The local community helped us smash our target in the two-day Big Give Christmas Challenge. Online donations to the charity via the Big Give website on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th December were matched by Candis magazine. The match funds plus Gift Aid mean a whopping total of £28,110; exceeding the £25,000 target needed to fund our 25 blind clubs for the year.
We want to publicly thank the local people for their outstanding support and generosity during the two-day challenge and in the run-up to the appeal when volunteer fundraisers ran a series of county-wide collections and fundraising activities.
The public contributed £2,500 during festive collections in towns and supermarkets across Dorset by the charity’s volunteers. Aside from collections, supporters also held other fundraising events such as raffles and challenges. The biggest contribution from a single fundraiser was £2,281 from Dave Clemas who cycling 1708 miles across France and paid the money in via the Big Give meaning our charity benefited over £5,000.
Dorset Blind Association is funded entirely by voluntary contributions to fund our work, which costs almost £400,000 per year to support thousands of blind and partially sighted people to live happy lives. Part of this work is relieving loneliness and isolation with their 25 social and activity clubs. Those clubs support over 500 people in different parts of the county, supported by many caring volunteers and will now be funded for the next year thanks to the public support of the charity’s Big Give Christmas Challenge.
Nathan is a member of the Bournemouth Social-Eyes club for working age people with sight loss. Last year Nathan lost his sight due to Stargardt disease, an inherited form of macular degeneration. Nathan found he withdrew from socialising when he lost his sight but is starting to enjoy a full social life again now thanks to the Dorset Blind Association club. Nathan said “Most people who are going blind started off working and going out with our friends – to go from that to nothing is hard.” He continues “I hid away and I went in to a massive depression. Now I’m trying again. It’s nice to talk to people on the same level, who know how it feels. It pushes you to get out and do things; lunches, art, acoustic shooting. Without Dorset Blind Association I wouldn’t be doing any of that.”
Jaya Da Costa, Fundraising Manager for Dorset Blind Association says “This is a fantastic team effort and we are so heartened that the local community and our wonderful volunteers see the value of what we do and dug deep to support our work. What a beautiful Christmas gift for our blind club members. We cannot thank you enough!”