A ‘MISLEADING’ and ‘off-putting’ name has an 120-year-old Oxfordshire charity calling for help to rebrand.

Oxfordshire Association for the Blind (OAB) is searching for alternatives to ensure it can continue supporting those with visual impairments for years to come.

The charity’s fundraising manager Laura Howdill said: “The name of the charity is misleading and it is creating barriers. The term ‘blind’ can be shocking for those in the early stages of sight loss.

“It is also off-putting to people who still have some sight. Some assume that Oxfordshire Association for the Blind is ‘not for them.’

“In addition, the old-fashioned name and branding is affecting the charity’s ability to appeal to younger people.”

She explained most charities had already stopped using the term ‘blind’ citing the example of Berkshire County Blind Society, which in 2015 became Berkshire Vision.

Katharine Gorick, the head of Oxfordshire’s Visual Impairment Team for the Special Educational Needs Support Service said that the charity’s name “is not very inclusive and can be off-putting to those with varying levels of visual impairment.”

Since 1877, OAB has provided specialist support to those in the county affected by sight loss.

It is the only organisation of this type in the county. OAB’s services are free of charge and are open to anyone with a visual impairment. The organisation supports over 2,800 people every year.

Ms Howdill said the new name was more important than ever given the challenging the funding challenges for charities in recent years.

She said: "The charity is working hard on collaborating, increasing its efficiency, measuring its impact, and becoming more resilient in order to retain its much-needed services for visually impaired people.The rebrand is expected to give the charity a huge boost."

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