Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

12 erthygl ar y dudalen hon


[No title]







WORKSHOPS FOR THE BLIND. About seven years ago a commissioner was sent from London to inquire into the number of blind persons in this county, and the result of his visit showed that there were then forty in Cardiff, Newport, and Swansea. By the efforts of Miss Shand, a lady whose name stands high in connection with many other charitable institutions in the town, an association was formed for improving the social condition of that unfortunate class. At first a house was opened in Olive-street, Roatli, where they were taught reading and writittg but the great want appeared to be the pro- viding them with some means of obtaining a livelihood by industrial occupation. The blind who came under the notice of the commissioner were of the poorer classes who, unable to earn anything themselves, were either dependent on the charity of their relatives, or recipients" of Poor Law relief. A strong effort was again made by Miss Sliand to obtain subscriptions for the erection of workshops, and two years since a building was erected in Splottlauds- terrace, Newport-road, where basket and mat making could be carried on, and where also a store could be opened for the sale of the articles manu- factured. The premises are well adapted for the pur- pose, the lower floor at the rear of the shop consisting of a large room, where looms are fixed for making cocoa matfcing, and where also the making of door-mats is carried on and the upper one affords accommodation to about twelve blind men and boys engaged in basket making, a large store of willows standing in the yard to be used for this purpose. The building is lofty, well ventilated, and during the winter the lower rooms are warmed by means of hot air. Two skilful teachers in basket andmatmakingwereengaged, and the institution thrown open to the blind in the Principality, who are received .1 here and trained in both these branches. At present there are also three apprentices to the basket making, who are taken on the most easy terms, a promise being also given that if they conduct themselves with propriety, work will be provided for them when their ap- prenticeship expires to enable them to earn their living. Sixteen blind persons are now engaged in the occupa- tion of mat, matting, and basket making. They have come from various parts of the county, and reside in the neighbourhood of the workshops. They attend to their labours with the same regularity as other artificers, and with skilful training they are enabled with diligence to earn on the average 14s. a week. The work done is of a plain and substantial character and would bear comparison with the work of any similar institution in the country. A visit to the workshops would be well repaid in noticing how the sense of feel- ing is made to take the place of that of sight, and also what a great boon the association is to those who are now engaged in work there. Not one of these workmen was born blind blindness having resulted from acci- dent, and in some cases the injury had been caused by explosion from lire-damp or other causes in the mine. These persons would therefore be entirely dependent on parochial aid were this association not supported, and the injured enabled to become through its aid again self-supporting. The income of the institution is derived from sub- scriptions and donations, which last year amounted to £ 183 2s. (hI., and the goods sold, which then amounted to £5!H 13s. 8d. During that time the wages paid to the blind was .£204 lis. 3d., £333 5s. 6d. having also been spent in material. The cost of material and labour nearly equalled the amount received for the articles when manufactured, and would probably have exceeded that sum, but several very liberal donations of fire- wood, which is also an article sold at the workshops, were made by the Trustees of Lord Bute, the Taff Vale and Rhymney Railway Companies, Messrs. Bland and Co., and others. The charitable nature of the institution is shown in the sum paid to the manager of the institution and to teachers, which amounts yearly to j6184. This amount, with other incidental expenses, have therefore to be recouped by voluntary subscriptions. The annual subscribers to the associa- tion last year, independent of donations, numbered 254, of whom 110 were subscribers of from 5s. to Is. The institution is therefore mainly dependent on very small subscriptions, the only donors above 42 2s. being the Trustees of the Marquis of Bute and Messrs. Nixon, Taylor, and Cory. The task of personally collecting these subscriptions and donations devolves on one lady, who has taken from its commencement the most lively interest in its success. With but a small amount of capital obtained by donations, this lady undertook the erection of the present workshops at a cost of about jE 1,400 and there is still a debt upon the building of about £ 130, which to some extent clogs the efforts of the committee, and which it is hoped will be shortly removed. Compared with the £ 1,270 which have been paid towards the building within the last three years, the effort to remove the present liability is but a small one, and when known no further appeal to the benevolent will probably be necessary to procure its removal. The aim of the association is to prevent the blind obtruding their mis- fortunes in the streets, or becoming useless permanent paupers, for were it not for such an association those who are now working at the shops would be unable to help themselves. It is tõ be regretted that an institution having such an object in view should be in debt, that with the most rigorous economy its income should be insufficient to meet its ordinary expenses, and that extensions or improvements cannot be undertaken for want of means. There are many ways in which such an association can be supported independently of annual subscriptions. The basket- making and mat-making departments are now in a most efficient state, and the articles made are equal in every respectto those made at theusual manufactories of those goods, and they are also sold at the same price. Large numbers of baskets in ordinary use at the collieries can be made at the establishment weekly, and if colliery proprietors and managers were to send their orders to these workshops they would, without any loss to themselves, materially contribute to the sup- port of an excellent cause. The public in general might also more liberally aid the committee in their efforts. The whole of the business is managed on the ordinary commercial principles, and no one is expected to contribute one farthing towards the support of the workshops out of charity to the blind, but every article is sold at the price at which it can be ob- tained at other places. These workshops have now been in existence two years, their usefulness have been sufficiently tested, and they deserve a larger measure of public support than they receive. In aiding such an institution pauperism and mendicity are diminished.





Joqal Jittcllijencc. .