An organisation which has supported blind and partially sighted people since the 1850s has been awarded the Freedom of Liverpool.
Bradbury Fields – formerly known as the Liverpool Voluntary Society for the Blind – is dedicated to working with blind and partially sighted people, helping them to become part of their local communities.
At a service at Liverpool Town Hall on Wednesday 27 June, it was granted admission to the Freedom Roll of Associations and Institutions – the highest honour the city can bestow.
Lord Mayor, Cllr Christine Banks, said: “I am truly delighted to have awarded Bradbury Fields the Freedom of Liverpool.
“It has helped generations of people who suffer from poor sight to live as normal a life as possible and be able to do all of the things that we all take for granted.”
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson added: “We are fortunate to have Bradbury Fields based in Liverpool, making such a huge difference to the lives of so many people.
“Their work is much valued and appreciated, and awarding them the Freedom of Liverpool is our way of saying thank you.”
The organisation was established in 1857 to provide a service for blind people in their own homes, and in the beginning, this meant teaching reading skills to enable blind people to access scriptures.
Today, it employs 26 members of staff who work in partnership with Liverpool, Knowsley and Sefton Councils and Royal Liverpool and Aintree Hospitals to provide eye clinic liaison services and a statutory rehabilitation service for people aged from one to 105.
The emphasis of all their services is to help blind and partially sighted people to gain as much independence as they wish.
Philip Longworth, Chief Executive of Bradbury Fields, said: “Bradbury Fields is honoured and delighted to have been awarded the Freedom of the City by Liverpool City Council.
“We are pleased to have been recognised for our contribution to the local community for over 160 years, supporting blind and partially sighted people to maintain independence and have a quality in their lives.”
Picture: Mayor Joe Anderson, Frank McFarlane – Chair of the Board of Trustees at Bradbury Fields, Philip Longworth – Chief Executive, Bradbury Fields and Abila Pointing MBE – Deputy Lieutenant of Merseyside with Lord Mayor, Cllr Christine Banks (seated)