set up with the support of a contract with Rotherham Council, however the Sheffield charity is completely self-funded.

General Manager Steve Hambleton says, “In terms of the services we offer, we have developed over the years to address the requirements of visually impaired people today. We offer help with benefits and recently adapted to the new Universal Credit system which is being rolled out in Sheffield. We began a Job Club in 2018 with the support of local companies to address the issue of unemployment amongst visually impaired people. We recently employed an Emotional Support Officer to help the charity’s clients to adjust to their sight loss, as it recognises that dealing with this often has a negative impact on people’s mental health and general wellbeing.”

SRSB has a small staff team, however, we are extremely lucky to be supported by a team of over 160 dedicated volunteers, without whom, we could not provide the range of activities that we do.

Deputy General Manager, Joanne Ardern comments “We are here to support our clients at every stage of their sight loss journey. We run a Little Sparklers Pre-School Playgroup, a Youth Club, support a wide range of user led sports and leisure groups, hold a daily Activity Centre, host support groups and meetings as well as organising many social activities.

SRSB has many systems in place to direct people to their services, however, if anyone has a sight condition and would like to find out more, they can also self-refer. Please just get in touch.”

Fundraising Manager, Sue Coggin adds, “We are excited to reveal a special event planned for 2019 at the home of our Patron the Earl of Scarbrough. The Garden Party at Sandbeck Park, near Maltby, Rotherham, will be a joint fundraiser for SRSB/RSS and Support Dogs and will be open to anyone to join us, but space will be limited, so please make sure you book your place early! The tickets will make a great present, so why not treat someone to this fabulous event. Following this, we will then we will be turning our attention to planning the 2020 celebrations. We feel that 160 years is a huge landmark for SRSB and are looking forward to planning celebrations over the year, so please keep checking our website for details.”

Please visit SRSB’s website for more information about their services and their events:, call them on 0114 272 2757 or email

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