150 & counting!


Galloway’s, marks a significant milestone this year as we celebrate 150 years of service to blind and partially sighted people in the community. We began our celebrations on our actual birthday which was on the 11th March. Read on to find more out about our past, present and future!


Picture of Preston Corn Exchange in the 1800's


How did it all start?

Back in the 1800’s, John Catterall of East View, Preston, and Joseph Livesey, one of the great sons of Preston, began to carry out welfare for blind and partially sighted people in John’s home. A few years later, a cottage was taken on North Road in Preston and used as a workshop for blind and partially sighted people. It was here, a blind gentleman named William Woodhurst was put in charge of operations.

A public meeting was held on 11th March 1867 in the Corn Exchange and it was decided there was more that could be done. A resolution was passed to set up an Industrial Institute for the Blind. Galloway’s, as we know today, still has records dating back to the inaugural meeting. It counts among its earliest benefactors Mr E H Booth, founder of well-known supermarket chain. Galloway’s are proud to have kept the link with the Booths family in our board of trustees.

Our work expanded throughout Lancashire with community workers visiting blind and partially sighted people to “instruct” them in various trades or skills. Workshops were established, followed by a school, a residential home and even a hotel.

Originally Preston Industrial Institute for the Blind, then the Institute for Blind Welfare and until 2000, the Preston and North Lancashire Blind Welfare Society. Now named after William Wilding Galloway, a cotton merchant from Preston whose will Galloway’s benefited from.


Picture of Service User swimming with a dolphin on a Galloway's Holiday


Galloway’s today…

Over the years, the work of Galloway’s has changed with the times and adapted to the needs of local people living with sight loss.

Today, we’re extremely proud to support over 7,000 blind and partially sighted people every year across Lancashire and Sefton, through a wide range of high impact services.

Our work aims to support people through any stage of the sight loss journey including emotional and practical support at the point of diagnosis, specialist low vision clinics which aim to support people with everyday living, an extensive outdoor pursuit’s programme, social groups and much more.

All services offered at Galloway’s, work towards ensuring that nobody in the local community has to face sight loss alone or without the right support.


The next 150 years

Looking forward, we know there’s so much more we can do for people in our community living with sight loss, we know that we need to ensure we’re at the top of our field to provide the support needed the most. But we also know we can’t do this without the continued support of our local community.  There are lots of ways you can support our work, our next 150 years and the increasing number of people living with sight loss in Lancashire and Sefton.


Can you contribute to our “looking back” display?

We are really lucky to have a long and proud history here at Galloway’s, and we really had some fantastic achievements over the years. What better time to showcase our history than where it all started, our Annual General Meeting, which will be held this November.

We’ve supporting countless thousands of people over the years, we’ve worked with many fantastic colleagues and we’ve got some significant pieces of history. But we need your help bringing it all together. Do you have any photographs, recollections, stories or memories of Galloway’s that you could share with us? If you do, please do get in touch. We’d love to hear from you and add your little piece of our jigsaw to our “looking back” display which will be showcased at our AGM.

Call Emma on 01772 744148 or email emma.russ@galloways.org.uk


Take on our 150 Challenge!

We think that turning 150 is something to be really proud of – 150 years of supporting blind and partially sighted people in your community.

To help us celebrate, we’re asking you, our friends, supporters and volunteers to raise £15, £150 or even £1,500 during 2017 and the great thing is that it can be any challenge of your choosing! Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Request a Galloway’s Champion Event Calendar and pick an event to support Galloway’s this year
  • Hold a quiz night! Maybe with a history theme to toe in with our birthday!
  • Organise a garage sale
  • Organise a coffee morning
  • Ask friends and family to make a donation instead of receiving gifts for a special occasion such as a birthday or wedding anniversary.

Harriet, a visually impaired person from Preston recently asked for donations in lieu of Presents for her 90th birthday. Harriet comes to our social group on a Tuesday and has done for many years.

 “I love coming to Galloway’s and get so much from the social group. When my family and friends started asking what I would like for my birthday, I started to wonder what I could possibly need at my age! I decided to ask for donations to Galloway’s instead of gifts, that way, I knew my birthday would be celebrated in an extra special way whilst supporting a charity so close to my heart at the same time. The girls at Galloway’s gave me a lovely card to wish me a happy birthday and to say thank you, but really, it’s me who should be thanking them!”

If you want to support us in our 150th year, discover more ideas about what you can do to support us, or maybe just run your own idea past us then please contact Emma on emma.russ@galloways.org.uk call 01772 744148.


Make Galloway’s your charity of choice this year…

Whether it be by taking part in one of our events like our famous Morecambe Bay Walk, choosing to leave us a gift in your will, making a donation towards our work or even choosing Galloway’s as the charity your workplace or community group supports this year, please consider Galloway’s as your charity of choice this year. Our Fundraising Team are there to support you through your fundraising, answer any questions you have and have a catalogue of materials that can help you on your way.

You can contact Anna and Emma by calling 01772 744148 or emailing fundraising@galloways.org.uk.


The last 150 years are only possible thanks to you…

Galloway’s are only here today because of the generosity of our beneficiaries and the general public. We are reliant on donations and legacies to continue our work. Whilst we couldn’t have continued without the financial support, our volunteers have played and essential role in enabling Galloway’s support local blind and partially sighted people for the last 150 years.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who has made our work and achievements possible over the last century and a half, our achievements are only possible due to your support and for that….we just can’t say thank you enough!