NCBA    In-Sight on the Web       Update: 27th May 2022

We are now operating all of our services, and our fantastic volunteers are returning to support our work. Thank you all!

For appointments at the office, we may still ask you a few short questions to help ensure your safety and that of our staff and other users of the building.

Many of our social and community groups are re-starting. Please check with the group co-ordinator before attending. A list is shown below. 

We are pleased to be able to offer our transport service. This is dependent on volunteers, and support for medical appointments may be prioritised.

We aim to update our website at least every fortnight, so please check back here for the latest news.

Too much scrolling? Please read on...

All our clients have a Sight Impairment (SI) and while this can affect ability to access information on screen, many of our clients use technology to access electronic media.

We have found that it can be better for our home page to be a series of short items to scroll through, rather than have things to click on scattered around the screen. We understand that there is not a 'one-size fits all', and welcome your views.


We are now recruiting for a Projects Coodinator to join our friendly team.

Responsible for Client Connect, our Telephone Befriending service, we are looking for an organised, self-starter who enjoys working as part of a team and supporting others.

If this sounds like you, get in touch!

You can download a job description and application form by clicking on the picture


27th June - 3rd July


"Deafblindness is a combination of sight and hearing loss"

This Deafblind Awareness Week, access AbilityNet's range of resources to discover how technology can help remove visual and hearing barriers

Click on AbilityNet's logo for more information

Osalis Home Help Table Magnifier with Stand 1


Inactivity affects people of all ages and abilities, let the NHS support you

The NHS 'How Fit' campaign could help you to take small steps to reduce your inactiity within your own home

Download their free excercise leaflet 'HERE'



The Mental Health Foundation has launched their new toolkit - 'Tips on how to reduce loneliness in later life'  

Download you copy now by clicking 'HERE' 


A huge thank you to everyone who voted on our name change. We wanted something to reflect the work that we do and thats what you've picked!

We're pleased to announce that you voted overwhelmingly for...........

Vision Northumberland

We are currently rebranding so watch out for new our new logo


Did you know that those over 60 can now get a 10% discount on their shopping?

Introduced to support with the growing cost of living crisis, the discount is available in store for all those over 60, every Tuesday, no minimun spend.

Click on the image for more information

Why you should get out of your comfort zone! According to Alpha Gamma  Solutions - Alpha Gamma

Our Chatterbox Cafe is OPEN!

Our fantastic Chatterbox is open every Tuesday and Thursday, 10.00am - to noon at Reiver House 

Join us for a cuppa and a chat with homemade scones, cake and biscuits

Please telephone 01670 514316 to let us know you are coming

FREE cafe transport on request (subject to availability)

Why you should get out of your comfort zone! According to Alpha Gamma  Solutions - Alpha Gamma

Could you use £500 towards home-use aids and technology?

I would argue that the reason why several major IT implementations fail is  due to the lack of understanding of both technology and business processes  – The Management Philosopher – Dr. Glenn Hole

RNIB are offering grants to people who are registered as blind or partially sighted, on a means-tested benefit and who have been unable to get statutory funding.

Click here for more information

Victa: Empowering, enabling, supporting young people with a sight-impairment


If you are the parent of a child who is sight-impaired, or a young adult (under 30) with sight-impairment, click on the image here to access Victa's range of activities, services and grants.

Click on the BBC image here to access an amazing report about how one blind person overcame many challenges 

File:BBC News.svg - Wikipedia

Srikanth is blind. As a teenager he was told it was illegal for him to study maths and science because he was blind. 

Find out how Srikanth overcame adversity to become the Chief Executive Officer of a £48m company.

Something very special to celebrate!!

At a wonderful award ceremony at Alnwick Castle, Her Grace The Duchess of Northumberland awarded us the Queens Award for Voluntary Service with Special Recognition for our work during Covid

This is a credit to ALL our volunteers, both before and during the pandemic. Thank you all!!!

Click on either photo to find out more about QAVS

Andrea (Governor) and Julie (Chief Officer)

We are always looking for new volunteers to join us

Application Form | Tipco Punch Inc.

How to Switch Email Services Easily & Keep All Your Mails, Contacts -  SiliconANGLE

We have a wide range of volunteering opportunities including Driving, Administration, Social Clubs, Telephone Befriending, Mailing, Reception, Activities, Cafe, Fundraising, events ... and more!  

To download an application form or to email a query to our Volunteer Co-ordinator, Michael, please click on the relevant image here, or call 01670 514316 

When will our social groups and other face to face activities re-start?

We share the desire of our clients to re-start our social groups and other activities which have been bustling hubs.

With all of our support being for people who are vulnerable, we must take extra care. Please keep checking the next article.

