Max Marriner CBE, QCVS, Chief Executive Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind
- 2 February 2015
- Group News
Because diabetics are very much at risk of damage to their eyesight the presentation by Max Marriner on 22nd January proved especially apposite. However, as he pointed out, though founded in 1805 and still the only independent charity for the blind and visually impaired in Norfolk, its inspiring and extensive work is not as well known as it ought to be.
With offices in Magpie Road, Norwich, Kings Lynn and Great Yarmouth its work is carried out by a staff of 80 with the support of 250 voluntary workers who in total support over 7000 of the visually impaired and blind of the county. Additionally in Norwich it runs a residential and respite home for 37 blind and partially sighted people with a further 20 sheltered and supported flats. It also provides support Eye Clinic Liaison Officers to the the 4 main NHS hospital in Norfolk.
The wider vision of the NNAB for those with failing vision is to provide coping skills that allow them to stay in their own homes. To help with this they provide five equipment centres (including one in Cromer) plus a mobile unit that demonstrate helpful devices, equipment and layouts for the home. They also form peer groups so that those with impairment can share experiences and solutions to problems, whilst further providing educational and recreational opportunities.
Because it is an independent organisation it can respond quickly, but, as a consequence has to raise all its funds which in addition to investments is around one million pounds each year. It is thus fortunate to have the Queen as its Patron and the Bishop of Norwich, The Very Reverend Graham James, as its active President.