Image shows three of the staff members at the new Albany Office.

The Blind Foundation has opened a new office on Auckland’s North Shore in Albany this week.

The office has a Functional Low Vision Assessment room, an Adaptive Technology training room as well as a number of meeting rooms, helping to make our services more accessible to clients who live locally.

The Albany office will be open on weekdays between 9am and 4pm.

We welcome you to come and say hello, and have a look at our equipment display.

Where to find us

The office is located in the Yes Disability building at: Level 1, 3 William Laurie Place, Albany. The office can be contacted on 0800 24 33 33.

How to get there

The office is only a couple of minutes by taxi from the Albany Bus Station. Parking around the back of the building is closest to the entrance that leads directly into the Blind Foundation. Alternatively, you can take the lift to Level 1 from the main entrance.

There are bus stops located approximately an eight minute walk away from the office on Don McKinnon Drive, near North Ridge Plaza. The bus connections to and from here are: 560, 880, 887, 891 and 957, which run every five to ten minutes at peak times. Please download Auckland Transport’s Albany Connect guide for more information.

We look forward to seeing you at our new office in Albany soon.

Image shows a forest with the quote 'start where you are, go where you can'.

Unsure about what to take on as part of the 7 day challenge? Here are our top 10 personal challenges to get you going.

  1. How many foodbank/charity items can you collect?
  2. High-five or take a selfie with a stranger.
  3. Wear a loud shirt/bright colours. You could rainbow throughout the week!
  4. Attempt challenging yoga poses/stretches. Increase your flexibility.
  5. Perform something. A poem, a play, a song, a magic trick, who are you going to have as your audience?
  6. Learn a song on an instrument.
  7. Write in a gratitude journal every day.
  8. Negotiate something. You might be able to skip your turn on dishes if you let someone use something of yours.
  9. Give something up for the week – Chocolate, social media, coffee, anything you’re addicted to.
  10. Pack your lunch everyday rather than buying it.

Visit the 7 Day Challenge site to find out more about the 7 Day Challenge and #WhatsYourChallenge.

Theresa Liebenberg, Relationship Manager at the Blind Foundation, receiving a cheque from the Ahmadiyya Muslim community for $7,350.

Back in March 2017 the Ahmadiyya Muslim community held its ninth annual Walkathon in Flat Bush, Auckland. 84 sponsored participants walked up to 10km around the Barry Curtis Park in order to aid their local communities.

The organisation donated thousands of fundraised dollars to both the Blind Foundation and the Humanity First Charities. The event is now a regular feature in the community’s annual calendar, and we want to thank them for their continued support and commitment.

Ahmadiyya Muslim community spokesman Dr Nadeem Ahmad said: “Supporting people in need, as well as helping the poor in one’s community is a central pillar of the Islamic faith. By organising this walk, and reaching out to the wider community to help sponsor the walkers, we are doing nothing more than what we believe to be our duty as true Muslims.

“It is indeed heartening to see the spirit shown by both the participants, as well as all the volunteers who have worked so hard in the background to make this walk a success. The Blind Foundation and the Humanity First Charities both work very hard to improve the lives of hundreds in our country and beyond. We are humbled that in a small way we can be part of their contribution to society.”

Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, as well as representatives of the Blind Foundation and the AA took part in this year’s walk. Sponsors belonging to local businesses, as well as the nurses and doctors at the Manukau and Auckland District Health Board helped reach a total of over $10,000. The attendees were treated to a barbeque and sausage sizzle after the walk that was sponsored by Mike Pero New Zealand, and its representative Mr Sheikhil Khan gave out special prizes to the individuals with the highest pledge amounts.

The motto of the Ahamadiyya Muslim Jama’at is “Love for all and hatred for none” and it is evident in their peaceful actions. The New Zealand branch is a registered charitable organisation and endeavors to be an active and integrated community within New Zealand society.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of New Zealand has been supporting the Blind Foundation since 2009 by hosting the annual walkathon. They have independently raised an excess of $39,000 in support of Guide Dogs in New Zealand. We are very grateful for all of their efforts over the years and support them in their fundraising efforts for 2018.

Brooke sitting next to a Blind Week street collection bucket

I hope you have all had a good week, I know I have.

First, let me tell you about collecting for Blind Week. I loved it. It was pawesome to get out there to help raise money for the Blind Foundation, and I wasn’t complaining about the extra pats. I was on my very best behaviour. I got a bit excited when I ran into Verka, another guide dog in training, and Paula from Guide Dogs, but other than that, I was nice and calm. I made sure I was extra gentle when I met some little kids too. I even sat down when they came over to say hello. I’m used to meeting all different types of people, so I know that some need a little more patience than others.

After collecting, I went for a big walk around Albany mall. I did try and have a lie down in a shop, just to let my Puppy Walker know that I’d had enough for the day. I fell asleep as soon as I got in the car home.

I’m getting really good at ignoring food in the supermarket. I do try and drag my Puppy Walker down the dog food aisle, but I still haven’t managed to head home with an extra bag of food. You can’t blame me for trying, I am a Lab after all.

I’ve also made some new friends. I’ve been playing with Eva, who is boarding in the Fundraising team, and I met some eight month old puppies at the local park. They were mini pointer/poodles, so were much smaller than me. I did knock them off their feet a few times, but we played well together. My recall still isn’t great when there are other puppies around. I just don’t want to leave my friends.

Enjoy your week and I will be back with more updates next week.

Image shows three blind singers performing in the street.

