Thieves beware, we are watching you!

Local sight loss charity, the Dorset Blind Association, is thanking one of its most generous corporate supporters, Blue Sky Financial Planning, for help which has enabled the charity to fight back against the thieves which had been targeting valuable equipment on display at its charity shop in Ferndown.

The shop in Penny’s Walk in the Ferndown Centre is the first ever charity shop opened by Dorset Blind Association. As well as being to raise much needed income to help fund the charity’s services in East Dorset, the shop also helps to promote those services and give members of the local community direct and easy access to them.

Amongst those services, Dorset Blind Association provides specialist items of equipment and aids to daily living designed to help blind and partially sighted people still maintain independent living. Examples of this equipment were on display in the Ferndown shop and, as well as general shop stock, shoplifters had been targeting these items and as a result of the amount and value of these being stolen the charity had reluctantly decided to suspend that service. But not anymore, thanks to the generosity of Blue Sky Financial Planning, who have kindly donated £500 to the charity to help fund the installation of CCTV in the shop.

Gary Neild, Managing Director of Blue Sky and a long standing supporter of Dorset Blind Association said, “I couldn’t believe it when I heard the news about the shoplifting problem. It’s so disappointing that there are people willing to stoop so low and target a charity which is simply trying to help people in our local community who are suffering the disability of sight loss.” Gary went on, “I thought I just couldn’t just let this happen without trying to help, so I offered to help fund any steps which they thought might help stop the thieves.”

Encouraged by this offer, Dorset Blind Association’s CEO, Jonathan Holyhead, decided that the most suitable deterrent would be to install CCTV at the shop. This, combined with a repositioning of where the equipment is displayed has meant the service can now recommence. Jonathan said, “There are no words to describe how grateful I am to Blue Sky for this extremely kind and generous gift. I was so sad when the thieves forced us to suspend the equipment service at the shop. I really couldn’t believe we had people in Dorset capable of such despicable behaviour but thanks to Gary and all his team at Blue Sky my faith in human nature is restored!”

In Dorset today there are more than 4,600 people registered as blind or partially sighted and an estimated 30,000 people living with serious sight loss. That’s the equivalent of 4% of the county’s population. The Dorset Blind Association works across Dorset to help as many of those people as possible adjust to living with serious sight loss and then still lead full, independent, healthy and socially active lives in their local community, notwithstanding the impact to them of their sight loss and while the sight loss itself sadly cannot be cured, the charity’s work helps to stop it causing or leading to other physical or mental health problems.

Blue Sky Financial planning are based at Coy Pond Business Park, Poole. The company works closely with its clients to enable them to live the lives they want, believing that, through comprehensive financial planning, it is possible to reduce anxieties, explore possibilities and create excitement about the future.

Dorset Blind Association can be contacted for help on 01202 712865 or by visiting

Blue Sky Financial planning can be contacted on 01202 756560 or by visiting