Newsletter

August Newsletter

Farewell & Congratulations

Welcome everyone. As we move into August, we have some staff update’s to announce. We are very sad to see the departure of Shaun Gregory, our Facilities Officer. He will be hugely missed, and had this message to pass on to our members and volunteers.

Dear Members and Volunteers,

Friday the 12th July was my last working day at Croydon Vision as Facilities Officer. I would like to thank you all for your time and patience during my stay, especially when it comes to remembering your names! It’s really been a pleasure getting to know all of you and at times heart-warming. I would like to apologise to those I couldn’t personally say good bye to.

When I first came to CVAB my goal was to become more outgoing and confident around people. I’m pleased to say that members, volunteers and staff have all played a part in my progress and for that I will always be grateful.

Shaun Gregory

Thank you Shaun for all your hard work and the entire team wish you the very best for the future.

New Role – Business Development Manager

Nicola Peake has had a step up role from Children and Young People’s Officer into Management. Nicola will be conducting the summer activities for our young members this August as well as support in recruiting a new Officer. She starts her new role from September 2019. Congratulations to Nicola! She shares more about her new role on Page 3 – Children and Young People.

Sharing Talent

Art

Bob Horne came to Croydon Vision in 2006 after his sight began to deteriorate. He had worked as a printer and graphic designer. As he still enjoyed art, he joined the art group to continue his passion. Bob uses a magnifying glass and his reading glasses to paint. He takes pictures of things, draws and eventually paints them. 

He especially likes to paint water themed pictures. Bob said, ‘Water can be very expressive. You can have drops of water or water coming out of a bowl. Croydon Vision is really where my art work took off.’ 

Last year, Bob and the rest of the art group had their work displayed at Matthew’s Yard in Croydon. Bob has a Facebook page where he displays his drawings and paintings, and has many followers from around the world. 

Swimming

For the past 13 years, Lauren Crisp has been swimming every Friday. Lauren is a member and new volunteer at Croydon Vision, and he does not let his sight loss get in the way of anything. He is part of a swimming club called Enterprise who swim at Purley Leisure Centre. 

Enterprise take part in annual swimming galas for disabled swimmers against other swimmers. Galas are held by various Regional Associations across the UK. Lauren represented Enterprise in their latest Regional Gala and did amazingly well! He won two medals – one gold and one bronze, which is an amazing achievement. He is now going to represent his club at the national gala on the 6th October. 

Well done Lauren and keep swimming!

 

Children and Young People

Hi, I’m Daniel and once a fortnight I play goalball, a sport that has featured multiple times in the Paralympics. I love the sport and the community spirit it brings. I was first introduced to goalball by Croydon Vision and it is thanks to them that I play for CroySut Warriors. 

When I play, my mind puts up a filter and all I get is goalball. It has given me immense freedom and allowed me to reach heights that I otherwise would not have reached. It has shown me that sometimes you can just have fun, not care what side you are on and enjoy pure exhilaration. It shows me there are ways to play sport even if you are visually impaired. Everyone can simply enjoy themselves. 

I have increased my physical activity and train my body in a completely different way thanks to goalball. I am also more aware of my diet and overall well-being. Goalball has given me a chance to try something new and I dream that someday I could play goalball for Great Britain. 

Daniel White – Member 

A message from Nicola Peake

Daniel is just one of the amazing young people I have had the privilege to work with during my time as Children & Young People’s Officer at Croydon Vision. 

From September, I will move into my new role as the Business Development Manager. I am looking forward to raising funds for Croydon Vision and meeting people who can help sustain our wonderful activities. First, I have a busy summer schedule packed with fun days out with Croydon Vision members. 

Have a great summer everyone! 

Nicola Peake – Children and Young People’s Officer

Working Age

Cookery Session by Croydon Vision 

Hi, I’m Maxine, a member of the Working Age group and a volunteer at Croydon Vision. On 17th July some of the group attended Good Food Matters, for a cookery class in New Addington; organised by CV. 

When we arrived, there was a very large, open-plan kitchen. The staff showed us where all the utensils, pots and pans were. After our guided tour, it was time to prepare our meal. Henry, our group leader and Croydon Vision member, gave each person a task to prepare for the meal. On the menu was chicken, fish and coconut rice. We had to make two types of chicken and fish, with jerk or lemon seasoning. 

