Charity in Focus: HERIB

Published: Tuesday 9th January 2018 by Courtney Farrow

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This week’s charity in focus is Hull and East Riding Institute for the Blind (HERIB).

The organisation provides support for people with sight loss in Hull and the surrounding area, believing that no one should face the situation alone. Its wide range of services enables individuals to reach their full potential and lead independent lives.

Whilst sight loss may be something you’ve not come across or experienced, the issue can affect anyone at any time. In fact, every day in the UK one hundred people begin to lose their sight.

As we get older, we are more likely to experience sight loss. For example, 20% of those aged 75 and older are currently living with the issue and 9% of us will be affected by the time we are 60.

However, it’s important to remember sight loss affects people of all ages at any stage in their lives. As more and more people live longer, it is inevitable that more will experience sight loss. Experts have predicted that by 2020, the number of people who are visually impaired will rise to over 2,250,000; by 2050, this figure will have doubled to almost four million.

The good news is that 50% of sight loss is actually avoidable. And with charities like HERIB working tirelessly across the country, those who partially or fully lose their sight can still experience life to its fullest.

Working with over 2,500 people across the region, HERIB collaborates with local authorities, other charities and support groups to supply the most appropriate support for those with visual impairments.

Located primarily at their Resource Centre on Beverley Road, as well as other locations across East Yorkshire, HERIB delivers free support to both children and adults.

The charity was established in 1864 and has a rich history. It all started when a man called Mr Moon came up from London to visit his chemist friend Joseph Coultas Akester on Hessle Road. Akester became deeply impressed with stories about how the blind were being taught to read by a society in the capital.

Beginning to set plans in motion for a similar organisation in Hull, the pair met with blind man Alderman C. R. Lambert, who would later become known as the founder of the Hull Institute for the Blind.

It has been suggested that Mr Moon was actually the son of Dr Moon, who had developed Moon Language a few decades earlier. The alphabet was based on geometrical symbols rather than dots and aimed to suit the needs of those who had previously had sight before becoming blind at a later stage. The doctor himself became blind at the age of 21.

Over 150 years later and HERIB has transformed countless lives, as well as changing the attitudes of the wider community about the blind or partially sighted. The dedicated volunteers have achieved this through countless campaigns and workshops.

The institution’s support truly is far-reaching. HERIB offers many different types of support, from access to practical information and advice, to home visits and day groups to increase social interaction and decrease loneliness, anxiety, isolation, depression and other mental health issues.

Find out more about Hull and East Yorkshire Institute for the Blind and support them any way you can.

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Published: Tuesday 9th January 2018 by Courtney Farrow

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