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Henshaws Society for Blind People was first established in 1837, following a bequest of £20,000 from prominent Oldham hatmaker Thomas Henshaw and has been dedicated to helping blind and visually impaired people ever since.

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By providing a wide range of educational, residential, rehabilitation and day services, we constantly aim to enable visually impaired people of all ages to maximise their independence and enjoy the best possible quality of life.

In particular, we seek to address the wide-ranging needs of visually impaired people through the following services:

Community Services
Our Resource Centres in Manchester and Liverpool support their local communities by providing information and advice, social and self-help groups, informal and accredited learning. Other specialist services include Patient Support (which provides immediate emotional and practical support for newly diagnosed visually impaired people) and Community Outreach (which helps people in their own home). Specialist Information Technology and 'Skillstep' training courses are run at both Centres, providing visually impaired people with the opportunity to access employment or further education in an environment which has been specifically designed to meet their needs.

Children & Family Services
Henshaws provides practical and emotional support for blind and visually impaired children and their families from its Resource Centre in Manchester. The Family Support Worker is able to have a greater impact on the overall development of a visually impaired child by making home visits and working with the whole family, because it is they who will have the most significant influence in the life of the child. The Service also offers advice and information on toys, education and rehabilitation. A range of social activities are provided throughout the year including an out of school Holiday Club, which offers a wide range of fun-packed and stimulating activities in an environment where the emphasis is always upon ability rather than disability.

Housing Services and Care
Henshaws provides specialist housing and larger scale residential accommodation for blind and visually impaired people in both the younger and older age ranges. Henshaws Community Housing in North Yorkshire provides accommodation and support for young adults with a visual impairment. Individuals are also given the opportunity to study, work, train and partake in leisure activities. Two houses are run in Newcastle for a small number of adults with learning disabilities and sensory impairments. Residential Care is provided at the Pendleton Centre in Salford, and also at our Southport Centre. These centres are purpose-built for visually impaired people, and staffed by professionals who are fully trained in meeting the needs of visually impaired residents. Younger people with a visual impairment often have difficulty finding suitable accommodation. Crown Green Road in Salford helps to bridge this gap, for those who wish to live independently but need support.

Henshaws College
Situated in Harrogate, Henshaws College offers high quality further education to 65 young people with a visual impairment who have additional difficulties or disabilities. The College attracts students from all over the UK, due to its reputation for excellence. Students follow an individual programme of study, combining personal, social and work skills, which supports them in making the transition into adult life.

Arts & Crafts Centre
This Centre in Knaresborough is one of North Yorkshire's most prestigious tourist attractions. The Centre opened in 1998 and provides arts training opportunities for nearly 100 young visually impaired people, many of whom are ex-students of nearby Henshaws College. Visitors are always welcome to admire these talented artists at work, and watch them making jewellery, mosaics, pottery and much more. In the grounds of the Centre is a Garden of the Senses which combines scents, sounds, textures and colours to create a stimulating sensory trail.

Link: The Henshaws Society

Link: Why we need to be aware of visual impairment

Link: Contacting the Henshaws Society

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Untrained Melodies: Twelve short stories written by the author - Chris High.

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As a UK charity, the Henshaws society is always grateful for much needed donations. The Untrained Melodies CD-Rom has not only been design to be user friendly for the visually impaired, but sales of this amazing interactive medium will raise money and awareness for the wonderful work done on a daily basis by the Henshaws society.

Link: How is the CD-ROM designed to be user friendly toward the visually impaired.

Untrained Melodies - the full interactive experience is available now!

More Information about the CD-Rom

Order your copy of Untrained Melodies CD-Rom

Quote from Chris High in 2003 “Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or break the rules as I see fit.”


The Untrained Melodies Interactive CD-ROM

Information about Chris High

Chris de Burgh section

Free downloads


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