16 May 2022

Margaret marks 90th birthday by donating birthday cash to sight charity

Castledawson woman celebrated her 90th birthday by raising cash towards a special 'Talking Book' service for those living with severe sight problems.

A Castledawson woman celebrated her 90th birthday by raising cash towards a special 'Talking Book' service for those living with severe sight problems.
By asking friends and family for donations, Margaret Brown raised an amazing £300 towards the Mid Ulster Talking Book Challenge for the Royal National Institute of Blind people (RNIB).
Margaret has enjoyed Talking Books for many years since her central vision started to deteriorate in her 60s due to age-related macular degeneration. When her family suggested the alternative gift idea Margaret was delighted, saying: “That’s a great idea. Sure I don’t need anything!”
Margaret’s daughter Irene said: “Friends and family were very generous and we had a lovely get together in the home for mum.
“Of course she got other little things as well, but mum really appreciated the donations towards RNIB. 
“She’s had a lot of support from RNIB’s local Community Access Worker Jackie Cotton, and Mark Waterman from sensory support over the years, making sure she has anything to make life that bit easier and more enjoyable. “She’s been stocked with Talking Books and newspapers, has a talking watch and clock and lots of other things they’ve suggested.
“She also really enjoyed attending the local Insight visually impaired group, facilitated by Jackie, for many years.
“I would have accompanied her on trips and dinners. She loved them.
“With her more limited mobility now she loves her talking books, particularly biographies in these later years, and listening to gospel music and speakers.”
 Jackie Cotton, RNIB’s Community Access Worker for the Mid Ulster Area said: We’re so grateful to Margaret, Irene and their family and friends for supporting the Mid Ulster Community Talking Book Challenge.
“In the past year we’ve seen a 38% increase in RNIB Talking Books subscribers so we know this service is in demand from people in the local community.
“Their donations will help us create even more books for people of all ages to enjoy for years to come.
“RNIB is committed to making every day better for blind and partially sighted people across Northern Ireland, but we simply can't do it alone.
“Right now, we can only support one in three people affected by sight loss, but together, we can smash the barriers that stop people with sight loss thriving.”
If you’d like to join the community effort to sponsor RNIB Talking Books, don’t hesitate to contact RNIB NI’s Area Fundraising Manager Hazel Stirling on or 07879 435231. For fundraising ideas, visit
 To register to receive RNIB’s Talking Books call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or visit

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