Social Groups

Social Inclusion is vital to many people and at ESVS we look to provide varied and flexible social events to suit every age and group. Whilst most of our groups are quite traditional we are constantly exploring new, modern ways of helping people to get together. The groups are looking at using WhatsApp and some already have Facebook pages dedicated to their club. We are actively working with the groups to provide this kind of flexibility and service.

We currently provide 12 social groups run by 100 volunteers.  These offer a vital lifeline to over 250 of our members who would experience social isolation and exclusion without the opportunity to get together once a month.

The social groups meet monthly in various locations such as village halls and provide a social atmosphere for up to 60 blind and partially sighted people including, outings, entertainment and the opportunity to meet friends. Our volunteers drive members to the groups, provide refreshments, support and assist, organise entertainment and sit on each group’s committee.


Outings can range from trips to gardens, National Trust properties, places of interests, theatre, teas and lunches. All of these would not be possible without the social groups and the help of the volunteers.  Thus ensuring that our members are not excluded because of their vision impairment.

In Brighton and Hove we are now also able to provide a wonderful new group specifically for those who are deaf/blind.  This group covers a whole range of ages and abilities and provides some vital social inclusion for the members.

ESVS Viable provide a varied and interesting social diary for younger people living in Brighton and Hove.


  • Bexhill


  • Deafblind group (Based in Brighton)

  • Crowborough

  • Herstmonceux

  • Lewes

  • Polegate


Open to all ESVS members, our activities are mostly based in Brighton and Hove.  We generally meet at Churchill Square or Brighton Station, and then use public transport.  We have sighted volunteers to help you from the meeting point, and back again after the activity.  Our activities include sports (mostly croquet in summer, 10 pin bowling in winter), and social activities (theatre, pub, meals, garden visits, parties – you name it, we’ll give it a go).

Activities are discussed at monthly tea/coffee meet-ups.  Before the covid lockdown we had 6 monthly VI Sports sessions at King Alfred in Hove which were very successful, and we hope to do more in 2022.

To get a flavour of our group, we have some short YouTube presentations of activities over the years.

We are updating our website.  In the meantime, contact details are or 01273730906

Theatre Club

The Theatre Club, run by volunteers, takes members to the Devonshire Park Theatre in Eastbourne for Saturday Matinee performances with audio description. The shows vary from Musicals, Dramas and Pantomimes. The Theatre group has 20 members and goes to about 20 shows per year.

Bowls Club

The bowls club is run in conjunction with Hailsham Bowls Club and offers indoor short mat bowls in the winter and traditional bowls outside in the summer. The group is run by volunteers and has about 8 members.

Sound Tennis Sussex is a part of ESVS with support from the Lawn Tennis Association. We are keen to see the sport develop across our county and beyond and have been active in starting groups in Eastbourne and Shoreham as well as our base in Brighton and Hove.


“At the start I wasn’t open to looking at charities like ESAB. I know it would have made a lot of difference but I wasn’t ready to be independent. I was introduced to ESAB when I had mobility training from Rachel and that was massive for me. The courses are also great and now I go to the Tuesday Club too where I socialise with like-minded people.  It’s great to just have fun!”

Dan Gumbrell, Bexhill Member

“ESAB have helped me with a volunteer who takes me swimming every week to keep active, and they also helped me with mobility. I’ve got more involved by going to the social groups and it’s been nice building friendships with people”

Keith Cleaver, Hove Member