Secure Base recently supported a group of 36 eleven year-olds drawn from CFBL, a bi-lingual school in Kentish Town, London and INJA, a Paris based school for blind and partially sighted children, in arranging a visit to the Royal National Institute of Blind People’s Talking Books studio. INJA is France’s National Institute for Blind Children. Louis Braille, the inventor of the braille system, attended the school as a pupil and later taught there. The occasion followed the development of remarkable bonds between the two groups of children following their meeting and shared experience of visiting the D-Day landing beaches in Normandy earlier this year.
The RNIB Talking Books service was originally launched to help soldiers blinded in the First World War, particularly those struggling to learn braille. Today, over 30,000 blind and partially sighted adults and children use RNIB’s Talking Books which this year celebrates its 80th anniversary.
Following their visit, the two groups of children wanted to do something more in creating a lasting memento of their friendship which might serve to help other young people see beyond their differences. They have chosen to try and raise funds to allow the production by RNIB of one or more new talking books for children.
Inspired by these children’s vision and compassion, Secure Base is delighted to be able to assist by supporting their fundraising efforts and we have persuaded a group of our supporters to take part in this year’s Great North Run, the world’s best known and biggest half marathon which has been won in the past two years by the legendary Mo Farah.
This important initiative aims to increase access to RNIB’s Talking Books in a way which is topical and relevant to vulnerable young people throughout the world. Given our deep roots in the North East of England, and our growing relationship with RNIB, we also
hope to help promote RNIB’s Talking Books amongst blind and partially sighted people in the region. There are currently estimated to be 2 million people living with sight loss in the UK of which over 25,000 are blind or partially sighted children.
As part of the children’s fundraising efforts, the RNIB/Secure Base team will be joining the 60,000 strong river of compassion on Sunday 11 th September at the start line and embarking on the iconic 13.1 mile Great North Run course between Newcastle and South Shields.
Another summer of training beckons for the Secure Base team and we’d be delighted if any of you could show your support to the initiative by donating at: uk.virginmoneygiving.com.