North Norfolk Social Centre for the Blind wants the world to know it exists

Members of a little-known north Norfolk social club are hoping their head-turning Easter bonnets will help raise the group's profile.

North Norfolk Social Centre for the Blind has been offering fun and friendship to people with a visual handicap for more than 60 years but leaders feel they do not get the recognition they deserve.

The group currently has 54 members who travel from as far afield as Cromer, Sheringham and Stalham to monthly meetings in North Walsham Community Centre.

Their programme includes a proper afternoon tea, clothes stall, raffle, and lottery each month, plus entertainment from musicians, comedians and storytellers, together with quizzes, outings, a favourite poems session, and a Christmas lunch.

Members are either blind or partially sighted and the club pays the cost of taxis to transport many of them to and from meetings, estimated at about �3,000 a year.

But chairman Margaret Brown said when some members had died and loved ones had wanted to make a donation in their memory, families had been unsure of the club's correct name and had mistakenly sent cheques to the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind.

As a result, the north Norfolk club had missed out at least twice on a much-need boost, said Mrs Brown.

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'People just don't seem to know we're here so we want to shout out our name a bit more,' she added.

But members had been thrilled when they were adopted as North Walsham and Bradfield Flower Club's charity of the year in 2011 and received �1,000 as a result. They had also been left a legacy recently which was gratefully received. And the club would be holding a charity collection outside North Walsham's Sainsbury's supermarket in August.

Founded in about 1945, the club had originally included the words 'North Walsham' in its title but, as membership expanded beyond the town, it had changed its name to 'North Norfolk'.

'Some of our members are quite isolated because of their eye problems and they all thoroughly enjoy coming here. Some of them don't go far from home otherwise,' said Mrs Brown.

Membership is open to people in north Norfolk and costs �10 a year. Club funds are also used to subsidise meals out and trips to places including the Cromer Pier Seaside Special show.

Meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month. For more details ring Mrs Brown on 01692 500400 or club secretary Jean Stockdale, 01692 402562.

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