Some people had the duty of cooking the fish while others cooked the chicken. These had to be cooked on separate sides of the kitchen. We were also told that the chopping boards were colour coded the red board was for meat, green for vegetables and blue for fish. 

We chatted about how we do our own cooking while chopping and washing various ingredients. It was fun learning from Henry and other people. I’ve never had coconut rice before – it was interesting to see how this was cooked. I had the task of basting the chicken with jerk seasoning. I was concerned about how much to put! 

When the food had finished, we all sat down to enjoy the results of our work. I was relieved no one complained the meat was too hot and went rushing for a glass of water. I enjoyed sitting on a wooden bench on the veranda. At the end, we all worked together to clear up. The day taught me about cross-contamination and the use of different chopping boards. I feel more confident when in the kitchen. I would recommend joining our cookery session, to learn to cook and pick up cooking tips.

Thank you Henry – you are a great teacher.

Maxine Plowden – Volunteer and Member

Over 65’s

As a Moorfield’s member and patient, I was invited to attend the opening of the refurbished Duke Elder Wing at St George’s Hospital on Wednesday 3rd July. Many of you will probably remember the dingy old corridors and cramped, drab consulting rooms that were so foreboding. Well, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that it has changed.

The reception was attended by the good and great of Moorfield’s, who have put an amazing amount of work into this project. A plaque was unveiled to commemorate the event, along with several speeches. We were treated to a buffet of delicious nibbles and sandwiches, not to mention the bubbles.

It is plain to see that a lot of hard work and effort has been put into this refurbishment; it was not just a matter of waving a magic wand. The walls are now shining white. There is an air of optimism, not to mention professionalism, about the new state-of-the-art suite. The consulting rooms and the two operating theatres are spacious and airy. From the moment you walk through the door you realise just how professional, caring and empathetic the staff are.

You may have heard that the Moorfields emergency unit at Croydon University Hospital is now closed. In future the first port of call in an emergency – and I do stress emergency – is the A&E at St George’s. Patients will be seen on arrival by a triage nurse and if necessary will be referred to the new Duke Elder Wing without having to wait hours in the A&E Dept. There is a roster and doctors are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week for emergency eye treatment.

If you attend St Georges Moorfield’s unit as a day patient or use the wards you will be mightily impressed with the changes.

Thank you to all the staff who made this change happen.

David Elvy – Volunteer

 

 

Information and Advice

Service Impact:

Rachel came to Croydon Vision for advice, her landlord informed her that the property she lived in was being sold. She was worried that she could become homeless. Rachel was advised to contact a homeless shelter and our Officer helped her get registered with one. With help from Croydon Vision, Rachel rang the appropriate authorities for advice on bidding for properties; for people with disabilities. After some months, a bid was accepted and Rachel has now moved into a permanent accommodation and settling well. 

Information:

Free TV licences for all over 75’s will end in June 2020.

From 1st June 2020, anyone aged 75 or over who receives Pension Credit will still be eligible for a free TV licence, which BBC will pay for.

In the meantime, all over-75 licence holders will be issued with a free over-75 licence for less than 12 months. 

Question & Answer (Q&A)

 

Q: As someone with sight loss, do I need to register as disabled?

A: No – there is no longer a national disability register.

However, there are benefits to registering with your local council. 

Q: What are the benefits?

A: You may qualify for a disabled badge, and you can apply for both a taxi card and a disabled rail card. For further support please speak to John. 

Q: How do I get registered?

A: You will need to see your consultant ophthalmologist (eye specialist) to assess whether you qualify as severely sight impaired (blind) or sight impaired (partially sighted). You will then receive a Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI), which will be sent to your GP and the local council. 

If you would like advice on an issue affecting you, please get in touch. 

John Ebubedike – Information and Advice Officer

Resource Centre

Tech Talk – PenFriend

I was in the resource centre when I overheard members of the Music Appreciation group discussing the tech; PenFriend. A PenFriend is a hand-held recorder that once placed against special sticky labels, you can record your own message. To play back the message, you simply put the pen against the label and it will identify the item.

The penfriend can be used to label CDs amongst other things. From the conversation and sharing of information, members mentioned how invaluable it was to have a penfriend, enabling them to choose their own music rather than playing potluck selections. 