For more information on our transport service, please phone us or click below to email:


Finding Social Clubs and Groups in Later Life: The Beginner's Guide | Mirthy
Sell Your Car The Motorway Way | Get Your Highest Offer

Latest re-start information for social groups

Please check with the group co-ordinator before attending. 

Activities Group. (June, 01670 862554): Trips out to various venues. New group members welcome.

Alnwick: SocialEyes. (Margaret, 01665 714583): 2nd Friday of the month. Please call for details.

Ashington: Blind Group. (Joyce Simm, 01670 855686). Up and running!

Ashington: SocialEyes. (Margaret Waterston, 01670 515529). Up and running!

Bedlington: Sensory Allotment Group. (Lucy Manning, 01670 512789). Have now re-started.

Blyth: SocialEyes. (Jacqui, 01670 353944): Next meeting in the Constitutional Club, February 3rd 2022

Blyth: Insight.  (Norma, 01670 734877): Renovations to centre underway. Re-start to be advised.

Coquetvale: Social Group (Barry, 01670 514316): A new group for SI residents of upper Coquetdale to Rothbury.

Cramlington: SocialEyes. (Andrea, 07412 707575): Re-start 10th August

Hexham: Luncheon Club. Existing members please contact the group leader for information

Morpeth: Craft Club. Joyce Simm (01670 855686). Restarting 17th March, every 3rd Thursday, 1-3pm.

Ponteland: SocialEyes. (Please contact NCBA on 01670 514316 for the latest situation)

Prudhoe: SocialEyes. (Please contact NCBA on 01670 514316 for the latest situation)

Women's Group. (June, 01670 812053): No re-start date yet

Please keep checking here for updated information on these and other groups

Are you a Leisure / Sports Provider?

How to Switch Email Services Easily & Keep All Your Mails, Contacts -  SiliconANGLE

Thomas Pocklington Trust has just launched a free training portal for leisure and sports providers to train their staff and make their facilities more accessible to visually impaired people.  

Click here for the toolkit, Inclusive facilities: Supporting people with a visual impairment

This contains videos and resources that sports and leisure providers can use to help train staff.

See Sport Differently campaign

We are encouraging sight impaired people to contact their local leisure facilities and have met with representatives of sports organisations.  

Thomas Pocklington Trust has created a suggested email/letter which we've slightly adapted.

Click on the image here to download this. It would be interesting to hear how you get on!

Are you a carer for someone who is sight-impaired?

Carers Northumberland

For more information on Carers Northumberland, please click on the image here.

Have you tried Tynedale Talking Newspaper?

Tynedale Talking Newspaper is a useful local audio news feature.

You can access the website by clicking on the image here:

Latest edition of our in-Sight newsletter

The 2020/2021 Lockdown Newsletters - VMCC Dorset Section

This is our second edition of in-Sight (we changed the name from Noise to better reflect our focus).

Click on the link below or the image here to download the latest edition.

Click here for latest in-Sight

Click here to access other newsletters

And if you'd prefer an audio version of in-Sight, click on the link below to download this

Audio Recording, Available Online | Library of Congress

Please note that as our transcription service is part-time, it usually takes a week or so after we publish the hard copy for the audio file to be uploaded.

Click here for the latest audio version of in-Sight

NCBA Client Connect (Telephone befriending)

Our Client Connect service is one of our main ways we keep in touch with our clients.

The service relies on our volunteer phone befrienders, many of whom are visually impaired themselves. 

If you would like a caller, or are interested in joining our CC team, please all 01670 514316 or email


Thank you to the Greggs Foundation for helping our Client Connect team bring some comfort to our clients and making life a little easier during the pandemic and beyond. 

Fuel Energy Project

We can provide information to clients about reducing fuel costs and managing energy use, as well as on low vision equipment and technology to assist you when using energy.

Please contact Simon Dixon

3 Expert Ways to Improve Fuel Savings

Some useful apps to explore:

 Click on the image or text to find out more

Be My Eyes

Be My Eyes is a free app that can connect low sighted or blind with sighted volunteers! They offer visual assistance through a live video call, whenever they may need assistance.


TapTapSee is an app that helps people with a VI. It uses your camera and voice over functions to take a picture or video of anything and identify it and read out loud.

Envision AI

Envision AI offers a range of visual aid for the blind and partially sighted users. It helps read out loud many items such as handwritten notes, a cereal box or a book you’ve always wanted to read. It also comes with 60 languages!

Would you like a free smartspeaker* and support to set it up? (*e.g. Google Nest, Amazon Echo Alexa)

We are pleased to have secured funding this year to allocate well over a hundred of these devices  

Smartspeakers can be an amazing tool for people with a sight impairment

We have a small number remaining from a project earlier this year. If you are interested in having one, please contact Barry (01670 514316)

Click on the images here for more info on these devices

GOOGLE Nest Mini (2nd Gen) - Coral - Currys 193575000701 | eBay
How to get an Amazon Echo Dot for £6 with this Black Friday offer - Daily  Record

Our new Facebook and Twitter pages are up and running!

