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Torch News


60th celebrations in Banbridge, Northern Ireland

Posted: 5th July 2019

The Torch Fellowship Group based in Banbridge, Northern Ireland, celebrated the 60th Anniversary of Torch Trust at the beginning of June. A wonderful evening was held with a meal shared at the Belmont Hotel in Banbridge, followed by a programme of singing, poems, and a short talk about Sight Loss Friendly Church with some teaching from the Bible on the theme of ‘I am’.

Over 40 people joined together and a beautiful cake was made for the occasion.  The pictures show Leonard Campbell (Torch Area Development Officer) and one of the founding members of the group, Jill Hanna, cutting the cake. Picture two has Malcolm Mclean playing the accordion and the third is a picture of six tables full of guests enjoying the time together.

‘It was so encouraging to see how passionate the leaders are of this group to promote Torch’

This celebration is one of many organised to commemorate the anniversary.

We are delighted to hear of another in Northern Ireland planned for 17th August


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Torch Trust Celebrates 60 years of Ministry in 2019

Posted: 14th June 2019

Wherever you live in the UK or abroad, we invite you to celebrate our 60th Year. Groups and individuals all over the country are planning and arranging ways to celebrate this amazing milestone. Torch 60th Anniversary logo

We are excited as we approach the 60th year of Torch's ministry. We want to do our very best to help you to join with us, wherever you are in the UK; to celebrate and let the light of Torch shine in your local area. We hope to encourage and inspire you to give thanks and commemorate the past 60 years of Torch Trust’s ministry, preparing our hearts and hands for the years ahead as we ask God to lead and guide us.

Let's be open and creative – Celebration ideas

With the Torch values of Christ-centred, People-focussed, Open and Creative, we really want you to celebrate the 60th year and take the opportunity to be open to invite people who know little of the work of Torch and to invite your local churches to know more of the work of Torch. We would love you to be as creative as possible in the ways you choose to celebrate; from a coffee morning, to special prayer hour, fellowship meeting, open garden, barbeque, sponsored bungie jump or walking the Great Wall of China!  Any event that celebrates, raises awareness and, if you wish, provides an opportunity to fundraise would be a perfect combination.

Please join us and pray

Thank you for your generosity! - Torch Malawi Appeal

Posted: 3rd May 2019

Thank you for your generosity! - Torch Malawi Appeal Picture

Stanley Moyo (Torch Malawi administrator) and Rose Chaponda (Torch Malawi Trustee Chairperson) have been in touch to thank Torch faithful supporters for their generosity with financial gifts and prayers.  Following our Malawi appeal over £5,000 has been raised and sent directly to Torch Malawi, our partnership organisation.

The local trustees and staff of Torch Malawi carefully planned to buy 626 (10kg) bags of maize flour, cooking oil and soya pieces to distribute to blind and partially sighted people affected by the flooding in Malawi. 

We praise God that the grain milling company in Malawi were able to provide 1,098 bags of maize flour for the same price.  This means that over 1,000 blind and partially sighted people in the Chikwawa district of Malawi, have received emergency supplies at this most desperate time.


Both Rose and Stanley praise God for the faithfulness of Torch supporters.  Every financial gift has contributed directly to a blind or partially sighted person in Malawi who may otherwise have not received any support. 

The situation in Malawi is still severe. Roads and bridges have been washed way, thousands of people have lost their homes and seek shelter in buildings like schools. This year crop has been totally destroyed.  It will take years for the country to recover from the devastation and so we continue to ask for prayer and financial support for Malawi.

People with sight loss are extremely vulnerable, relying totally on the help of others for safety.  Sadly, it is also true that in Malawi individuals with disability have a low social status and may not receive the aid which is being distributed in towns and villages.  Through our international partners Torch Malawi we can ensure that the vital supplies will reach those most in need.  Items for aid are purchased and distributed by the Malawian staff and local Malawian volunteers.

If you would like to offer financial support to blind and partially sighted people in Malawi then please contact Client Services on 01858 438260 (Mon – Thurs, 10am – 4pm) or visit our website for more information on different ways to donate.

Stop Press Malawi Appeal - March 2019

Posted: 26th March 2019 by Torch Trust

As you may be aware Malawi has been devastated by recent weather events. This has caused wide spread flooding and disruption. Infrastructure of roads and bridges have been swept away. Thousands of people have lost their homes and many their lives. The worst affected areas are the Lower Shire, Chikwawa and Nsanje.

