Our History


Sir Arthur Pearson, founder of the Greater London Fund for the Blind

Sir Arthur Pearson, founder of the Greater London Fund for the Blind


Just before his death in 1921, newspaper magnate Sir Arthur Pearson organised a ‘Geranium Day’ appeal in London for the blind and partially sighted.

Left blinded by glaucoma, Sir Pearson used his personal experience of living with sight loss to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by visually impaired people.

Pearson, founder of the Daily Express, proprietor of the Evening Standard, had already founded the national charity, St. Dunstan’s, in 1915 for soldiers blinded in war.

It was the post-war poverty and low social spending of London, however, that inspired Pearson to found a new society in the capital using the Geranium Day funds.

With his contacts and creativity, Pearson soon had a name, a symbol and the first royal patron, HRH Louise, the Princess Royal.

Pearson’s death was mourned by Cabinet, royal family and the blind community, but his philanthropic work gave hope to thousands who shared his difficulties: for in 1921, the Greater London Fund for the Blind began its work.

Since 1921 the GLFB has been raising money and working hard with local blind welfare charities. We have had many successful events and many enthusiastic patrons, but as the new decade dawns, with so much more work to be done, we need to find new, exciting, and creative ways to raise funds.

We need your support to help us carry on this work, so please: keep attending events; keep donating; and most importantly, keep in touch.