If you have any ideas about what you would like to be added to our pages please contact:

Both sites will get weekly updates (if we can!)

Click the images to the left to be taken straight to our pages.

We have a new Sports and Activities co-ordinator!

Garscadden Burn Medical Practice - Feel Good Get Active

Guide - Runner Bibs & Tethers – Metro Blind Sport

Last year we started a new venture designed to support people with a Visual Impairment who wished to take part in a range of activities.

We now have a co-ordinator who is currently planning for country walks, tennis, boccia, cricket, football, etc.. 

We're really keen to re-kindle our programme. Watch this space for more information.


NCBA can provide resources such as magnifiers, readers, radios and even technology like smart speakers.

For other items, for example canes and tips (e.g. white balls) please contact one of our sister organisations. 

RNIB can be contacted on 0303 123 9999. Alternatively, here is a link to the

RNIB online shop

(For canes, tips, etc. click on the Health and Mobility tab)

Legally blind: What does it mean?

We are here for all of our clients, and will do our best to support you in anyway we can during and beyond this difficult time. If you need us, or know someone who does, please contact us.


These provide a crucial lifeline to us. Click on the image to go to our  Donations page.

Alternatively, please just use our bank details below, and include 'Donation' in your reference. Thank you. 


Sort Code 77-20-37

Account 03625260

Leaving money to charity in your will - Saga

Courses and groups with Northumbria Healthcare

Please click on the NHS logo (right) to access the new catalogue of courses being held in 2021/22.

This free training is delivered by the Integrated Wellbeing Service to those who live or work in Northumberland 

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Have you tried these Northumberland Libraries services?

Borrow Box gives access to audio books, E-books, journals, large print, etc.. 

PressReader logo

Pressreader gives access to more than 7000 top journals and newspapers as soon as they are available online. 

If you are already a member of a local library and know your PIN: Click on the relevant image above to join.

If you are already a member, but don't know your PIN, telephone any Northumberland library, or email:

If you are not already a member, you can join online and get access straight away using a temporary membership number and PIN at:   

Winter Food and Fuel Support

Are you a client struggling with the cost of living and require support and assistance over the winter months? If so, we may be able to put you in touch with someone who can help. Please contact us on 01670 514316 and mention "Winter food and fuel support". 

7 strategies to fight winter breathing problems - Harvard Health

Calling all counsellors

RNIB accredits counsellors who have completed a RNIB training course and have committed to a developmental plan that enables blind and partially sight people to access their counselling services.

Contact Maria Bulgakova (Accreditation Officer) for more info 

Northumberland Communities Together: 01670 620015

NCT are here to help keep you safe and well, if you or anyone you know need a bit of extra support...

Perhaps your financial circumstances have changed with reduced hours, redundancy or benefit

Worried about winter bills or financial pressures? We work with Citizens Advice Northumberland to connect and support families

Feeling lonely, overwhelmed or struggling with mental health

If you do need food or medicine, please order it online or by phone or ask friends and family to drop it off at your home.

Worried about someone experiencing domestic abuse or concerned about a neighbour.

RNIB Connect Radio: Online and Freeview Channel 730

Radio Stock Photos And Images - 123RF

This is a fantastic radio station aimed at people with a visual impairment.

You can listen to it by tuning in to Freeview Channel 730 or online at: 


TV Licence Concession

Many clients have asked how they can get their registration number to apply for their discount. Please be aware that we do not have copies of your CVI or BD8 certificate. Your registration number will be issued by Northumberland County Council and you should have been issued with a card. Information about your CVI is usually held on your GP records, so you could request a copy of this.

Turn off the TV, Mom and Dad! - ChildrensMD

An appeal for used low-vision equipment! 

Do you have any equipment which is no longer needed? This includes devices which assist people with low-vision, such as talking scales, big button phones and clocks, etc.. We can find a home for all these, and are particularly in need of magnifiers. Please contact Helen on 01670 514316. Thank you!  

Magnifying glass Royalty Free Vector Image - VectorStock

Audio Books

We have a small selection which we can send clients. Most books are on CD, and there are also MP3 files and even a few on cassette.

If you are interested, please contact Helen at NCBA (01670 514316). For MP3 files you will need to send Helen a USB stick to be copied on to. These can be obtained from Calibre, RNIB, or many shops.

Audio No You Didn't! 5 Helpful Resources for Russian Audiobooks to Dial Up  Your Learning | FluentU Russian

And some more photos from the QAVS presentation...


We were limited to a handful of volunteers and Board members to represent us on the evening, but, when we are organising a special celebration event for all our wonderful volunteers.Watch this space!


