The Bermuda Society for the Blind received a charitable boost today when one of the Island’s leading insurance/reinsurance companies donated thousands of dollars to help support the blind and partially sighted.

Alice Cedenio, on behalf of Axis Specialty Limited, presented a cheque for $7,500 to the charity that runs Beacon House, which will help the organisation to continue providing programmes and services to people who are blind or visually impaired.

“We are delighted to help in this way,” said Ms Cedenio, of the Axis Charity Committee. “The Society is the only organisation of its type in Bermuda and, as such, has a vital role to play in the community.

“We hope that this donation goes some way to helping them to continue the excellent work they do,” she added.

“AXIS is interested in helping the community in various ways so after reviewing their proposal we thought it would be a perfect fit.”

The company supports a diverse group of local charities. Others include Meals on Wheels, the 2016 Agricultural Show, and Open Airways.

According to the 2010 Census, about 2,500 Bermudians have vision problems. Of those, more than 900 say loss of sight interferes with their ability to complete everyday tasks.

Society Board President Amanda Marshall, noted that the top five conditions that cause blindness and low vision in Bermuda, according to a 2009 National Survey, were diabetic retinopathy/hypertensive retinopathy, glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, and eye trauma due to accidents or violence.

“With an ageing population we expect the number of people who are affected by some degree of vision loss to increase so we are indebted to companies like Axis for their very generous support,” said Dr Marshall.

The Bermuda Society for the Blind began offering vision rehabilitation therapy programmes when Jane Charlton, a dual certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (CVRT) and Orientation & Mobility Specialist joined the team at the Society.

The programmes assist persons with vision impairments achieve and retain their independence.

By Ceola Wilson

Photo Caption:Left to right Jamie Steeves (AXIS), Jane Charlton – BSFB Vision Rehabilitation Therapist, Shalimar Williams (AXIS), Karen Gonsalves (AXIS), Amanda Marshall, BSFB President, Alice Cedenio (AXIS) and Laquita Philpott (AXIS)