Eastbourne Blind Society (EBS) was founded in 1923 to support 8 veterans who were war blinded. The services extended over time to meet the needs of others and in 1963 the Centre in Longstone Road was opened. Today we have over 700 members.
In the early days, EBS was run entirely by volunteers. Today, although we have a fully trained and dedicated staff team, volunteers are still vital to what we do.
EBS is an independent, registered voluntary charity and is not part of the RNIB. We are the only sight support organisation providing services in Eastbourne.
EBS is a member of East Sussex Vision Care, a consortium of the three societies for blind and partially sighted people which operate across East Sussex. Eastbourne Blind Society is responsible for local support in Eastbourne, and provides the administrative function for ESVC which includes the management of the Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI) process across the county.
We are a User Led Organisation (ULO) providing opportunities for members to have a voice. We hold regular internal User Group meetings, have a seat on the Eastbourne Disability Involvement Group forum and regularly attend Eastbourne Access Group meetings.
Eastbourne Blind Society Centre is in Longstone Road and incorporates offices, a resource centre, a spacious hall, audio books library, and a purpose built training room. Access to the Centre is wheelchair friendly and the hall is fully fitted with a hearing loop.
We hold almost daily social afternoons which include the arts & crafts/knitters and natters group, Scrabble, cribbage, dominoes and bingo. These afternoons are a great way for people to meet others and have proved effective in helping to avoid social isolation.
During the winter months, the bowls club meet in the hall for short mat bowls, playing both matches and roll-ups.
The hall is used for Open Days and is also where we hold our AGM, Christmas lunch, volunteers lunch and other events throughout the year.
The hall can be available for hire to community groups.
We have a purpose-built library to accommodate our large supply of audio books which are available on CD and Cassette. We are grateful to the Eastbourne Rotary Club for the generous gift of a large selection of unabridged titles.
The library is also used for small meetings and provides a quiet and private space as needed.
There is a wide range of low vision aids which can be demonstrated, borrowed and purchased from the resource centre. Initial visits are open to all. Ongoing support is reserved for EBS members and the Resource Officer will be able to enrol you depending on eligibility.
It is always advisable to make an appointment.
We have a fully equipped, purpose-built, sound-proofed training room which we use for modular training courses, computer training and one to one support.