London Branch has enjoyed a busy 2019 with a new venue for our monthly Branch meetings, St Pancras & Somerstown Living Centre, conveniently located just a few minutes walk from St Pancras station. Meetings are held on the final Wednesday of each month from 17:30 until 20:30. We’ve hosted a diverse array of Guest speakers from various organisations including an interactive demonstration of the inhouse talking display for smart meters, the Moorfields Eye Hospital Oriel Project, the Research Institute for Disabled Consumers regarding access to white goods, a Financial and debt advisor regarding personal finance and the assistive technology team at RNIB. A constructive meeting was held with RNIB Chair Ellie Southwood, allowing members to pose questions and give feedback.
On the accessible travel front, members attended the Access for All Areas exhibition at the ExCel Centre. We’ve been campaigning hard with members attending meetings with Rail Future and lobbying about the impact of cycling infrastructure on blind and partially sighted people. One of our members attended the Commonwealth Summit in New York and in July, we handed in a petition to Number 10 calling for safe and accessible urban environments for all following the NFBUK-led Global Pledge and Petition signed by 430 international organisations.
Socially, we’ve connected our members through a variety of events throughout the year including attending a social week in Blackpool, A group audio described tour of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, informal pub meals and an Anglo-Indian themed Christmas meal.
Our 44th annual Eastbourne social weekend in November was a great success. The 2019 theme of “Reveal your Joie de Vivre with drama, dance and music” was enjoyed by 95 weekenders. We kicked off with wine tasting from Carr Taylor Vineyard followed by an interactive technology session with Darren Paskell from Thomas Pocklington Trust, sailing opportunities with Philippa Clare from Jubilee Sailing Trust, VI Zumba with Illuminate Freedom and Louise Dickson, a seated dance session with Michelle Felix and our traditional Saturday night disco. There was also Greek dance with Janet Douglas from the Sussex Folk Society, A taster drama session with Maria Oshodi from Extant and a Jam session with Kate Portal. The weekend culminated in a musical extravaganza with performances from well known singing group Soul Vision, pianist Mark Pampel, guitarist Rikki Jodelko and karaoke by our very own number. The raffle raised £280 for Branch funds.
With our membership growing, we will continue to work hard during 2020, year of vision, to strengthen our campaigning, fundraising and social connectivity.
So what is this NFBUK?
NFBUK was founded in 1947 by blind and partially sighted people and today, in 2020, it is still run by blind and partially sighted people who campaign to make our lives ever better. The London Branch is for blind and partially sighted and deafblind people; but sighted people are also welcome to attend the meetings as are visitors to London from other NFB UK branches. Over 150 members belong to the London Branch; other members come from all 32 Greater London Boroughs. Some members attend regular meetings, whilst others may be involved in writing to their local councils or raising issues with their MPs.
It all sounds very boring, doesn’t it? Not at all! This is your chance to make new friends, join in lively discussions, air your views and share experiences.
The guest speakers are so interesting, entertaining and often amusing. There are social events and special meetings. Top of the bill is a very popular activity weekend held in Eastbourne in November. Why not purchase some raffle tickets? If you are very lucky you might win a fabulous prize! Can you resist the chance to walk away from the meeting clasping in your hands a delicious box of chocolates or a tasty bottle of wine?
I have found the London Branch of NFBUK meetings very informative and entertaining. The positive attitude of some of the guest speakers has inspired me to move forward in life and take up new challenges. our guest speakers seem to be extremely passionate about their particular subjects.
Getting There: When and Where
The London Branch of NFBUK meets monthly from February to November. Meetings are held on the last Wednesday of each month. Meetings start at 17:30 until 20:30 are held at the St Pancras & Somerstown Living Centre, 2 Ossulston Street, London, NW1 1DF.
Kings Cross St Pancras is the nearest underground station and the Centre is just a few minutes walk from the Midland Road exit of St Pancras station.
Come along to the meetings and “consider yourself one of us!”d.
Come along to the meetings and “consider yourself one of us!”Go back to all Branches