The Isle of Wight Society for the Blind

The Isle of Wight Society for the Blind is one of the oldest charities on the Isle of Wight. It is a LOCAL, independent charity that was established in 1895 to support blind people living on the Isle of Wight. We provide:

  • Information and support to visually impaired people, their families and friends;
  • A weekly talking newspaper;
  • A library of spoken word books;
  • Sports activities - indoors and out;
  • An equipment resource facility;
  • A volunteer visiting service;
  • Social activities;

The Society relies on donations from individuals and organisations as well as legacies and other gifts in order that its services to blind and partially sighted people may be carried out.

One of the greatest donations that we receive is the TIME given to us by our many volunteers. We estimate that over 200 hours are given EVERY WEEK by our volunteers which saves us around £2,000 WEEKLY or £100,000 ANNUALLY.

Our grateful thanks to each and every one of our wonderful volunteers.

Isle of Wight Society for the Blind receives Queen’s Award

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service


The Trustees of IW Society for the Blind are proud to announce that the Society has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the equivalent of an MBE for the organisation.

“We are thrilled and very proud to receive this award which recognises the excellent work of our many volunteers, without whom we could not function as effectively as we do.

“Our dedicated volunteers undertake a range of activities to benefit blind and visually impaired people on the Island. These include home visiting and befriending, social and activities groups, a weekly talking newspaper and an audio library.

“We estimate that our volunteers give around 200 hours per week in total, which saves the charity some £100,000 every year.”

IWSB Chairman, Stuart Kitching

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service is an annual award made to recognise and reward excellence in voluntary activities carried out by groups in the community. It is given for outstanding achievement by groups of volunteers who regularly devote their time to helping others in the community, improving the quality of life and opportunity for others and providing an outstanding service.

2nd June 2014

Supported by Sainsbury’s

IWSB has been selected by staff at Sainsbury’s to be their Charity of the Year 2014/15. This has led to almost £1,500 cash donated by November 2014. IWSB has also received much help ‘in kind’ from the Newport store including:

  • Crockery from their canteen;
  • Cheese and wine for a fundraising concert;
  • Staff re-painting the two main meeting rooms downstairs as well as the staircase.

Our grateful thanks to everyone involved. We will be adding photographs to show what has been happening.

Isle of Wight Authors Donate Audiobooks

Here's a few pictures of some of our Trustees, Volunteers and our CEO with the writers Carol and Bob Bridgestock, at the presentation of the donated audio books.

Our library of audiobooks has grown thanks to the donation of audiobooks by local authors, Carol and Bob Bridgestock, aka RC Bridgestock of DI Dylan fame. You can read more about the donation over at 'On the Wight'.

November 2015

40th Anniversary of the Island’s Talking News

Talking News 40th Anniversary Cake Celebrating the Anniversary! Mrs. Noreen Taylor talking with Paul Rutherford
Some photos from the celebration, held at Millbrooke House on Tuesday, 9th July 2015. The last photo features Mrs. Noreen Taylor, former Director of IWSB and founder of the Talking News talking with IWSB chairman, Paul Rutherford.

The Celebration was for the 40th anniversary of the Island’s Talking News for the Visually Impaired, in the presence of HM Lord Lieutenant Major General White, Cllrs Charles Chapman, Lora Peacey-Wilcox, as well as representatives of parish and town councils.

Around 50 people attended. The first ever broadcast of the Talking news was from Lord Louis Mountbatten and part of this was played at the party.

10th July 2015

How You Can Help

Support our Fundraising

You can help the IWSB by supporting our events including:

  • Regular Themed Quiz Nights;
  • Fetes;
  • Organise your own fundraising event. We will support it with publicity and materials.
  • Leave a gift in your will;
  • Join the 100 club and have the opportunity to win a monthly cash prize;
  • Have a collecting box in your office or home;
  • Donate foreign and British coins (see below) and stamps, old mobile phones and printer cartridges;
  • Attend a Coffee Morning:
    • Millbrooke House – Every Wednesday from 10.30am to 12noon.
    • Niton, The Post Office - The first Tuesday of the month 10.30am to 12noon.
    • Bembridge, The Cloisters - the Last Tuesday of the month 10.30am to 12noon.
    • West Wight, End of the Line Café - the Last Tuesday of the month 10.30am to 12noon.

For more details of any of these items, telephone 01983 522205

Become a Volunteer

Volunteers are already involved in the following areas:

  • Receptionists;
  • Drivers – minibus and own cars;
  • Talking news – readers, editors, recording, admin;
  • Library – admin;
  • Fundraising;
  • Visitors and befrienders;
  • Sighted guides;
  • Minibus escorts;
  • Serving refreshments at activities;
  • Gardening.

For details on becoming a volunteer, telephone Simon on 01983 522205


You can donate securely online through Virgin Money Giving.

Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving


'Wight Christmas' Short Story Writing Competition

Are you a budding author, or have you ever thought that you could become a writer? Now could be your chance.