The penfriend labels come in a variety of sizes. They cant be cut up; otherwise they stop working. If you need more labels, you simply have to buy and replenish your stock, to avoid re-recording over items. 

The members of the Music group shared other ways they had used their PenFriend, such as labelling letters and folders to making themselves an address book; using both their braille skills and the PenFriend. There’s no limit using PenFriend – it will help in many ways 

We have a PenFriend in the Resource Centre. One of our volunteers, Danielle, has labelled many of the items in the resource room using the PenFriend dots, so if you would like to have a go with it please do come and visit us.

Katherine Turner – Resource Centre Manager

GLFB Survey

Members – The Greater London Fund for the Blind wants to hear from blind and partially sighted people on the issues that matter today. Whether you live, work, or travel in and around the capital, your views count. They have put together a short survey to collect views and experiences to inform their work and aid their fundraising. The survey covers topics ranging from accessible transport and personal safety. Please do take part or call us for support: www.glfb.org.uk/survey/

Events Calendar

* Cost Applies
Date Event Further Details
Wednesday,
21st August
Summer Barbecue!

11am – 4:00pm

Bedford Hall *

5th to 23rd August Excursions 2019 Monday to Thursday  *
Monday, 2nd September Welcome Back!
Monday,
23rd September
Living with Sight Loss Workshop (RNiB)

10am – 3pm

Bedford Hall

Wednesday,
25th September
Living with Sight Loss Workshop (RNiB)

10am – 3pm

Bedford Halls

Friday
4th October
Annual General Meeting (AGM)

4:00pm – 6:30pm

Bedford Hall

Sunday 3rd November ‘West End Gala’ Musical Show at Fairfield TBC
Friday
22nd November
Autumn is Here –
Dinner and Dance
5:00pm –  9:00pm,                     Bedford Hall               *
Thursday
19th December
Christmas Party
(Christmas break)

Celebrating all ages from 13:00 – 17:00pm

Bedford Hall
(Essential to book)    *

6th January 2020 Welcome Back! Welcome back to our Members


August Closure

The reception at Croydon Vision will be closed from Thursday,
1st August, reopening on Monday 2nd September. You will still be able to get through to a member of staff/leave a message via their extension number – Staff members will inform you if on annual leave.

EXT 2 – John – Information and Advice

EXT 3 – Nicola – Children and Young People

EXT 4 – Jennifer/Trevor – Working Age

EXT 5 – Fay – Volunteer Coordinator

EXT 6 – Katherine – IT and Resource Centre

EXT 8 – Nataliya – Finance and Hall Enquires

EXT 9 – Natasha – Office Manager (Excursions & other enquiries)

Transport in Croydon

TFL Consultaion

On Tuesday 23rd July, a representative from TFL hosted a consultation on public transport and TFL services at Croydon Vision. This was a great way to give feedback on the services and ask questions. 

On the way home from the TfL meeting I thought I would do some investigation work as I found the TfL representative a bit dismissive of what I believe to be perfectly acceptable solutions to some of the problems we experience. 

When I got to the station I was looking around and was obviously doing a great job of looking helpless as a lovely woman approached me and asked if I needed any help, so I asked her if there was a customer service window anywhere? She said “don’t worry I’ll go get someone”. Next thing you know a member of staff approached me and I explained my predicament. This staff member told me that he was fully aware of this situation and then proceeded to guide me to a customer service window, he told me that I should always make my way to the window and speak to a staff member who will track my bus on a GPS and then; when it gets near they will come out and escort me onto the bus.

When my bus arrived the member of staff turned up and made sure I got on the bus! 

This was a great experience however I have not always been so lucky and TFL can be very inconsistent, just a day after this I experienced the total opposite, no staff to be found and no lovely bystanders to help me and I therefore struggled to get my bus. This is just one reason why isolation is one of the biggest problems that blind people face because they know that when they go out there personal safety cannot be guaranteed 

If anyone asks how to use West Croydon bus station, just tell them to go to the Customer Service window and the staff (if there is one there) will help out. If there isn’t a member of staff around then please report your experience so we can try to promote positive change. 

