‘Phone box millionaire’ supports charity’s 140th birthday ball

Leading West Midlands charity Beacon is throwing a celebration ball to mark 140 years of support for local people with sight loss.

The glamorous black tie event takes place on Friday 9th October, 7pm, at the Copthorne Hotel, Merry Hill, and includes an appearance by guest speaker Dr Stephen Fear, the ‘phone box millionaire’.

Kelly Vickers, Beacon’s fundraising and event officer, said: “The 140th anniversary of the charity is such as important milestone that we wanted a special event to mark the occasion.

“Our ‘Hollywood Ball’ will be a glittering evening of good food, music, laughter and, we hope, an excellent fundraising opportunity for the charity.”

Tickets for the ball cost £30 per person, to include a three-course meal and welcome drink, and can be purchased direct from the Beacon website (www.beaconvision.org/Event/beacon-hollywood-ball).

Self-educated Stephen Fear, entrepreneur in residence at the British Library, started his a commercial oven cleaning company aged 15, achieving his first major business deal using a now-famous red telephone box on the council estate in Bristol where he grew up.

Today he is a respected author, head of a multi-faceted business empire, the Fear Group, and a passionate campaigner for the retention and expansion of libraries across the UK and the developing world.

He is known for the quote: ‘It’s not about making the rich poorer; it’s about making the poor richer’.

Beacon’s chief executive Arwyn Jones added: “We are thrilled to welcome a speaker of Stephen Fear’s calibre to our event and look forward to hearing about his unique approach to social enterprise.

“This is particularly relevant to our organisation as we seek innovative ways to raise the vital funding needed to deliver life-changing services to people coping with sight loss across our region.

“Our organisation has been supporting the blind and visually impaired since 1875. During that time, the charity has evolved and developed, providing education and employment opportunities, social integration and practical assistance of many forms.

“Today our focus continues to be on helping people with sight loss to live fuller and more independent lives within their local community. Sadly sight loss  is an issue that will continue to grow in society due to an aging population and diseases like diabetes causing sight loss, and hence  the need for our services will therefore also grow.”

Beacon offers a full range of facilities and support to visually impaired people across the West Midlands, including a mix of residential, day care and community services.

More than 3,000 people in the community receive support from a team of dedicated outreach workers and social groups can meet at the Sedgley centre to participate in arts and crafts, music, fitness and IT sessions. We also work with technology developers to help them bring new and exciting products to market that can better support  independent living with sight loss.

The charity also operates a range of charity shops across the West Midlands, which deliver much-needed funds through sales of quality donated items and a selection of new goods, and in Halesowen incorporates a coffee shop where you can relax and enjoy some refreshments.

To find out more visit www.beaconvision.org ”

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