Blind DJ Paul and his mum Barbara both received a Sonata plus+ set from BWBF and say it has made a real difference to them.
Paul and Barbara Johnson, from Swansea, were given the radios thanks to the grant we got from the Freemasons’ Grand Charity.
Paul, 39, has been completely blind since birth and presents the Weekday Live show on Radio Tircoed.
He says he felt like he’d won the lottery when he was given his set.
“I’ve always had an interest in radio and music,” he said.
“I got into hospital radio first and then went onto community radio.
“The Sonata has been very good and has made a real difference – it means I don’t have to leave the computer on overnight and can listen to the radio in bed.”
The radios have a text to speech engine, which means they can read web pages to the user as well as allowing them to access audio books, talking newspapers, podcasts and a wealth of internet radio stations.
Barbara says she was “lost for words” as it’s so wonderful to be able to listen to her son presenting his show, and joked that she’s always telling him he talks too quickly when he’s on the radio.
She said: “I never thought I would go back to listening to the radio – I used to just listen to the television but I’m really enjoying it.”
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Around 40,000 blind and partially sighted people in the UK have one of our sets in their home. Read some of our recipients' stories and learn about how our radios reduce the sense of isolation, loneliness and depression sight loss can bring.
British Wireless for the Blind Fund exists to help improve the daily lives of visually impaired people who are unable to afford a specially adapted radio or combined radio/audio, by providing one on free loan where there is clear benefit to the individual.
British Wireless for the Blind Fund has been providing radios and audio equipment to visually impaired people for almost 90 years. Thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2012, we have been able to fully research and bring together our history from 1929, when the first 100 crystal radio sets were issued, to the present day.
British Wireless for the Blind Fund was set up in 1928 by Sir Ernest Beachcroft Beckwith Towse VC, KCVO, CBE, a blinded Boer War veteran. After serving in the First World War as a staff officer working with the wounded in hospitals in France, he turned his energies to the service of the blind community.