West Suffolk Voluntary Association for the Blind

A tale of Bovril, Coal, Sweets, Ovaltine and rapid change!

WSVAB owes its very existence to the drive and philanthropy of a small group of people who, in 1936, decided to do something to help the visually-impaired folk of West Suffolk. In those days, people were still suffering the privations of the Depression.

The Second World War was threatening on the horizon, there was no National Health Service and very little in the way of Social Services. None the less, it’s still hard to imagine that in those times we used to give funds for the provision of coal, Bovril, Ovaltine, sweets and ‘baccy’!

It’s a long time since we relieved the needs of those with significant sight loss in the manner described above but grant giving was the main stay of our activities until relatively recently. Oh how times have changed!

In the last few years, we have changed pace from, ‘pedestrian small grant giver’, to a dynamic, forward looking organisation delivering a range of welfare services with a part time professional staff of five, and volunteers numbering over 150.

The change in strategic direction from grant giving to Sight Support Services has meant that we have been able to apply the resources of the Charity far more equably AND to address the underlying needs of beneficiaries much more effectively.

Return to previous page