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Issue 318 – Club for blind and partially sighted appeals for funds

THE organisers of the Mells Barn Social Club for the Blind and Partially Sighted are searching for funding after their funding from Somerset Sight was withdrawn.

The social club say they have been informed that Somerset Sight will no longer be in a position to fund their socials from March 31st.
The club must now find alternative sources of funding or face closure.
Gillian Baker, who has been organising the club for the last 27 years, said, “This social club has been meeting in Mells Barn the best part of 50 years, so I have no intention of letting it go under without a fight. Particularly as I often hear comments from our members like ‘It’s nice to get out of the house’ and ‘If it were not for these meetings I don’t think I would ever leave my home.’
“Of the ten social clubs in Somerset we are the largest and this brings its own problems. We have the largest catchment area of all – Frome, Shepton Mallett and several of the surrounding Mendip villages, resulting in the highest transport costs.
“We meet on Thursday afternoons for eight months of the year, March, April May and June then September, October, November and December, the latter being our Christmas party. The meetings run from 2.15pm to 4.15pm and our members are greeted with a cup of tea or coffee when they arrive, this is followed by entertainment of some kind, usually supplied free due to the kindness of many local musicians and performers. A tea consisting of a good selection of sandwiches and cakes, plus drinks, comes next and the afternoon finishes with our monthly raffle.
“We have a minimum outgoing of £190 each month, less the £80 collected from our members, which means we need to raise not less than £110 per month just to survive.”
Anyone who thinks they may be able to help the club can contact Gillian and Clive Baker on 01373 813 391.