We have been contacted by our partners in Torch Malawi asking for help and support at this time of emergency.

Torch Malawi would like to be able to reach blind and partially sighted people with emergency supplies. These will be sourced in Malawi and taken to the people in most need.

We appeal to our supporters of Torch, to ask for your prayers for this situation. We are gratefully accepting donations for Torch Malawi’s emergency fund and would be delighted to send your financial gifts to Torch House Malawi. If you would like to offer financial support then please contact Client Services on 01858 438260 (Mon - Thurs 10 am - 4 pm) or visit our website for more information on different ways to donate.

Please refer to 'Malawi appeal' when offering your donation.

Thank you for your prayerful support at this time.

The week that changed the world!

Posted: 18th March 2019 by Torch Trust

Torch Trust is delighted to offer our free Easter gift to you.  

The week that changed the world is our free Torch publication with samples of seven days of Bible reading notes available in different accessible formats.  

Daily Bible Reading Notes are an ideal way to focus your devotional time and engage with God's word as part of your Christian life.

We invite you to make your order of 'The week that changed the world' in audio, large print or braille.  Talk to client services on 01858 438260 or email us on

We offer this to you as our gift and encourage you to use or pass this on to anyone who might benefit from Torch's accessible Christian literature.  

Blog: My volunteer story

Posted: 26th February 2019 by Torch Trust

Blog: My volunteer story Picture

Our work simply wouldn’t be possible without our wonderful volunteers. We wanted to shine a light on some of their hard work, so we asked Sheila Dunning to share her volunteer story…

‘I’m Sheila Dunning and I volunteer in the audio department at Torch House where I read and record audio books and magazine articles. I also edit and correct books that other people have recorded.

I retired four years ago as a Director of Hothorpe Hall, a large conference centre in Leicestershire. My main responsibility was for the 12 acres of gardens and grounds where I did all sorts, including growing and planting, pruning, digging, and mowing lawns. It was a huge and demanding job and I loved working outside in God’s creation.

I’ve always been an active person, so I knew I would relish some kind of work where I could continue to serve God in the local and wider community. So I offered to volunteer at Torch House and was delighted to be accepted. I spend one day a week in the small studio and feel it is such a blessing and privilege to read Christian books, magazine articles and parts of ‘Every Day With Jesus’, a daily devotional. I always pray before I start for all who will be listening that they will be blessed, encouraged and challenged by what they hear.

I’m aware that when one retires, one can lose one’s sense of identity and worth. I feel that volunteering gives me that purpose and value to my life, and helps me to know that God can use even my small offering in His Kingdom.’

There are lots of different ways to get involved as a Torch volunteer. If you’d like to find out more about volunteering with Torch, just visit our Volunteers section.

Our Lent Reading Guide

Posted: 14th February 2019 by Torch Trust

It may still be winter outside, but somehow already Easter is well on its way! This raises the very good question: how do we prepare? Thankfully we have the answer as Torch has plenty of great Lent resources in accessible media to help you out...

If you enjoy devotional books, why not read Celtic Lent: 40 days of devotions to Easter. Written by David Cole, this inspirational book takes the reader through the 40 days of Lent to the celebration of Easter through the eyes and beliefs of Celtic Christianity. Drawing on primary sources of pastoral letters, monastic rules and the theological teaching of the Celtic church, the author presents a different perspective on the cross of Christ and draws us to see our own life journeys with a new and transforming vision. Ref: 9032, £8.99. The audio version available in DAISY CD and USB has been recorded for Torch by David, the author.

If lively discussion gets you going, try an always-popular York Course such as Daring To See God Now. This is a five session ecumenical course for discussion groups, written by Bishop Nick Baines. Mark’s Gospel begins with Jesus ‘proclaiming the Good news of God’. But, what is this ‘good news’, and who is it for? This course raises important questions about change, repentance, and how we can become living evidence of the good news. Ref: 9047, £3.10.

Our next book comes very well recommended as it’s the Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book 2019. Reconciliation, by Dr Muthuraj Swamy, issues a vibrant call to the church to support and strengthen relationships amongst church members; to cross borders to build connections with different denominations, and to maintain open attitudes towards our neighbours from other religions and ideologies. Ref: 9048, £9.99. The audio version available in DAISY CD and USB has been recorded for Torch by Ann Barraclough.

