JEWISH Blind & Disabled (JBD) held their most successful fundraising dinner in many years – raising more than £200,000 towards their work, which includes providing specially adapted mobility apartments in three supportive developments in Essex.

Part of the film showed at the event, held at StoneX, was filmed at Aztec House in Ilford and featured a range of tenants living there.

Guests also heard first-hand from two JBD tenants, Diana and Gary, who were in conversation with TV star Rob Rinder.

Diana and her husband Steve moved into their Jewish Blind & Disabled flat 15 years ago after both being diagnosed with hereditary conditions.

Diana said: “We went from a normal working family of four to a family where three of us were too ill to work and Steve was caring for all of us, so had to stop working too. In 2000, I ended up in hospital for a month. This was my lowest point. I came home and couldn’t move, I just sat there staring out of the window – I was young and in despair. That’s when I was told about Jewish Blind & Disabled. I don’t know where we would be without them. JBD has given us hope and we can live independently with support around us for when we need it.”

Gary and his wife Yvonne contacted Jewish Blind & Disabled during Covid as his mobility was declining and he was struggling with few steps into his bungalow. At that time, they didn’t have a diagnosis but in Gary’s words – “I knew something was wrong”. Shortly after moving Gary was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. His condition has progressed in the last few years. Gary said: “I feel fortunate to live at JBD. We have peace of mind with the support from 24/7 house managers and it really is a special place to live.”

Speaking at the event, Jewish Blind & Disabled chair Marc Gordon said: “I have been chair of Jewish Blind & Disabled for just over a year now, but I have been a supporter for over 20 years. I thought I knew a fair amount about the work of the charity and its impact, however, the more I learn and see, the more impressed I am with our unique offering and how it is delivered. I have seen how the range of services we provide are truly life changing for people with physical disabilities and / or vision impairments. We have ambitious plans, but these are only possible due to the generous support we receive from across the community.”

Speaking afterwards, chief executive Lisa Wimborne added: “This event was a fantastic opportunity to shine a spotlight on Jewish Blind & Disabled. All too often I hear people tell me they have never heard of us before they needed our support. Many of the people in the room were new to Jewish Blind & Disabled. I was delighted that they heard first-hand from  Diana and Gary, who spoke from the heart and articulated how their lives have changed since moving into their Jewish Blind & Disabled flats.

“Since the pandemic, we have seen increasing demand for both our housing and our Independent Living Advisory Service, and we expect this to increase for many years to come. That is why we have ambitious plans for the coming years, but these plans require us to increase our annual fundraising from £1.2m to £2.5m. Our event was another step in the right direction.”

• To find out more about Jewish Blind & Disabled or make a donation, please visit

JBD chief executive Lisa Wimborne, TV star Rob Rinder and chair Marc Gordon at the charity’s hugely successful dinner



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