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About Us

With over 210 years of successfully caring for visually impaired and blind people, the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind (NNAB) has a proven record of providing specialist care and help both in the community and within our own Residential Home and Sheltered Housing accommodation.

2015 - 2016 Annual report

Download a copy of our 210th Annual Report 2015 - 2016 nnab-annual-report.pdf

Our Aims

The NNAB was founded in 1805 and is the fifth oldest voluntary blind society in the UK. Our aims are to provide:

  • Accommodation and care
  • Community visiting services
  • Educational and recreational facilities

for the visually impaired and blind in Norfolk, whatever their age and wherever they are. The NNAB offers various services:

Thomas Tawell House

A caring residential home with a great reputation; purpose–built and located in Norwich where we provide en–suite accommodation for 37 residents with poor sight.  The home is recognised as a specialist provider by Norfolk Social Services.

Hammond Court

A complex of 20 self contained flats in Norwich, looked after by wardens, in which we encourage and extend the independance of the residents with all that Norwich has to offer - both through the Association and also via the City.

Equipment Centre

Equipment and Information Centres

    • Norwich – open every weekday from 9am to 5pm
    • King‘s Lynn – open five mornings a week, 9am to 1pm
    • Great Yarmouth – open five mornings a week, 10am to 1pm
    • Cromer – open Tuesday mornings from 9:30am to 1:00pm
    • Mobile Equipment Centre – providing services for people in community spaces throughout the county on a rolling programme.

All the Equipment Centres offer information, advice and help. A wide range of daily living aids may be seen and purchased.

Community Workers

Our 8 community workers provide a county-wide visiting, advice and support service to those in the community with sight problems. Their main role is to encourage and enable people registered with us to live a full and independent life.

Hospital Eye Clinics Information Service

This service provides local and national information of a non-medical nature to those attending the eye clinics, as either patients or carers about the services available from the NNAB to people with poor sight in Norfolk.


We rely on over 200 Volunteers for essential support to deliver all our activities.  So, naturally enough, we are always looking for new people to come and give their time and expertise in support of the NNAB; if you are looking for a rewarding and outward looking opportunity to work within the Norfolk community there can be few finer opportunities than to do so with us.  We welcome all ages and all backgrounds to bring their own special contribution to the Association - so come on - volunteer today!


Kit Cator - Chair, Guy Gowing - Vice Chair, Andrew Orves -Treasurer, Emily Barnston, Paul Bowerbank, Jeanette Brighton, Jonathon Childs, David Harris, Richard Hanson, Tim Hirst, Amanda Lockett, Simon Stokes, Richard West, Georgina Holloway. Karen Norton. For more details about our Trustees please click on this link trustees.pdf.

The following links are for the 2017 Trustee handbook and it's appendix. trustee-handbook-2017.docx       appendix-for-trustee-handbook-2017.docx

Education and Leisure

Strangers Hall Visit

We run braille, craft, computer, painting and art appreciation classes. In addition we organise heritage visits, book clubs, discussion groups, holidays and a gardening club.

Sports Activities

We hold the following sports activites throughout the County.

Membership Scheme

Annual membership is available for a minimum cost of £5.00 which would entitle you to vote at the Annual General Meeting held in October each year. Please contact us if you would like further information on 01603 629558.


Charity Shop


In 2001 the NNAB decided to use its existing shops in Magdalen Street to have a go at running a Charity Shop. It was hard work but exciting and the first few years the tills were ringing and we were making in excess of £27,000 a year on average before expenses.

It is fair to say that we are a very fortunate Charity in that we were not short of donations. In fact, our sheds are still brimming with goods as it is difficult to keep on top of the sorting with the shop open and very few volunteers; all this takes time.

 However the past few years have not been as kind. Changes in the road structure, people selling their goods on eBay and Gumtree and more and more charity Shops in Magdalen Street and the City Centre may have contributed to the fact that sales have fallen dramatically.

 Whilst we have thought long and hard about continuing to run the shop, the figures prove that it really is not viable from a business point of view; we are only just covering the running costs.

 It is with great sadness therefore that we are to close at the end of the year.

 Thank you to everyone who have supported us over the years. We continue to work tirelessly to raise funds and if you would like to help in any way please contact us.

 Details of forthcoming events can be seen on our fundraising page.


We actively fundraise across the County and this sits at the core of enabling what we do - without our fundraising activities we would provide a very much reduced list of services and activities for our members.  At the NNAB we always like to encourage our supporters to attend our community events or to take part in our more extreme sports for sponsorship.  We also have those who do their own fundraising events with friends and family for the NNAB, which we are always very greatful for.

Other Organisations

We work closely with the Sensory Support Unit of Norfolk County Council’s Social Services and the National Blind Charities such as The Royal National Institute of the Blind, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Action for Blind People, Blind Veterans UK and the British Wireless for the Blind Fund. We also run the RNIB Talking Book Service within the county.

Visual Awareness Training

The Association offers various Visual Awareness sessions to other organisations and local businesses as well as courses for individuals on our site at Magpie Road.

For more details please contact Hollie Gooda on 01603 629558 or email her at:


YoungEyes is the name of our group of young vision-impaired friends aged up to 18 years old and their families. To date we have over 100 young people on our mailing list who receive news about our events that are especially organised for them and their families. The support that families can give each other is also vital and if NNAB can facilitate this happening we are delighted. Our children's events are well supported by our families and also other related organisations

We work closely with both the Children's Services Education Sensory Support Team (Virtual School Sensory Support) and also with the Social Services Sensory Support Unit.

Please contact us if you have any queries about services for vision-impaired children, we are happy to help.

Dorothy Bowen (YoungEyes Coordinator)