InSight Magazine – Q3 2022 Edition

Our latest edition of InSight is out now.

This edition includes:


InSight Q3 2022 Cover

Click here or the image above to read the latest edition of our InSight Magazine or click the links below to hear it recorded in an audio format:

  1. CEO’s Letter
  2. Wilberforce House – Staff Perspective
  3. Club Wilber Pizza Party
  4. Living & Learning Zone
  5. Volunteering
  6. Fundraising & Sponsorship
  7. YorSensory – Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much
  8. York Talking News Advertisement
Club Wilber – Easter Egg Hunt 2022

Our Club Wilber Easter Egg hunt returned this year after the hiatus imposed by COVID19 restrictions.

The field was decorated with numerous egg hunting inspired decorations including hampers, baskets, signs, wind spinners, flowers, chicks, even a tipi and lots and lots of hay.

We hid the beeping eggs amongst the decorations, along with lots of chocolate treats and sweets ready for the children to find using their hearing.

The sun was shining, the decorations were in position, the eggs were hidden and then the Club Wilber families arrived, excited, happy and ready for a wonderful activity.

Each child put on some bunny ears and set off with basket in hand listening out for the beep of the eggs.  As always siblings could take part by wearing blindfolds.  Families were able to lay out their picnic blankets and join together for some Easter themed refreshments and enjoy time chatting and supporting one another.

After filling their baskets the children returned to exchange beeping eggs for chocolate Easter eggs to take home along with the treats they had found along the way.

We had some fabulous feedback from the families:

“It was definitely engaging. My child quickly got to grips with everything and it kept his interest for a good amount of time.  He loved the buzzing eggs”

“The atmosphere was great and you’ve managed to get such a lovely weather!  My child liked that there were eggs of different sizes – made it more interesting”

“Brought all the families together, lots of choc, you ordered the weather”

“Thank you for a fabulous egg hunt today, we loved it!!  And thank you for being thoughtful as always …”

“Thank you for today, kids loved it”

“Thank you for the lovely time today!  It was really eggciting!”

We couldn’t have run this event without the support of our volunteers who kindly donated their time on the day to setting up and running the event with us and for that we would like to say a HUGE thank you.

We also want to say a HUGE thank you to the following companies that donated to help us run this amazing event:

We will be back again next year with the Easter Egg hunt and look forward to seeing this event grow.

We also have a whole programme of different activities for Club Wilber so if you have, or know of a child 0-25 who has a visual impairment please get in touch at [email protected].

Similarly if you would like to help us run more activities by joining as a volunteer, then please do get in touch at [email protected] as we would love to welcome you to our work family.

InSight Magazine – Q2 2022 Edition

Our latest edition of InSight is out now.

This edition includes:


Click here or the image above to read the latest edition of our InSight Magazine.

Welcome to our Activities and Events Manager

Ellen and her team will be organising activities and events for the Learning and Living Zone and Club Wilber, looking after our amazing volunteers and overseeing our much needed fundraising.

Hello, my name is Ellen Harding.  Originally from West Yorkshire, I joined the Navy in 1991 and spent 16 years as a sailor!  Working on ships and ashore and I also was lucky enough to spend some time in the Falkland Islands. I then moved to New Zealand with my family for 8 years and I am now a dual national.  I have a huge passion for travelling (as you might guess) and have visited more than 30 different countries! On a weekend you will find me in my workshop with my toolbox out or covered in paint as I am an avid maker and crafter and I love nothing more than to make something special out of an old piece of furniture.

I wanted to work for Wilberforce Trust because I have been a volunteer all my life and have been looking for a role in the third sector for some years.  I am so rewarded when I have the opportunity to help people and I knew that I had the energy, enthusiasm and empathy to put into a role working with a charity.

I was attracted to the Activities and Events Manager role because of my background previous experiences.  I have been a Brownie Guider for 25 years putting together programmes for the different groups I have worked with. Seeing the smiles and laughter of enjoyment from these children gave me such motivation.  I worked with disabled children in some of my groups and it was interesting to see how the others empathised and were happy to work on the adapted activities. Plus, I am a born organiser with a lot of experience putting events together and rallying volunteers.  It is such a privilege to work with The Wilberforce Trust and I feel like a jigsaw piece that has finally slotted into place.

We are always on the lookout for volunteers to help with our events and activities.  If you have never volunteered before you should give it a try – the rewards are amazing. Volunteering can help you gain confidence by giving you the chance to try something new and build a real sense of achievement. You will be making a difference, meeting people, learning some new skills and best of all having fun!

Interested in volunteering?  Click here!

Club Wilber 2 Years On – Impact Report

We can’t believe how fast two years have gone, but with Club Wilber’s 2nd birthday it’s time to take a look back on everything we have achieved.

Take a look at our Impact Report to see how we and the Club Wilber families coped during COVID19 with online activities.  Read about our virtual scavenger hunts and an online Christmas.  Meet some of our families and our local sporting celebrity ambassador Will Jubb.  See a whole raft of photos and highlights of some of the great activities we’ve been enjoying together.

Read the report here.

Interested in supporting a great cause?  Support Club Wilber and get invited to our great networking events, we promise they’ll be something special and more fun than your typical networking.  Read more in the impact report and when you decide you can’t bear the FOMO (fear of missing out) sign up here.