The Isle of Wight Society for the Blind, in association with Carol and Bob Bridgestock and Waterstones are resuming their annual story writing competition for the Isle of Wight. We would like you to write a short story relating to the theme of White Christmas.

The competition will be launched in June and will be open to anyone living on the Island, will have three different age categories, which are: under 12s, 12 to 17 and 18 and over. All entries must be accompanied by an official entry form and an entry fee.

Stories must be between 1500 – 2000 words for adults and up to 750 words for under 18s. Entry fee - £5.00 for adults per story and £2.00 for under 18s.


Download an Entry Form (PDF - 215KB) or they're also available from Waterstones.

Please contact us for more details.

Give Your Spare Foreign Coins to IWSB!

If you've been (or are going) abroad for your holiday, bring back your unused coins for the Society. IWSB can convert them into cash that can then be used to help visually impaired people living on the Isle of Wight.

“Foreign coins often get dropped into a drawer or given to children to play with when people come back home from a holiday abroad as banks and money exchanges don’t take them. We can turn these into money to help our work with visually impaired people on the Isle of Wight.

We can even take pre euro coins, pre decimal coins or old coin collections that no one else will take.”

Coins can be brought into the Society at 137, Carisbrooke Road, Newport between 10.00am and 4.00pm Monday to Friday.

Please contact us for more details.

The IWSB 100 Club

What is the 100 Club?

It is a monthly cash draw that is open to anyone wishing to support our work.

The Rules

  • Anyone wishing to take part must first register with IWSB;
  • Participants agree to pay £2 per month for each number that they choose or are allocated;
  • Draws will take place monthly at Millbrooke House;
  • Numbers that have not been allocated or paid for in a particular month shall not be entered into the draw;
  • One number will be drawn each month. This number shall be deemed ‘The Winner’;
  • The income received each month shall be allocated as follows:
    • 40% in prize money;
    • 10% for administration of the club;
    • 50% as a donation to the Society.
  • The first draw shall take place once at least 50% of the available numbers have been purchased;
  • Once all available numbers have been purchased, a waiting list shall be set up for those wishing to participate but for whom there are no numbers currently available;
  • At the discretion of the CEO and Club administrator, additional numbers may be released on a permanent basis;
  • Existing numbers may be released if members leave and their numbers become available;
  • Subscriptions may be paid monthly or annually in cash, cheque or standing order;
  • Only numbers that have been purchased that month will be entered into the draw.

Who Can be a Member?

Any individual wishing to support the work of IWSB.

Who Cannot be a Member?

  • Anyone who is under 18 years of age;
  • Corporate members or patrons;
  • Organisations;
  • Beings other than humans i.e. not dogs, horses, etc.

Download a 100 Club Application Form (pdf 45kb)

Dress for Less

Dress for Less is a new Dress Agency that IWSB has opened at 12 Lower St. James Street, Newport, to raise much needed funds to support our work.

Good quality new and pre loved clothes, shoes and accessories suitable for parties, cruises and weddings are now on sale.

Our first shop giving us a voice on the High Street, is a mixture of new and nearly new donations and 50/50 sales. We will be specialising in women's wear with an emphasis on party wear and special occasion wear.

In the true tradition of charity shops our shop will be run entirely by a team of professional volunteers, therefore maximising the profits for our charity. Much of our stock still has the original price ticket.

We have a stunning collection of evening wear and cruise wear, beautiful wedding outfits and party wear, along with pretty jewellery, new shoes and accessories.

If you have new or newly new chic seasonal items that we may be able to sell for you on a 50/50 basis, then please pop them into us.

Where ever you are going over the festive season, make sure you come to Dress for Less!

Open Monday to Saturday 10.00am - 4.00pm.

Our Location

Where We Are

Buses to Millbrooke House

To reach our Headquarters by bus you will need to catch either a No. 7 or 38 from Newport Bus Station (Stand C).

From 9am the No 7 leaves at 10 mins and 40 mins past each hour. The No 38 (Town Bus) leaves on the hour and 1/2 hour throughout the day.

Get off the bus at Carisbrooke Monument, walk on up the road approx 100 yards. If you follow the railings on your right hand side, when they start to slope downwards you are then level with our wooden gate on your left. There are numerals 137 on the wall to the right of the gate. On the left hand side pillar is an Intercom entry system. Just down from the top in the centre is a flat silver button which, when pressed, will alert reception in the main building. This will be responded to and the gate will be released for your entry.

For your return journey to Newport Bus Station the No 7 passes Millbrooke House at 5 mins to the hour and 25 mins past the hour.

To reach this bus stop turn right at our gate, proceed back down the road to the crossing. Cross using the lights and continue on down right for about 15 yards.

View the Isle of Wight Society for the Blind on Google Maps

Contact Us

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Contact Details

Isle of Wight Society for the Blind,
Millbrooke House,
137 Carisbrooke Road,
Newport, Isle of Wight.
PO30 1DD

01983 522205