A club which helps the visually impaired experience the joys of reading

The Dereham book club for visually-impaired people meets at Dereham Library.

The Dereham book club for visually-impaired people meets at Dereham Library. - Credit: Archant

Visually-impaired people in and around Dereham are being urged not to miss out on the joy of books – by taking part in a monthly audio book club which takes place at the town's library.

Run by the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind (NNAB), the club is one of eight across Norfolk, with members meeting to discuss the chosen book of the month.

Members receive the audio book on either a CD or memory stick.

Now the Dereham group is looking for more members.

Mark Smith, leisure activities co-ordinator at the NNAB, who is himself blind, said: 'With the onset of sight loss, many people find it difficult to enjoy the pleasures of reading.

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'This is where audio books come into play, and they are a vital means of enjoying a favourite book.

'We read a huge variety of books – they are certainly not all high brow or literary classics.

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'The titles are generally the kind of books that most enthusiastic readers might find on their shelves.

'Our meetings are informal and friendly, we try to make them fun.'

The Dereham group is led by Joyce Ellis, who has been an NNAB volunteer for six years.

She said, 'I have always been concerned about going blind, so I felt I wanted to do something to help.

'The club means that members get to listen to books they wouldn't otherwise have done, as well as enjoying the social interaction which is part of any book club..'

The Dereham Audio Book Club meets on the third Wednesday of every month from 10.30am to 12pm in the town's library.

Attendance and the loan of the audio books is free for members, thanks to Norfolk County Council funding.

Anyone interested in taking part – no matter the extent of their sight loss – can contact Mr Smith on 01603 629558 or via email at marksmith@nnab.org.uk

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