Preston sight loss charity, Galloway’s, marks a significant milestone this month celebrating 150 years of service to blind and partially sighted people across Lancashire.
Founded by John Catterall and Joseph Livesey from Preston at a public meeting in March 11 1867 in the Corn Exchange, a resolution was passed to set up an Industrial Institute for the Blind.
Originally Preston Industrial Institute for the Blind, then the Institute for Blind Welfare and until 2000, the Preston and North Lancashire Blind Welfare Society.
Now named after William Wilding Galloway, a cotton merchant from Preston whose will Galloway’s benefited from.
The charity is today based at Howick House in Penwortham and helps to assist local people living with sight loss across the county.
Staff and users of the charity celebrated the anniversary with a special get together at Howick House.
Stuart Clayton, chief executive of Galloway’s, said: “Today, we’re extremely proud to support over 7,000 blind and partially sighted people every year across Lancashire and Sefton, through a wide range of high impact services.
“Our work aims to support people through any stage of the sight loss journey including emotional and practical support at the point of diagnosis, specialist low vision clinics which aim to support people with everyday living, an extensive outdoor pursuit’s programme, social groups and much more.”
Chairman John Ward added: “Galloway’s is only here today because of the generosity of our beneficiaries and the general public, we are reliant on donations and legacies to continue our work.
"Whilst we couldn’t have continued without financial support, our volunteers have played an essential role in enabling Galloway’s to support local blind and partially sighted people for the last 150 years.
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who has made our work and achievements possible over the last century and a half.”
Stuart added: “Looking forward, we know there’s so much more we can do for people living with sight loss in our community, we know that given sight loss is an age related disability, we are all living longer and services are shrinking.
"We need to ensure we’re at the top of our field to provide essential support. But we also know we can’t do this without the continued support of our local community.”
To find out more about supporting Galloway’s or how to access their services, please call 01772 744148 or visit www.galloways.org.uk