We received lottery funding to purchase boxes for 557 of our clients, to send some cheer to our VIP clients and friends during this difficult covid period. Many of our clients live alone, and covid has caused so much isolation and anxiety.

We have been overwhelmed by thank you cards and messages, lots of people telling us things like: 

“its glad to know someone cares”; “it brought a tear to my eye”

"I am 97 and live alone, this meant so much knowing someone is there for me.”

Our boxes took much hard work from our wonderful staff, so a BIG thank you to them!

If you can donate to help us reach more people then please see on this page how to donate. Thank you. Julie Boyack, Chief Officer

Here's Susan just before we sent the boxes out, and a small sample of some of the lovely cards and messages we've received. We are so pleased these boxes have brought some cheer to members of our community!

Some useful contacts are shown below:

  1. For emergency support, telephone the Local Authority One Call service on 01670 536400

  2. For help with things like transport to your GP, essential shopping, etc., please call the Northumberland Community Response team on 01670 620015

  3. If your matter is not urgent and someone is already contacting you (e.g. as part of a group or you already have someone assigned to you) please contact them

  4. If you do not already have someone contacting you and would like us to arrange this, please phone Vision Northumberland (01670 514316) or email Barry Frost at 

    We have tried to call every single one of our clients we have a phone number for, so if you haven't heard from us it could be because we do not have your current contact details. Please do get in touch to let us know.

  5. If you are blind or partially sighted and are struggling with your mental wellbeing (or you know someone who is) and would benefit from a one-off session of support to deal with difficult feelings generated, or worsened, by the current situation then please call RNIB on 0303 123 9999. For tips, advice and resources to support maintaining good mental health. Click here to visit RNIB's website 

Please look after yourself and make sure you follow the Government Advice.

We will be back as soon as we are able to. From the Team at Northumberland County Blind Association

In the mean time, please check out the following

Amazon Smile: Do you shop on Amazon? Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase price to NCBA if you click on this link first: (type into your browser). And that’s it! Shop as normal. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know – same products, same prices, same service. You can be donating to us without it costing you a penny. Thank you!

Join our NCBA 100 Club!

for a chance every month to win:

£25 First Prize

£15 Second Prize

£10 Third Prize

Call Ruth on 01670 514316 to enter a draw to win one of these prizes* every month whilst supporting us?

*Shares can be purchased for an annual fee of £12.  Total share money received by January 31st 2021 will be split 50/50 between prize money and support for the services run by NCBA - prize money is therefore subject to total funds raised. Click below to download an application form, or call Ruth at NCBA. Club Application Form.docx

We are pleased to say that we have been officially approved as a Disability Confident Employer until 2023!

A couple of really useful newsletters from two of our sister organisations

Vision Support are a charity that does many similar things to NCBA, but in the Chester and North Wales area. They've also been working with some of the amazing partner organisations like Lions, to provide services similar to our Client Connect.

For more information on Vision Support, including how to contact them, please visit their website:

Healthwatch Northumberland provide a wide range of services to support people who use Health and Social Care services. They've kindly been helping us out with our Client Connect service, and were particularly amazing at contacting clients we'd been unable to make contact with.

For more information on Healthwatch Northumberland, including how to contact them, please visit their website:

Meet Norman and Stella...

Norman is a 16-week old Retriever and Stella, a German Shepherd, is 19 months old. Both are being trained up to be Guide Dogs by a couple of our fab phone service volunteers. Normally, they'd only have one at a time, but due to the current situation are not yet able to hand over Stella. Apparently, Stella and Norman are well-behaved separately, but when they're together - well, that's a different matter! As you can imagine, our volunteers have their hands full. Good luck to them all ... and whoever is lucky enough to have them when they graduate to being Guide Dogs :) 

Find out about our projects

Our projects

We work closely with many partners and continue to provide many services thanks to their support. Thank you!

One example was the Big Lottery Reaching Communities fund. From 2013-18, NCBA received £495,924 which helped fund our voluntary services and further develop our information service. Find out more about how we put our funding to good use, with our Key Communications project.

Access our resources

Access our resources

Our Resource Centre has a wide range of low-vision aids and other equipment for demonstration, some of which can be given out on loan.
Our facilities include a specially-adapted kitchen suitable for rehabilitation use for teaching kitchen skills to visually-impaired people. 

Get Involved

Get Involved

Volunteering for NCBA is a very rewarding experience, knowing you are making a real difference in supporting blind or partially-sighted people living in Northumberland.
You will be supported by our experienced Volunteer Co-ordinator, who will ensure that you are comfortable with your commitment.

Latest News More News

The Joiners Arms in Morpeth have named NCBA as their Charity of the Year for 2020.

Our thanks go to Grant and all his staff and customers.