Reshi Ramlakhan – Volunteer and Member

Consultation with Arriva Bus Drivers

On Thursday 4th July, I was picked to be one of around eight visually impaired people to visit South Croydon bus garage be part of a visually impaired user group consulting with seven of Arriva London’s bus drivers. The consultation was arranged by Croydon council’s sensory impairment team.

After introductions, we kicked off with two videos, both produced by the RNIB. When discussing the videos afterwards, the main thing that stood out was that the Arriva employees were unaware that being visually impaired could mean so many different things to different people. 

The second part of the afternoon was a chance for the visually impaired members of the group to ask questions or present their difficulties to the Arriva employees. 

Following on from our various discussions, we paired up, one visually impaired user and one member of Arriva staff. We went out onto a stationary bus and got to explore it. The Arriva staff got to try getting on and off a bus using sim specs. I guess it never occurred to me how hard sighted people would find even wearing the glasses. It was amazing to see the reactions and how much they gleaned an understanding of potential daily struggles that visually impaired travellers may face. 

The thing that I’ve taken away is that you must always raise your voice when speaking to a bus driver. If you are struggling to communicate, you can ask them if they could open their door a crack so you can hear them. They are not obliged to do so, but like many other things we discussed, it was felt that this would fall under common sense on the drivers’ part.

The afternoon spent with Arriva staff was a massive success. We even had other bus drivers wandering over to see what we were doing and wanting to get involved. I do hope that this is the start of a new relationship with bus companies and I hope to be involved again.

Danielle Cleary – Volunteer and Member

Croydon Vision‘s Family Summer Picnic

One Saturday last month, Croydon Vision held a Family Summer Picnic. The weather looked cloudy at first. However, the sun eventually came out at Beddington Park. 

It was lovely being out in the open, mixing with members, staff, volunteers and family members. The Children and Young Members, Working Age and Over 65 groups were all present. I liked meeting people I had not met before, and especially enjoyed getting to know members from New Addington. 

We had games such as swing-ball, archery and badminton, which got very competitive. A fun moment was when an arrow got stuck in the tree. Our very own Information Officer showed off his archery skills and fired into the tree to bring the arrow down, much to everyone’s relief! There was much laughter, with food and drinks. It was a fun-packed day. We hope to see some more of you next year.

Maxine Plowden – Volunteer

Lunch with the Mayor of Croydon

Croydon Vision is delighted to have been chosen as one of five charities the Mayor will support this year. On Thursday 25th July,
Fay, Volunteer Coordinator, John, Information and Advice Officer and Maxine Palmer, Member, attended the Mayor’s Lunch, which was the first fundraising event of the year for the Mayor’s charities. The other chosen charities for the year are; Mind in Croydon, Apasen International, Ashdown Jazz Academy and Croydon Refugee Day Centre. We were treated to a three-course meal featuring Indian cuisine, entertainment and speeches.

It was a lovely afternoon and we are looking forward to the other events the Mayor has in store throughout his Mayoral year.

‘It was a very pleasant afternoon and I was very happy that I got to attend the event as an ambassador for Croydon Vision.’
Quote by Maxine Palmer – Member 

Summer Excursions

Summer excursions are fully booked and we are ready and excited to go!  For those attending excursions, staff will be calling to confirm times from the 29th July. For any questions about the excursions, please contact Natasha directly on 0208 688 2486 EXT 9 

Summer BBQ

On Wednesday 21st August, Croydon Vision is hosting a Summer BBQ for all our members and volunteers, running from 11am-4pm. We will have an arts/craft session taking place in the hall from 11am onwards with fun games including swing-ball, archery and badminton! 

The BBQ will cost £5 per person with soft drinks available to purchase. Join in the summer fun and catch up with friends. There is limited transport available, so please speak to Natasha to book your place. 

Summer in Croydon

The summer holidays are here! There are many family-friendly things to do in Croydon – here are our top four during August.

  1. Go to the park. Spend the day in one of Croydon’s parks. Our personal favourite is Wandle Park, there is plenty to do, great for all ages and easily accessible from Wandle Park Tram stop.
  2. National Burger Day – 23rd Whether it’s at one of Croydon’s many great restaurants or a BBQ at home, celebrate National Burger Day with a burger of your choice.
  3. Go for a swim. From 24th July until 2nd September, there will be free swimming sessions for those aged 16 or under at each of Croydon’s five leisure centres. Membership costs £2 to complete. For more information, please visit better.org.uk
  4. Summer Reading Challenge. Take on a challenge this summer – borrow and read at least six books from your local library. The theme for 2019 is “Space Chase.” Find out more at summerreadingchallenge.org.uk

Croydon Vision Clothing For Sale

Croydon Vision has a number of branded clothing items that you may have seen some of our volunteers and members wearing in the past at events. Buying and wearing our branded clothing items are just one of the many ways that you can support Croydon Vision through fundraising and spreading awareness.

