Halifax Society for the Blind Activities Newsletter

HSB Activities

Walking Group news

Thanks to everyone who showed an interest in a walking group and gave feedback about what sort of walks you might like.  We are looking into partnering with other groups who already go out walking, and will update you as soon as we are clearer about how this will work.

New Social Room sessions – ‘Out and about’ and ‘Guide dog owners’ group’

The ‘Out and About’ session is on the first Wednesday of each month at 11am, and will give people a chance to chat and share any concerns or ideas they may have about getting out and about as lockdown eases.  Angie & Jane, our Sight Support Advisors, will be attending the session to answer questions and share information. 

The Guide Dog Owners’ Group is on the third Wednesday of each month at 11am and is a social group for guide dog owners and potential owners.

If you would like to join one of these calls, even if you have not accessed the Social Room service before, please do phone the office or phone Lucy on 07458 302903 to get signed up.

Charles Bonnet Syndrome support group

We have now had the first meeting of our support group for people living with Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS), a common condition experienced by people who are losing, or have lost, their sight. CBS causes people to see things which are not really there (visual hallucinations).  Sue Straw, one of the Rehabilitation Officers on Calderdale’s VI Team, attended the first meeting and gave us a short presentation on CBS and coping strategies, and lots of good conversation came out of this.  Sue will be attending again this month.  If you have CBS and wish to join the group, you would be very welcome.  It runs on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 11am – contact Lucy on 07458 302903 or phone the HSB office to get signed up.

 Synapptic User Group

This is a Zoom-based group for anyone who uses Synapptic devices, to share ideas and get support on all aspects of using them.  If you are interested in joining, please contact the HSB office and we will send you the link and support you to access the session if needed.  This session is on the second Wednesday of each month at 11am.

The Social Room

This is a telephone-based service run by HSB, where local people with sight loss can socialise, support each other and take part in various activities.  New group members are welcome, just phone Lucy on 07458 302903 to sign up.  Once you’re signed up, at the time of your group, simply phone 0203 481 5629 and enter the room number 781285 when prompted. Or, in the case of the Zoom group, we will share a joining link with you, or a phone number if you would rather dial in.

We can provide joining instructions in an accessible format to suit you.  In some instances, we may be able to dial you in, so all you need to do is pick up the phone when it rings at the session starting time.

We’re always open to your ideas and suggestions for new groups and activities, so let us know if there is something you would like to see us doing, and we’ll work together to help make it happen.  The current group timetable is as follows:-


·        Zoom Group (11am)  Join us on Zoom for different activities each week, including guest speakers, quizzes, information, chat and workshop sessions

·        Coffee Shop (1pm)    Come along for a sociable chat – bring your own brew! We usually chat for about an hour, but you are welcome to drop in and out when you like


·        Fun and Games (1pm)   Quizzes and games for a brain workout – it’s just for fun though, you don’t have to be an egghead!  

·        Well-being Wise (2.30pm)   Supporting each other to look after our mental and physical well-being.  We have looked at a variety of themes including mindfulness, diet, exercise and stress reduction


·        Fun and Games (11.30am)   Quizzes and games for a brain workout (a repeat of Wednesday’s session)


·        Chairobics (10am)  A 25 minute gentle exercise session, done while seated. Suitable for all ages and abilities

·        Literature Live! (1.30pm)   Sharing stories, poems, jokes and articles on different themes each week.  Come along and just listen in, or bring something to share with the group, it’s your choice!

Other activities

British Blind Sport activities

BBS Activity Finder
The Activity Finder will help you to find inclusive providers as well as VI sports and activities in your area.  Click here to find out more.
If you are interested in running but would like some support, click here to access RunTogether, a growing database of trained, licensed Guide Runners who will help you start or continue running safely.

Northamptonshire Have a Go Day 2021
There is still time to register for the British Blind Sport Northamptonshire Have a Go Day, which will be held at Kingsthorpe College on Saturday 22nd May.  The sport sessions will be hosted together with inclusive coaches and local activity providers. Blind and partially sighted people of all ages and their families are welcome to “have a go” and get involved in the day, which will provide a relaxed, friendly and supportive environment for blind and partially sighted people to try a range of outdoor activities including Football, Cricket, Guide Running, and more. Follow the link for more information on how to get involved! https://britishblindsport.org.uk/have-a-go-day-northampton/

Radio 4 programme – ‘In Touch’

‘In Touch’ is a weekly 20-minute radio programme of news, views and information for people who are blind or partially sighted.  It airs on Radio 4 every Tuesday evening at 8:40pm, but you can also visit their website and listen to the current episode at any time, as well as catch up with the back catalogue of over 600 episodes.  A huge variety of subjects are covered, including transport, cookery, sport, entertainment, interviews, disability issues and much more.  The website can be found by clicking here.

Healthy Minds Calderdale Workshops

Healthy Minds run a variety of different workshops (all via Zoom at the moment) exploring issues around mental well-being.  Upcoming workshops include ‘Setting goals and moving forward’, ‘Coping with coming out of lockdown’, ‘You, yourself and yoga’, and ‘Arts and Crafts for Well-being’.  To find out more, visit the Healthy Minds website by clicking here.

Activities for children and young people

British Blind Sport in partnership with The Workshop Company and Visionary, brings you a virtual juggling workshop session as part of the First Steps Project.

Wednesday 2 June, 11am

Children will be taught using tea towels and pairs of socks. Therefore, they will need to have 3 clean tea towels ready and 3 pairs of the children’s own socks. Children 6 years and under only need 2 clean tea towels. children 7 years and older can use both the tea towels and the socks.

For those children registering that are not already registered with First Steps, the registration link will direct you to register, so you can receive a First Steps resource pack (registration is Free). This pack contains, Audible Ball (aka Jangles), Exciting Activity Booklet, Progress Stickers, Progress Poster and 1-1 support from BBS First Steps Officers. 

To register for the workshop, click here

VICTA is a national charity that provides support to children and young adults from 0 to 29 who are blind or partially sighted and their families.

VICTA believes that everyone has the right to an independent and fulfilling life. VICTA’s support, advice, grants and activities enable young people and their families to build skills, develop confidence and help each other toward a more positive future.  VICTA currently have a wide variety of online activities on their website that you and your child or young person can sign up for.  You can also express an interest in some face-to-face activities which will be coming up in the next few months, including ‘Learn to climb’ days, and supported trips out to places such as Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Jorvik Centre.  Click here to view their ‘Activity Calendar’ page.


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The Halifax Society for the Blind is a registered Charity in England and Wales.
Registered number: 224258
Registered office: 36 Clare Rd, Halifax, HX1 2HX