Blind Children UK- Guide Dogs

What our service does

Blind Children UK is the leading charity for children and young people with sight loss. We believe that no child should feel isolated and afraid or be deprived of a full life just because they can't see.

Our Movement Matters service provides training to help blind children and young people get around safely and independently. Movement Matters also teaches important life skills such as handling money and preparing food.

Our Family Support team gives the families of children with visual impairment emotional and practical support, advice and information. We also advise and work with other professionals and organisations.

Our Education Support team is on hand to help children and young people with sight loss to get the best from their education. The support they offer is particularly valuable to help children move smoothly and confidently from one stage of education to another.

We can assist with identifying a suitable nursery, school or college, and provide confidential advice around a child's statutory rights. We explain complex terms and help with processes and forms. We're also experienced at liaising with professionals on families' behalf and acting as expert witnesses.

Our Access Technology team gives advice on choosing the most appropriate technology and sensory equipment to help children with a vision impairment study and play. We also offer a grants programme that allows families to apply for recommended items they otherwise wouldn't be able to access.

Blind Children UK's CustomEyes service produces large print books for children with vision impairment.

Location of our service

Our service covers all areas of Bedfordshire and there is no difference in our offer. Our services are also offered nationally.

Who our service provides for

Children & Young people aged 0-25 with sight loss. Parents/carers and family of visually impaired children and young people.

We provide services to the above plus children and young people with sight loss and additional needs.

Blind Children UK is part of the Guide Dogs Group who have other services outside 0-25 aged group.

The services we deliver support children and their families, too right from birth through to young adulthood. Our aim is to enable the whole family live life to the full, so we also give parents tools they can use to help their children reach educational and recreational goals.

We work collaboratively with other service providers to make sure the needs of the child are being met including local sensory teams and other QTVI specialists.

How to start using our service

By parents / family
Via School
Via voluntary agencies
Via GP/Health
Via Young People's Support Unit
Via Independent Living Team
Self referral

Movements Matters may attract a cost but would depend on the referral and whether the service is linked to the local sensory team. Personal budgets could be used to support this service.

CustomEyes books would attract the standard RRP per book.

All other services are free.

Movement Matters has a short waiting list. All other services there is none.

Further information is available at
Children & Young People aged 0-25.

How decisions are made about who can use our service

Telephone contact would explore the type of service required. Movement Matters through an enquiry process and discussion. A Service Information Visit is also carried out. As is a habilitation assessment. The assessment will determine what kind of service is most suitable.

All parents/carers would be included in any discussions made about services for their children.

How we communicate with our service users

We have leaflets available for parents. Communication will be provided dependent upon the needs of the parents and or child or young person. We can organise interpretation if needed.

The parent/carer would be kept in the loop regarding progress on any development plans put in place.

We provide parent guidance days which provide activities for children and advice and guidance for parents and carers.

Accessibility of our service

Most services are carried out in the home environment. Should a workshop or event take place it would be in a suitable location to meet the needs of those attending.

Qualifications and training of our staff

All staff working with children would have a suitable qualification i.e habilitation specialists or QTVI's. they are also registered with MISE (Mobility and Independence Specialists in Education). All staff have Enhance Disclosure and Barring Service check and receive safeguarding training. We also have a child protection policy, vulnerable adults protection policy.

We work with other organisations like local sensory teams, voluntary organisations and other specialists depending on the needs of the child or young person especially with additional needs or disabilities.

General Contact Information

Blind Children UK on 0800 781 1444. Email or our website as first point of contact.

Contact for more information

Karen Mumford
Mobility Team Manager
Unit 3, Stroud Wood Business Centre, Park Street, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL2 2NJ
0800 781 1444
Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri 9am-5pm