All of the books mentioned in this post can be ordered now in braille and large print (17pt, 20pt, 25pt and 30pt). Please call 01858 438260 to order.

Torch Library is now In Your Pocket!

Posted: 1st February 2019 by Torch Trust

We are thrilled to announce that our Torch Trust Audio Library of Christian Literature with over 1,600 titles is now available through In Your Pocket!

In your pocket is a mobile device designed for people with sight loss.  In Your Pocket, created by RNIB, RealSAM and O2 aims to make accessing talking books and newspapaers easy and quick.

Torch Trust is delighted to be working in partnership with this group of organisations.  "Together we are able to offer easy access to Christian resources encouraging people on their spiritual journey" says Torch CEO Julia Hyde.

We invite our Torch friends to order their In Your Pocket device directly from In Your Pocket by calling their dedicated helpline 0333 7727708 or online at

Blog: Mental Health Benefits of Volunteering

Posted: 23rd January 2019 by Torch Trust

Blog: Mental Health Benefits of Volunteering Picture

Did you know that 21st January is known as “Blue Monday”? It’s dubbed as the saddest day of the year – though this was essentially a successful marketing ploy by a travel company! Read more about Blue Monday and how the man who coined the concept urges us all to dump it! However – it’s well acknowledged that winter brings seasonal depression and loneliness.  So instead of thinking about Blue Monday, at Torch we are spending the week of 21st thinking about how to overcome or simply manage best with winter blues.

Volunteering with Torch, for example, isn’t only about supporting people with sight loss – although the difference your time and passion can make is obviously a fantastic reason to get involved! No, research is increasingly showing that volunteering also provides massive benefits to the volunteer.

The Mental Health Foundation have produced a short publication called ‘Doing Good Does You Good’ which you can read on their website, exploring the ways that becoming a volunteer can improve your own mental health. These include:

  • lowering stress by releasing endorphins which boost our immune systems and lower feelings of pain,
  • helping you make friends – meeting and working alongside other volunteers is a great way to bond and become part of a community,
  • reducing negative feelings – positive actions create a bank of happy memories to draw upon when feeling down,
  • helping you keep things in perspective by enabling you to focus on what is good rather than what’s lacking in your own life. A different perspective can help you reframe your own situation.

Volunteering can be a huge mood booster – and it’s a very contagious feeling! Any act of kindness can help make the world a better place, and little by little it all matters. As a Christian charity, we at Torch believe that following in Jesus’ footsteps by spending our time helping other people is one of the most important things we all can do.

If you’d like to find out more about volunteering with Torch, why not contact, or call us on 01858 438260.

Blog: Our braille work

Posted: 3rd January 2019 by Torch Trust

Blog: Our braille work Picture

To celebrate World Braille Day 2019 today, we wanted to share the story of our own braille work with you! Braille is very important for Torch as it’s how we communicate with many of our service users: from our leaflets and newsletters, to our scripture calendar, to our postal lending library. Additionally, we produce the world’s largest circulation Braille magazine, The Torch. This periodical goes around the world to well over 7,000 people, and has been running for over 60 years encouraging blind and partially sighted people in their Christian faith.

Do you know how the process of brailling on a large scale work? Many of you may have experience with manually powered braillers, often found in schools or individuals’ homes, but creating enough braille for our many clients requires some fairly hefty machinery!

The most important piece of kit is the braille printer, a huge machine which sits in our production department. The machine is fed by huge spools of braille paper which stand half a metre high! We also have machines which trim the sheets and bind the pages, as well as a bagging machine which gets them ready to be sent out all over the world.

These machines are of course, not the start of our braille process – no, that happens upstairs in Torch House’s transcription department. This is where staff members source and prepare electronic files for books to be transcribed into braille. It’s also where Torch’s own publications get put into a format ready for brailling. The trickiest jobs are ones with a non-standard layout – so perhaps lots of tables, or pictures, or music notation. Our skilled staff work very hard to make sure we can produce as much braille as possible for our clients!

On this World Braille Day, please pray for all the people around the world who use and rely on braille, and for those who are involved in the production and distribution of it.

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