Henshaws Society for Blind People is a specialist charity providing expert support, advice and training to anyone affected by sight loss. Their principal object is the relief of people who are blind or visually impaired through the provision of services, care, facilities, support, advice, education and training. They also work with people with other disabilities, and because sight loss and disability affects family, friends and colleagues, they work with them too.
Henshaws is one of the oldest charities in the UK, opening in Manchester in 1837. Throughout
their more than 170 years of history they’ve built a reputation for trust and expertise. Their services support children and babies, their families, young and older people by providing reassurance, practical support and in some cases simply companionship. They help hundreds of visually impaired and disabled people each year to develop the skills and independence they need to lead lives that are as full and independent as possible.
There are almost two million people with sight problems in the UK, with this number set to soar over the next 25 years due to an ageing population and increased prevalence of obesity and diabetes. In Greater Manchester alone there are 17,775 registered blind and partially sighted people – this is just the tip of the iceberg however, with current estimates that only one in six people with a visual impairment are registered as such. At a time when statutory services are being cut, Henshaws continue to offer a crucial lifeline to all those affected by sight loss within Greater Manchester and beyond.
Henshaws work throughout the North of England, with centres and communities in Manchester, Harrogate, Knaresborough, Merseyside and Newcastle. They also have an Arts & Crafts Centre and specialist college, a unique further education college for students aged 16-22. Each centre offers different services and programmes – but they all have a common goal: to enable the people who use our services to live an independent and fulfilling life.
Manchester Beer and Cider Festival are delighted to be supporting Henshaws and look forward to working with them to raise the profile of their work and raise funds to support their activities.