Here’s a spoiler from the report some quotes from the Club Wilber families:

“Club Wilber is our VIP family where people just get it.”

“Club Wilber is an extension of our family, providing us with experiences and a sense of belonging with families that understand.”

“My daughter’s brother was amazed when he saw the other children with canes like his sister; it has been great for him to see and understand VI a little more and to meet other siblings and make friends.”

“Amazing people that run an amazing club giving families the opportunity to participate and enjoy activities together.”

“It is a big part of our lives & we rely on them for information about how to support our daughter.”

“We are extremely grateful for all that Club Wilber have done & continue to do. We have found out lots of information & taken part in lovely activities, with both our daughter & her brother, thank you.”

Club Wilber – Our day with Wetwheels Yorkshire!

At the end of October half term, our Club Wilber families were fortunate to experience the joy of being out on the sea with the wonderful charity, Wetwheels.

Starting the day grateful for some glorious sunshine (unseasonably good weather for October!), the families gathered together at the marina in the centre of Whitby. You could see a mixture of excitement and apprehension on their faces.

‘Wetwheels provides the unique opportunity for all disabled people, including those with profound and complex disabilities, to access the sea in a safe, stimulating and rewarding way on board specially-built, fully-accessible powerboats.’

The Wetwheels trip was around an hour and a half which gives time for the families on board to soak up that salty sea smell, feel the breeze in their hair, and hear the roar of the engine, the sea gulls and the waves crashing against the boat. They even get a go at steering the boat!

At Club Wilber we organise activities for children and young people with a visual impairment so we are always on the look-out for unique sensory experiences we can offer to the families we support. Wetwheels certainly does this and is an opportunity for the families to experience something they wouldn’t necessarily have access to otherwise.

One parent said of the trip, “It was very engaging because it’s a very unusual experience!”. Another said, “My child was lucky to try driving the boat.
She was very excited and very proud of herself.”

We have organised a few trips with Wetwheels, and they have delivered every time! Peter Richardson (chairman) is great through all the planning process. Peter and his team have such a clear passion for what they do, and we always receive praise for them in feedback. One of our parents said of the team, “They were really nice and friendly. They made an effort to remember our names and were really encouraging and patient.”

At the end of the trip, any signs of apprehension on the families’ faces were long gone, there was no other emotion to see than pure joy! When asked how Wetwheels could improve the only answer we were given was “It was perfect”.  A seal was even spotted in the harbour!

Thank you to Peter and the team at Wetwheels Yorkshire! Our families love the trips with you, and we look forward to stepping back on board very soon!

InSight Magazine – Winter 2021 Edition

Our new Winter 2021 edition of Insight is out now!

This edition includes:

Click the image above to read the latest edition of our Insight Magazine.

Happy Birthday Club Wilber!

As Club Wilber turns one today, we are celebrating the first anniversary of this fantastic journey and the amazing families we have been working with for the past year.

The adapted Easter Egg Hunt was the catalyst for forming Club Wilber, and after the success of the event and the obvious need for more activities like this to be available to children and young people with visual impairments, their siblings and families across Yorkshire, we decided to create Club Wilber and run a programme of regular activities. The activities continued to grow throughout 2019, including a VIP game to Leeds Rhinos, two trips out to sea on the specially designed WetWheels boat, sensory craft sessions, animal therapy sessions, a Halloween party, a coach trip to Cadbury World and a Disney Princess party.

There are two key reasons for the existence of Club Wilber and why we have continued to develop it.

One is to create activities that are family inclusive so all the children in the family are involved regardless of their sight. Research shows that the effect of spending time with siblings has on us is significantly important because the bond between siblings is unlike any other that we will experience in our lifetime.

The second is to create an opportunity for families to spend time with other families with similar experiences, because many with visually impaired children don’t know anyone else in the same position and it can be a lonely experience. Our activities and events offer a chance to spend time with people that can share similar experiences and gain support and advice.

Club Wilber Birthday Treat Box

We are so proud of how far we have come in this first year since creating Club Wilber and have loved every second of being able to provide stress free, inclusive family outings that do not cost the earth and have provided a safe environment to create friendships and family memories.

While COVID-19 and the lockdown has changed our plans, it has not dampened our spirits, and we have continued to run Club Wilber virtually by running online activities, setting competitions and keeping in touch with the families.

We were even able to celebrate Easter; with the help of the generous donations of Easter eggs from Tesco, Morrisons and Waitrose in York, the money raised through our Easter Egg appeal, donations from staff, the efforts of Chocolates and Truffles, and our staff and friends making deliveries, we were even able to deliver Easter eggs to all of the Club Wilber children and their siblings.

78 Easter eggs spanning across the whole of Yorkshire, North, East, South and West.

Today we will be having a virtual birthday party in which we will be getting together to celebrate with some cake, chat about memories from the past year, and maybe even enjoy some surprise gifts!

We would also like to take this opportunity to celebrate our Club Wilber Sponsors today, businesses who have signed up to support Club Wilber to ensure we can continue to provide a variety of engaging, inclusive, affordable and fun activities – there may even be some surprise gifts for them too!

Happy Birthday Club Wilber – we cannot wait to see what the next year brings!


If you would like to register your family with Club Wilber, or sign up your business and become a sponsor, then please get in touch with Pip at [email protected]