York Blind and Partially Sighted Society is a thriving, independent local charity, working to help people with sight problems to be independent. See our services section for information on the range of services we provide.

Our Mission is:

To advocate, develop and provide, services and facilities which enable people who are blind or partially sighted, achieve independence with dignity, in all aspects of life and sectors of society.

Small Beginnings. We became a registered charity on 5th July 1979 and have grown from a purely voluntary organisation to one now employing 10 members of staff. A recent grant from the National Lottery, Big Lottery Fund has helped us to expand and develop services.


Thanks to this funding, there has been a 30% increase in the number of people visiting our Equipment and Information Centre and we are providing social and leisure activities, such as an exercise class, music group and computer training.

Governance. We are managed by an Executive Committee of between 10 and 15 trustees, elected annually by the members of the organisation. To ensure we are providing the right services, in the right way every effort is made to ensure 50% of the committee are visually impaired.

Membership – anyone who is registered blind or partially sighted and lives in York is an automatic member of the Society. You do not need to be a member, or registered blind or partially sighted, to use our services.

Mailing list – we are in contact with up to 1,000 blind and partially sighted people and send out a newsletter, in accessible formats, every 3 months.

Funding – we receive some funding from statutory sources but rely heavily on voluntary donations, grants from trusts and supporters, and donations from members of the society to fund our range of services.

Volunteers – Volunteers provide their time, expertise, skills and enthusiasm to help us. We simply could not operate without them. We currently have around 100 volunteers and always welcome more. Please see the section on Volunteering for more information.