In October Susanette (Executive Director), Reshi (Working Age Volunteer and Member) and John (from NHS) will be heading to Tanzania in a bid to complete the Kilimanjaro Summit Climb. As part as the fundraising for this event Croydon Vision are selling special yellow t-shirts. Description of T-shirt – yellow with raspberry coloured writing. These t-shirts are £12.99 only £2 more than cost price and are available to purchase at reception. The t-shirt sales are in aid of raising awareness and funds for an accessible multi-purpose vehicle.

As suggested by member and volunteer Bob Horne, we will be making a sheet to showcase what items you can purchase, the prices for them and how to place an order. Clothing come in a range of sizes. In the meantime, to order any item of clothing please contact reception who will give you more information. During August, please contact Natasha on EXT 9 for further enquiries.

  • Purple Baseball Cap £7
  • White Visor £7
  • Short Sleeve Purple Polo Shirt £15
  • Purple Zipped Hoodie £25
  • Purple Sweatshirt £20
  • Purple Fleece £20

We would also like to thank Sue Ardley for all of her past work with our clothing range.

Traveleyes

Ever wanted to Samba in Rio or go husky-sledging in Finland, but feel like you can’t due to your sight loss? Then Traveleyes may be for you. 

Traveleyes is a travel company that pairs blind and partially sighted travelers with sighted travelers and sends them around the world together, creating new experiences and memories. Amar Latif, who is blind himself, founded Traveleyes. At the age of 18 Amar had lost 95% of his eyesight. He still had a passion to travel the world, but as a solo blind traveler, he faced a lot of rejection from other travel companies. However, he did not let this stop him. In 2004, he decided to launch Traveleyes, making world travel more inclusive and accessible for those with sight loss. 

On average, each group consists of 18 people – half sighted and half with visual impairments. Every day you are paired with different people so each person gets to know everyone in the group. You will enjoy daily excursions made to simulate each of the senses, including dining experiences. An experienced tour manager accompanies the group through the adventure. 

The holidays include flights and transfers from the UK, internal flights, 3, 4 or 5 star accommodation, all breakfasts, selected excursions, a local tour guide and a Traveleyes tour manager. All prices for those who are blind or partially sighted are comparable to mainstream competitors, meaning that accessible travel comes at no extra cost. Prices start from £459. 

For more information and to view a brochure, either visit our reception, visit www.traveleyes-international.com or call their customer services team on 0113 834 6094. 

Volunteering

Croydon Vision has an amazing bunch of volunteers who help run our services. 

Volunteers provide our members with support and friendship. There are also many benefits that come from volunteering – whether it’s for Croydon Vision or another cause you feel passionately about.

  • Research has shown that volunteering leads to better health.
  • You are making a positive impact in your local community
  • You are building your knowledge and becoming more aware of wider issues that affect society
  • You are playing a vital role in reducing social isolation
  • You have the opportunity to gain valuable life and work skills with training opportunities
  • You can make new friends and meet new people
  • And if you volunteer at Croydon Vision, you will be treated to a deliciously prepared lunch

Whether you want to give an hour a month or 7 hours per week, your time, passion and dedication will make a huge difference.

Here at Croydon Vision we have a number of opportunities available. We are an all-inclusive organisation and promote diversity and equality. Here are a list some of our roles currently available: 

  • Social Groups – Working Age Guide
  • Marketing and Communication – Local News Recorder and Editor for our Talking News
  • Catering and Hospitality – Kitchen Assistants

For more information on these roles and how to apply please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, via email or telephone. Alternatively, please go to the Volunteering Page or email volunteering@croydonvision.org.uk

or phone 020 8688 2486 EXT 5

Fay Chegwidden – Volunteer Coordinator

Quiz Time

This month’s fun-filled quiz has been put together by Bob Horne, Croydon Vision member and volunteer. Enjoy! 

