Read: the stories of the people who make Barnet

Andrew Cox - Middlesex Association for the Blind


Andrew Cox is the chief executive of Middlesex Association for the Blind, which supports around 200 visually impaired people in Barnet

“Sight loss is a great leveller. It affects people of all ages, ethnicities, religions and each face similar problems to those of someone from a completely different background. Becoming visually impaired can be socially isolating; you can lose your confidence. Our organisation helps people to remain independent in their own homes and also to get out of the home and be part of the local community.

“We help visually impaired people to contribute as much to Barnet as sighted people. Many hold down professional occupations, and we have helped to place people in a variety of jobs both full and part-time. Many of our clients volunteer for us, working in our head office or visiting others with sight loss. We have a number of visually impaired people on our staff and board of trustees.

“Many of our clients were keen cyclists before they lost their sight. We bought three twin-seat tricycles that enable people to safely pursue their hobby, alongside a sighted guide. We quickly noticed that the cycling group became a friendship group. Even when the weather is too bad for cycling they are still keen to meet up in a local café.

“We are very much a social hub. We have around 40 volunteers in Barnet many of whom are retired and come from an array of backgrounds and are very representative of the people who live in the borough. They often strike up lifelong relationships – not just with our clients but with their friends and family too. Our services connect people. For example, teaching IT skills has been liberating for our older clients, as they learn to use things like Skype and email to keep in touch with friends and family.”

For information about services or getting involved, visit: aftb.org.uk.


Anthony Dawodu - Wheelio cycling group
Inass Ibrahim - Burnt Oak Women's Group

Mary Pearce - Grahame Park Independent Living GroupEliot Tang - Rising Stars Activities

Andrew Cox - Middlesex Association for the Blind


Andrew Cox is the chief executive of Middlesex Association for the Blind, which supports around 200 visually impaired people in Barnet

“Sight loss is a great leveller. It affects people of all ages, ethnicities, religions and each face similar problems to those of someone from a completely different background. Becoming visually impaired can be socially isolating; you can lose your confidence. Our organisation helps people to remain independent in their own homes and also to get out of the home and be part of the local community.

“We help visually impaired people to contribute as much to Barnet as sighted people. Many hold down professional occupations, and we have helped to place people in a variety of jobs both full and part-time. Many of our clients volunteer for us, working in our head office or visiting others with sight loss. We have a number of visually impaired people on our staff and board of trustees.

“Many of our clients were keen cyclists before they lost their sight. We bought three twin-seat tricycles that enable people to safely pursue their hobby, alongside a sighted guide. We quickly noticed that the cycling group became a friendship group. Even when the weather is too bad for cycling they are still keen to meet up in a local café.

“We are very much a social hub. We have around 40 volunteers in Barnet many of whom are retired and come from an array of backgrounds and are very representative of the people who live in the borough. They often strike up lifelong relationships – not just with our clients but with their friends and family too. Our services connect people. For example, teaching IT skills has been liberating for our older clients, as they learn to use things like Skype and email to keep in touch with friends and family.”

For information about services or getting involved, visit: aftb.org.uk.


Anthony Dawodu - Wheelio cycling group
Inass Ibrahim - Burnt Oak Women's Group

Mary Pearce - Grahame Park Independent Living GroupEliot Tang - Rising Stars Activities