Today, Thursday 12 October 2017, marks World Sight Day. There was a global Make Vision Count photograph competition, to mark the occasion, which ended today. Both professional and amateur photographers around the world were encouraged to send in their photos with the theme #MakeVisionCount.

To date, there have been 696 photo entries and 26,600 votes. The brilliant photographs range from close up images of individuals faces with a focus on the eyes, to a group of blind singers performing in the street. View the amazing gallery of photographs here.

The two winners of the competition will be announced on Monday, 16 October 2017. The winning professional photographer will receive a cash prize of $1,000 USD. The winning amateur photographer will receive a Canon 1200 DSLR camera.

The competition aimed to highlight eye health successes and also document unmet needs. The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), who organised the competition, promotes universal eye health.

For more information on the competition, visit the #MakeVisionCount photography competition page.

Nominations for the Blind Foundation Youth Council are now open until 5pm on Friday, 10th November 2017.

Voting will commence between Monday, 13 November and Sunday, 10 December 2017. Candidates will anonymously provide a brief outline as to why they would like to be on the Youth Council.

Please ensure your preferred voting format is up to date. If you don’t know what your preferred format is, please call our National Contact Centre on 0800 24 33 33 or email: generalenquiries@blindfoundation.org.nz.

All nominees must be:

  • A registered member of the Blind Foundation.
  • Between the ages of 17 and 28.
  • Living in New Zealand.

Please read the aims of the Youth Council, Youth Council contract and Code of Conduct, before completing the Youth Council nomination form.

Youth Council, Youth Council contract and Code of Conduct.

Image shows Rick Hoskin and 2016 award-winner Thomas Bryan.

Nominations for this year’s Chairman’s Award close on Friday, 13 October 2017. The award is for a registered member who has demonstrated an outstanding level of achievement in any field of endeavours. It will be presented at the RNZFB Annual General Meeting on Saturday, 11 November 2017 in Hamilton.

Please provide full background information in support of the nomination and feel free to nominate persons who may have been nominated previously. Click the link to fill in the Chairman’s Award 2017 nominations form. Send nominations to Jane Moore.

The award comprises a trophy to be held for one year, a cheque for $500 and a framed certificate.

Tel: (09) 355 6894
Mobile: 021 0224 2716
Email: jamoore@blindfoundation.org.nz

Image shows the Kapiti Walking Group on Kapiti Island.

On Friday, 22 September five Blind Foundation clients joined volunteers, Jo Hagele and Frances Watling for a walking adventure. The Kapiti Walking Group went to Kapiti Island for a day for a much anticipated trip.

Everyone had a great day out and got the chance to explore the rare native birds and plants, and make new friends. These birds and plants cannot be found on the mainland, so it was extra special to see them.

One client, Elizabeth, thought it was an awesome trip. She said: ‘The addition of the guides made the time over, even more worthwhile. They pointed out things we would never have known as people from the mainland. I was fascinated to learn that the little blue penguins would use a discarded kiwi burrow.

‘The fact that there was virtually no wind, was an added bonus, as this meant that the birdsong was enhanced. It was a great day and I hope it will be repeated again, so that other Blind Foundation clients can have the opportunity to enjoy a local wild life sanctuary.’

Two puppies playing tug of war with a stick

Hello everyone, I’m back.

I’ve come home after just two weeks away. I couldn’t stand to be away from my Puppy Walker for any longer. Just kidding, the puppy development team thought I needed a bit more time for my body to settle down before doing too much else. It looks like I’ll be squeezing a few more naps in, what a shame.

My time away went well overall. I did get a bit scared around an escalator at a mall, but it’s nothing to worry about. I’m just getting used to things.

I haven’t been so happy with the Auckland weather lately. I know when it’s about to rain and if I’m out walking I pick up my lead and try and get my Puppy Walker to head for home. I don’t have much luck, but a few treats are worth a wet coat.

I’ve done a bit of desk hopping at work which I have taken in my stride. I don’t mind changing places; I just wish the heater changed with me.

I’m out and about in Mairangi Bay on Friday helping to collect for Blind Week. I’m always proud to show off my red coat, and I’m looking forward to exploring another new place. A few extra pats and treats are pretty great too.

If you haven’t already, you can support the Blind Foundation by donating here.

Catch you next week.

 

Blind Foundation logo

Voting in this year’s Board Elections is now open.

Voting packs were sent out to all voting members of the Blind Foundation in their preferred formats on 5 October 2017.  If you have not received your voting pack information, please contact the Contact Centre on 0800 24 33 33 to request a copy.

Voting in the Blind Foundation elections closes at 4pm on Friday 3 November 2017.  We encourage all voting members to please take up the opportunity to have a say in who leads the organisation forward for the next three years.

This year’s election has three General seats up for election.  Only governing members are eligible to vote for the general seats.  There are a total of 15 candidates standing in the election for the three General seats.

The candidates in the 2017 Board Elections, listed in the same order as they appear on the voting form, are:

General Seat

  • Krishna Guda.
  • Fraser Alexander.
  • Deborah Boyd.
  • Daniel Holt.
  • Peter Rudd.
  • Ryan McLean.
  • Nicola Owen.
  • Tracey Reason.
  • Geoffrey Warne.
  • Keith Appleton.
  • Jo Breese.
  • David Cullen.
  • Tsarina Dellow.
  • Veronica Aris.
  • Kieran Berry.

For more information on the candidates, please visit rnzfbelections.org.nz