Sight Support Ryedale, based in Norton/Malton, North Yorkshire, is a small local charity whose overall aim is to support and positively affect the lives of blind and partially sighted people living in the Ryedale district of North Yorkshire. We provide social groups, activities, excursions, opportunities for friendship and peer support.

Sight loss largely affects the elderly with many of our members, who are registered blind or partially sighted, being over the age of sixty-five.

By reducing the social exclusion that is often experienced by those living with sight loss, we aim to help increase inclusion within the community, give opportunities for friendships, mutual support and prevent social isolation, which can lead to depression, thus enabling sight impaired people to retain their independence for as long as possible.

For seven years we had occupied a first-floor office in Malton, which was difficult for sight impaired people to access. The office was on a very busy main road, away from the main shopping area, which had no pedestrian crossings close by. Therefore, we received very few visitors or direct enquiries; we became invisible to the local community.

In September 2017 we relocated our office to more accessible premises within Norton Hive Library and Community Hub.

The library at Norton had been saved from North Yorkshire County Council's programme of library closures by a community group and had been relaunched as a community led library with the new name 'Norton Hive Library and Community Hub'.

The library is at the heart of the local community which is in a prominent position on Commercial Street in the town centre and, unlike our previous premises in Malton, there is a large car park for use by anyone accessing our services.

By being more accessible, we are beginning to forge stronger links with the local community and those organisations working to support the vulnerable people within Ryedale.

For more information about the services we offer, contact us by telephone; 01653 698860, email: [email protected] or via our website: www.sightsupportryedale.org