Most of us would find it impossible to imagine not being able to read things in our day to day lives, whether it’s the back of a cereal packet, our Facebook or Twitter feed, or our very favourite novel.  But for almost 2 million people in the UK this is a reality, and it is often incredibly isolating.  That’s why the work that RNIB do in helping create a more inclusive society is so important.

Nanette - RNIBCustomers donating via Pennies have raised over £26,700 for RNIB so far, and that money is helping to address a key issue facing blind and partially sighted people – the availability of books.

Only 7% of all books are available in formats that blind or partially sighted people can read, be they large print, braille or audio books, but thanks to your donations and the work of RNIB, blind people like Nanette have better access to books than ever before.

Nanette, 57, has a very rare form of Sarciodosis that affects both eyes and has resulted in blindness. Nanette lost her sight at just 31 years old and due to her condition, was unable to see her new born son until he was seven months old when steroid treatment restored her sight temporarily.

Having been a successful career woman with an engineering degree and training as a lawyer she found her sight loss deeply frustrating. She hated and still resents the constraints that sight loss has put on her life, but has found a lifeline in the form of RNIB’s Talking Book Service. Nanette has been a member for the last two years and particularly loves crime and detective fiction, although is now considering expanding her selection to new genres.

RNIB can subsidise the costs of this service with your donations; just £70 can help give someone talking books for a whole year.  Pennies donations alone have raised almost 400 times that in just a few years, helping bring people like Nanette at least some way back into the sighted world.

This week, there is another way to help out people like Nanette – taking part in Read of RNIB Day. Across the country this Friday, 11th October, people will be holding reading themed fundraising events and drawing attention to the need for better access to books for the blind. For more information on Read for RNIB Day, and how to get involved, visit the website here.

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