  1. What is the highest number used in a Sudoku Puzzle?
  2. What is the term for a positive electrode?
  3. Which swimming stroke is named after an insect?
  4. Which British Queen has the same name as a type of plum?
  5. How many dots are used in each letter in the Braille System?
  6. Which movie won the Oscar for best actor, director and cinematography in 2016?
  7. What is a female deer called?
  8. What unit is used to measure horses?
  9. Who is Reg Dwight better known as?
  10. Who provided Nick Wlide’s voice in the 2016 movie Zootopia?
  11. How many tenpins bowling skittles need knocking down for a strike?
  12. How is 77 represented in roman numerals?
  13. What is an airplane’s recording device called?
  14. According to the nursery rhyme, how many black birds were baked in a pie?

Answers

  1. 1. Nine Anode 3. Butterfly 4. Victoria 5. Six 6. The Revenant    7. Doe 8. Hands 9. Elton John 10. Jason Bateman 11. 10          12. LXXVII 13. The Black Box  14. 24

That’s Entertainment

A selection of Audio described performances in London next month. Please note that some of the times for Touch Tours are yet to be confirmed (TBC) – please use the contact details to enquire.

Date Event

Contact

 

Price

Sun 1st Sept

2:30 pm (Touch Tour 12:30 pm)

Lion King

Lyceum Theatre

London

 

T: 020 7420 8114 £50

Sat 7th Sept

2.15pm (Touch Tour TBC)

Evita

Open Air Theatre

Regent’s Park

London

 

T: 0333 3202 2834 £12.50 – £65
Tues 10th September 7.30pm (Touch Tour: TBC)

The Son

Duke of Yorke’s Theatre

London

 

T: 0800 912 6971 £TBC

Sat 21st Sept

2.30pm (Touch Tour: 12.45pm)

The Doctor

Almeida Theatre

London

T: 020 7359 4404 £25

 

Telephone numbers for local theatres:


New Wimbledon Theatre:        0844 871 7646
Bromley Theatre:                     0203 285 6000

 

 Dates for your Diary

1st August – 2nd September

 

Reception at Croydon Vision Closed
Tuesdays
IT Training
The IT Trainer Katherine Turner will be teaching on Tuesdays during August. Please book through EXT 6
Tuesday to Friday
Information & Advice
John Ebubedike, Information, Advice
and Guidance, is in Tuesdays to Fridays for appointments during August. Please book through EXT 2
 Monday 5th August The Glaucoma Group will meet at Bedford Hall at 1.30pm

Monday 12th August

Macular Support Group

 

Is the next meeting of Croydon Macular Support Group from 1- 3pm.

Thursday 22nd August

Low Vision Clinic

 

Fiona Hazell, optometrist with Low Vision Clinic, will be at Bedford Hall between 9.30am and 12.30pm. She gives expert advice. This is a free consultation, but please book first

Wednesday 4th September

Chiropodist

 

The chiropodist Joy Dell will be here. Please book with Natasha on EXT 9.
Thursday 26th September Croydon Hearing Open Surgeries

 

Condolences

Our deepest condolences to the friends and family of the late Bill Caryl and Peter Terry

 

 

Lunch Club

Food is a topic that is on everybody’s mind and we want to hear your opinions. We run our lunch service Tuesday to Thursday at Bedford Hall and New Addington. We are always looking for feedback and suggestions to enhance this service. Please send us any meal suggestions that you want to see moving into September and any feedback that you may have.

We asked some of our members what their favourite dish is.

‘I like salmon and prawns and sausages, lots of meat’ 

George Simpson

‘My favourite dish is definitely a roast dinner’ Brenda Gains

‘The chicken here is amazing’ Jennifer Smith

I like everything’ Gertrude Anderson

Chicken curry and rice’ Daniel Hempstead

For those looking to join our lunch service, it runs Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12.30pm – 1.30pm. Lunch is £5 which includes a main meal, dessert and a drink. Along with a delicious meal you will also get great company from fellow members and a fabulous service that will put a smile on your face. Please call reception to enquire more.


Submissions for the August Newsletter are due by

Monday 19th August, newsletter@croydonvision.org.uk

Charity Number: 1165086

Aug 1, 2019

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“A life saver & a life change”