A list of some of our frequently asked questions.
Am I eligible for one of your radios?
Anyone who is registered blind or partially sighted, resident in the UK, over the age of eight and in receipt of a means-tested benefit is eligible to receive a set from us on a free loan basis. Click here to find a local agent who can help you apply for one if you think you qualify. If you do not meet all of our criteria, you can still purchase a set from our sister company BWBF Direct. Click here to go to the site. Sales also benefit the charity.
How do I get my radio?
If you think you qualify for one of our radios, you need to need to make contact with one of our local agents, who will help you with the next step. To find out who your local agent is, click here.
Do I have to pay for my radio?
If you meet all our criteria (click here to read it) you are entitled to a radio from us on permanent free loan, which means it won’t cost you anything at all.
How do I know if I receive a means-tested benefit?
There are a number of means-tested benefits which could mean you are entitled to one of our sets. Click here to read an up-to-date list of them.
Which sets are available on free loan?
We have three sets which we give out to people who meet our criteria on permanent free loan. They are the Concerto 2, Sonata plus+ and Duet 2. To read more about them and see which one is best for you, click here.
Which radio will be best for me?
The Concerto 2 is our most popular and frequently requested set as it has functions which allow the user to listen to talking newspapers, books and music recorded on CD, SD card or memory sticks. However, all our sets meet differing needs so it’s worth reading the detailed description of each radio to see which will suit you best. Click here to find out more about our radios.
Why do I need to be in receipt of a means-tested benefit to get a radio?
BWBF is a charity which receives no government funding. We cannot afford to simply give our radios to all blind and partially sighted people, as much as we would like to, so we have set criteria which means we are able to help those who are most in need of our service.
What makes your radios accessible for blind and partially sighted people?
Our radios are specially adapted to make them easier to use for people with sight loss. Most of our sets are manufactured by Roberts Radio and the sound quality is exceptional. They are robust and utilise strong colour contrast with yellow buttons set against a charcoal background to help those with residual vision distinguish the controls. The buttons also have tactile symbols on and are well spaced to help the user differentiate between them. A bookmark facility is also included so users can easily return to their place on an audio file.
What if I decide I'd like a different radio?
Unfortunately we are not able to provide upgrades to our recipients.
What happens if my radio breaks?
If your BWBF set breaks, you need to contact your local agent. You can find out who that is by clicking here.
What do I do with a set I no longer need?
You can return your set to us in the box it came in for no charge. Just write Articles for the Blind on the packaging so the Royal Mail knows it doesn’t need a stamp and send it to British Wireless for the Blind Fund, 10 Albion Place, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 5DZ. Please make sure you include your name inside the box so we know who it has come from.
Where do you get your funding from?
We are a registered charity and as such receive no government funding. All our income is from trusts and generous members of the public who give us donations, fundraise for us and leave us legacies. We also receive the profits in the form of a donation from our sister company BWBF Direct.
How can I make a donation to you?
There are many ways you can support our work. You can give us a one off donation, set up a regular donation or even leave us a gift in your will. You can also send a cheque made payable to British Wireless for the Blind Fund or BWBF to 10 Albion Place, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 5DZ. To see all the ways you can help, click here.
What is Gift Aid?
Gift Aid is a scheme enabling registered charities to reclaim tax on a donation made by a UK taxpayer. It means that for every £1 you give, we get an extra 25p from the Inland Revenue, which helps your generosity go even further without costing you an extra penny.
What if my circumstances change and I no longer meet the criteria?
If you currently have one of our sets and it breaks but you no longer meet our criteria, we will be able to provide you with one replacement set. After that, unfortunately we will no longer be able to support you.
Can I buy a radio if I don’t qualify for one on free loan?
Yes, you can. If you don’t meet all our requirements, you can purchase a set from our sister company BWBF Direct. If you are registered blind or partially sighted you don’t have to pay the VAT on any specially adapted set you by.
Do you sell products or have a shop?
We have our sister company BWBF Direct where you can purchase our sets and a range of accessories. Other than that, we sell Christmas cards which are a really important way for us to raise money. We also have an eBay store which has a range of men’s and women’s clothing, accessories, toys and games. All the profits from sales come directly to us. Click here to view our current items for sale.
Can I make an inquiry on behalf of a friend or family member?
Yes, you can. If you think you know a blind or partially sighted person who might benefit from one of our sets, you can find a local agent for them here. If it’s someone you know well, it’s best to find out if they meet all our criteria before putting them in touch.
Do you collect used stamps to raise money?
Yes, we do. We will gratefully accept donations of stamps, which are then sent to Fundraising Stamps to raise funds for us. You can either drop your stamps off at our head office or send them directly to British Wireless for the Blind Fund, 59 Mitre Copse, Bishopstoke, Eastleigh, Hants, SO50 8QE. They should be cut out with no more than a 1cm border of the envelope left around them.
If you can't find the answer to your question here or elsewhere on our website, please call head office on 01622 754757.
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