A NEW group has been set up in Worcester to raise funds for the Royal National Institute for the Blind.

The Worcester Local Appeal Group will organise fund-raising events and sponsorship, with a target of £2,000 set for its first year.

"Sight loss is one of Britain's most common causes of disability," said Worcester Local Appeal Group chairman Peter Tait.

"Almost 1.5m people are blind or partially sighted - that's nearly one in 40 of the population."

Mr Tait said RNIB's task was to challenge blindness by providing information, support and practical services to enable blind people to get on with their lives.

"Brailling is the only service that receives financial support from the Government but the RNIB actually provides over 60 other services, including the Talking Book scheme which is very popular locally. All of these are entirely dependent on fund-raising, donations and bequests," he said.

Mr Tait appealed to anyone who had an idea for a fund-raising event, could provide a venue, or sponsorship, to contact the group.

"Perhaps your regular pub quiz night could be turned into a fundraiser for one night. Every little helps," he said.

The group will be meeting on Monday.

For further information, or if you can help in any way, phone Peter Tait on 01905 21970.