Royal award for Association of Blind Asians

The Association of Blind Asians has received an award for its pioneering community work from the Duke of York's Community Initiative.

Association of Blind Asians (ABA) started in 1989 and it is the only service of its kind in the UK. It supports people who have (or are at risk of) visual impairment, and who are mainly from the South Asian community of Leeds. ABA’s work includes advocacy, drop-in advice sessions, a weekly luncheon club, assistance with reading and replying to official correspondence and health education. ABA’s staff and volunteers are able to deliver this support in a way that takes account of people’s culture and language.

On Thursday 10 October, Shehnaz Jinwala and Amarjit Uppal - who are both service users and trustees of ABA - along with Manager Debbani Ghosh and Information and IT Worker Ben Deutsch attended an award ceremony in Bridlington to collect an award on ABA’s behalf from HRH the Duke of York. The award, granted by The Duke of York’s Community Initiative , recognises that ABA offers a unique service in the community.

The Community Initiative was founded by HRH Prince Andrew, The Duke of York to recognise the work of voluntary organisations in Yorkshire who do exceptional work to meet the needs of their local communities.

The award is recognition of the hard work and commitment from ABA's members, volunteers and staff. The citation for ABA stated that "ABA is an exemplar of how an activity initially created to meet a 'single issue' demand can grow and develop into a comprehensive support system for people of all ages, and increasingly all communities. ABA turns people's lives around and gives them independence in their own homes."

Awards were given to 40 organisations from across the region. Other award winners from the Leeds area included The Growing Zone in Kippax, Leeds Mencap, Friends of PHAB, St Andrews Pantomime Group, Gipton Together and Canopy Housing.