History of the Charity

Since 1834, BlindAid has been delivering emotional and practical support to blind and visually impaired Londoners.

Our long and distinguished history has earned an excellent reputation amongst both our service users and the professional organisations we work alongside.

Naturally, throughout such a long period of time, we have evolved and developed:


The Indigent Blind Visiting Society was founded by Lord Shaftesbury and Thomas Rhodes Armitage, (Armitage is famous for introducing Braille into England and for being one of the founders of RNIB), with the purpose of visiting and aiding the blind poor in their own homes.

This was the first ever Home Visiting service for blind and visually impaired people.

The founding organisation also provided education and assistance in reading using Frere type and other printing systems and provided practical support to teach blind people craft work, allowing them to find employment:


In 1866, the Society visited 200 people and provided £212 in aid.


By 1885, this had increased to 875 people visited and £2,720 in aid.


You can read more about the Indigent Blind Visiting Society here:



Excerpt from the 1946 Annual Report:

“During the war, the charity did not cease its work for a day and the staff reported for work, sometimes war battered from blitzed homes, or after Civilian Defence duties lasting throughout noisy and perilous nights, always ready to carry on their service for the blind, faithfully and courageously as befitted ‘citizens of no mean city’.


We became:

The Metropolitan Society for the Blind


We rebranded from ‘The Metropolitan Society for the Blind’ to ‘BlindAid’, allowing us to build on a strong foundation with an excellent reputation and acknowledged that we are also a service provider.


Beginning of Big-Lottery funded Share London volunteer partnership service.

Brand refresh and new website are revealed to develop and propel BlindAid into the future.

The quality of our service portfolio remains the same and going forward, our main objective is to increase the number of people we are able to visit and help.