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About GWB

 

 

Considering our modern factory and the competitive, bespoke services we provide, you may be surprised to hear that GWB Products is the trading division of CLARITY; a registered charity and social enterprise which provides crucially needed employment for blind and disabled people. As current as we strive to be, we are still immensely proud of our rich history. Our organisation has been continually linked with key figures and events of the time for nearly 160 years.


The General Welfare of the Blind (GWB) was established in 1854 with the sole objective of providing employment for blind people. Our founder was Miss Elizabeth Gilbert whose aim was to improve the living conditions of blind people and to provide them with a workplace. She set up her own workshop in Holborn with 7 employees making baskets. The workshop soon became too small to cope with the growing number of blind workers and moved to a house in Brunswick Square and then to larger premises in Euston Road, London.



 

 

In 1893 a purpose built factory was opened in Tottenham Court Road and the reigning monarch Queen Victoria became our very first patron and helped establish the factory. Other early supporters included Prime Minister Gladstone, the Archbishop of York and Charles Dickens, who helped to augment our funds by publishing an article, entitled "At Work in the Dark".


The making of toilet soap began in 1936 made possible by a generous grant of £500 by a famous blinded soldier, Captain Sir Beachcroft Towse, and Lord Nuffield who had been a benefactor to the blind in several directions. In December 2002 we moved to York Way as our location in Ashburton Grove was to be the site for Arsenal Football Club's new Emirates Stadium. We were recently grateful for a visit from Nick Hurd MP, Minister for Civil Society who toured our factory and was keen to learn of the barriers we face as an organisation as well as the prestige destinations at which some GWB fulfilled products end up.



 

 

At various stages of the organisation's history, we produced aerosols, beds / mattresses, basketwork, straw matting, brushes and upholstery services… but no longer as, today, we concentrate solely on personal care and home cleaning products.


Today we employ approximately 45 registered blind and disabled people in our factory in London. As well as offering contract filling and packaging, we also product our own line of high quality personal care and home cleaning products which raise the ever-crucial funding for our mission to provide work for blind and disabled people. By choosing to support us you are most definitely supporting them.


Welcome to GWB Products on Monday 23rd of October 2017