Simulation Eyes and Head

Friends of Bristol Eye Hospital raise funds to improve the care and treatment of patients at the hospital. We help to pay for medical equipment, facilities, patient comforts, staff resources and generally to support the charitable work of the hospital. We can also help patients or former patients in distress or need.

Most of our grants provide medical equipment which is beyond the purse of the NHS; items may be the latest technology and therefore expensive, or we may provide extra items of standard equipment to supplement the NHS provision where having more means treating more patients more quickly. Medical equipment we have provided includes:

  • HRT3 Rostock Cornea Module Confocal Microscope
  • Forus Neo Portable Wide-angled Retinal Camera
  • Fluorescein Angiography Module for treating premature and very young babies
  • Slit-lamp cameras
  • Ophthalmoscopes
  • Optical Coherence Tomographers for retinal imaging
  • Visual Field Analysers for the treatment of glaucoma
  • Theatre Microscope Digital Cameras
  • Pachymeter for use in corneal graft surgery
  • Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking Device
  • Kelman Phaco-Emulsifier for cataract surgery
  • Digital Angiography Imaging System (“DAISY”) to diagnose and treat retinal disease
  • Flat Screen Theatre Monitors

We also provide smaller items for the comfort and care of patients. Some examples of these over the years include: Christmas decorations, TVs, toys, plants and gardens, murals, hire & insurance of paintings, purchase and maintenance of the fish tank in the children’s ward.

We occasionally make grants for patients in special need, eg a walkie-talkie for a blind patient with memory lapses, an instrument to enable a blind diabetic patient to monitor his own insulin levels and a lap-top computer for a child with almost no sight.

To continue this work, we depend heavily on individual donations and legacies. Many of our generous supporters help us after having benefited from the superb treatment given by the Bristol Eye Hospital.

One of our garden parties
Guests at our 40th Anniversary dinner in 2017


In addition to generous personal donations and legacies, we supplement our income by fund-raising events.

Our first major public social and fundraising event was a concert given by blind pianist Bernard d’Ascoli at the Theatre Royal in 1988. He returned to play for us at St George’s, Brandon Hill in 1994.

Other social and fund-raising events have included:

  • two concerts by Hatstand Opera
  • several trips on the Waverley and the Matthew
  • illustrated talks and shows by BBC Planet Earth photographers Doug Allan and Sue Flood (2009), actor Moray Watson (2012), dynamic charity fundraiser Sarah Williams (2015) and zoologist, environmental activist and wildlife cameraman Mark Carwardine (2019)
  • dinners to celebrate our giving of £1m in grants and the 200th anniversary of the Hospital (2010) and our 40th anniversary (2017)
  • a Race Night (2019) and several garden parties, jazz evenings, barbecues and other smaller events.

We are also indebted to many individuals who have raised funds for us by various sponsored activities and other initiatives.

We sell Christmas cards and other blank greetings cards featuring art in the hospital.


We publish an annual newsletter, In Sight, usually in April – informing members, patients, staff and the general public about our activities and thanking all our supporters. It is posted or emailed to all members who request it and it can be found in display racks in several locations around the hospital including the ground floor reception area (near the entrance to A&E). Recent editions of In Sight, including the latest one, may be viewed or downloaded from our In Sight page.

Our first website was launched in 2006. Since then we have updated it twice (in 2013 and 2020) and established Facebook and Twitter pages to keep our supporters updated.

In 2019 we substantially improved our publicity throughout the hospital and for fundraisers and our own events.

We also use our social activities and fundraising events to keep us in the public eye.

Atkinson Hyperlegible typeface

In 2022 we introduced the use of Atkinson Hyperlegible typeface on this website, in our newsletter In Sight and all our new leaflets.

The typeface was developed for the Braille Institute of America.  It is named after the Braille Institute founder J. Robert Atkinson.

For the benefit of visually impaired readers, it aims to ensure that individual characters cannot be confused with one another, ultimately improving readability. Also, the shaping of the letters is exaggerated to provide better clarity and the open areas of certain letters are expanded to provide greater distinction.

The Braille Institute has made the typeface free for anyone to use.