History

 

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Catholic Blind Institute was founded in April 1841 by the Very Rev. Dr. Thomas Youens.

Dr Youens was noted for his work with vast number of poor in Liverpool and especially for his interest in needs of the blind.

Its aim was to provide care, relief and education for the indigenous blind and poor of the city, which has still remained some 173 years on.

Many children were then born blind. Many adults became blind for a variety of poor hygiene, healthcare and simple adventitious reasons.

The charity, then called Catholic Blind Asylum, worked initially providing shelter and education for 21 children from small premises in Islington As numbers grew it moved in 1851 to St Anne Street where it remained for 15 years, until 1866, when it bought land and constructed its own much more substantial premises in Brunswick Road.

This was the base of CBI for 106 years until they were compulsorily purchased for development in the early 1970’s when we purpose-built our current residential & nursing home and Rehabilitation & Education Centre.

In 1871 Sisters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul agreed to take on board responsibility for managing Catholic Blind Asylum – they are still here 141 years later but, sadly, the order is no longer able to provide overall leadership though it maintains a small community who lead the pastoral team so valuable to so many at Christopher Grange.

The charity acquired land in West Derby in 1899 and St Vincent’s School was built, opening in 1901.

Leadership [headship] at the school passed from the Sisters of Charity in 1996 and whilst care provision continued to be led by them this too ended and the community left shortly afterward.

Under lay leadership the school has gone from strength to strength. It has recently been graded ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted for a second time. The Ofsted report is packed with well-deserved superlatives.

Christopher Grange is a 78 bed residential home comprising 4 separate units. It was specifically designed with the needs of the visually impaired in mind to avoid institutional overtones which rob people of their independence. It is registered with the local authority and consistently receives fine inspection reports. It is no longer registered as a specialist home for those with a visual impairment.