Employment rates for blind & partially sighted people are staggeringly low!
Just one in four people living with sight loss are in work (27% approx), a situation that has only worsened in the last few years.
In Croydon, only 10% are employed – we need to act fast…
So far, we’ve successfully supported 17 working age members into employment, 1 into self-employment with many doing volunteering roles, ready for work.
Why we want to do this:
>We want to transform lives, on the journey to independence.
>To improve inclusion of people with sight loss in the labour market.
>We want people to feel belonged by joining our vibrant community.
Our aspiration is for everyone to see their ability rather than defined by disability.
How we do this:
Our Employment Officer supports each person to step out and join the community, to unlock each person’s potential with an agreeable plan of action.
We work in collaboration with other organisations, so our employment advisers have a wealth of contacts, experience, and expertise:
Jennifer Smith – Employment Officer (Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org).
Michael Spooner – A Blind Entrepreneur (London wide).
Education Employment Trust – Local.
Croydon Commitment – Local.
Reed in Partnership – Local.
Job Centre Plus (DWP) – Local
What we do:
Our five-step process because transformation is a journey…
Stage 1 – Rebuilding:
Connect with our community, peer support and active well being.
Stage 2 – Re-direction:
Walk alongside each person to design an agreed career pathway.
Stage 3 – Upskilling:
Improve social mobility, technology and digital exclusion, coaching or mentorship.
Stage 4 – Applying Skills:
Route into work; volunteering, mock interviews, business planning.
Stage 5 – From Survival to Thriving:
Employment or entrepreneurship, becoming a change agent for VI.
Come join us, to break barriers and transform more lives…
We provide tuition in anything from a smart (or not so smart) phone to computers which could transform someone’s life.
Smartphones, tablets, computers and bespoke software packages can be used by blind and partially sighted people to send emails, search the web, chat to people around the world and have all this read to them.
There are many built-in accessibility features on computers and smartphones, as well as some small changes that can be made to make things easier to read.
Through their smartphones, members are finding they can navigate and even have handwriting read out to them.
We host quarterly workshops to help you to delve into the opportunities social platforms can give provide, even if you have never used any technology before.
We have a newly developed and fully equipped tech studio which you can hire to create video content or podcasts.
Please contact us the I.T team for more details: email@example.com
Arts and Crafts
There are lots of arts and crafts you can take up, or continue to enjoy, if you are blind or partially sighted. Group craft activity is a great way to get creative, providing both mental and physical stimulation, and a useful opportunity to meet people.
Croydon Vision Art classes run every Wednesday. If you want to create a vibrant landscape, an abstract collage or a 3D sculpture we have all the materials and equipment for you to do so. You can choose your own project or if you need direction, Daisy is on hand to facilitate and encourage your artistic development.
Come join our group and get in touch with your inner artist! Whether you have experience in any form of art or a complete beginner, you will meet like-minded, creative and talented people in a happy friendly environment in our art group.
Information and advisory services for our members.
Empowerment and information go hand in hand, so our advice service is of paramount importance at Croydon Vision.
We’re always available to advise anyone with sight loss, but also to help people who are affected by sight loss in some way. We work closely with the Croydon Sensory Impairment Team, Moorfields (ECLO), local GPs, optometrists and a number of voluntary organisations, so there is a lot of expertise and experience for our members to tap into.
Things we can help with:
- Croydon Vision induction:
To help you get the most from our services, activities and opportunities. In addition, support with completing your membership form.
- Completing Application forms:
Providing information and one-to-one support in, plus additional meetings within Bedford Hall and New Addington, to follow up on applications etc.
- Benefits information:
Support with Personal Independent Payment (PIP), Universal Credits and housing information.
- Transport services:
Croydon Vision’s transport, taxi cards and Dial a Ride – how to access them.
- Additional help:
Support to access social and health care or other housing matters.
Local services, support and advocacy.
- Having your voice heard on issues that are important to you.
- Safeguarding your rights.
- Having your views and wishes considered when decisions are being made about your life.
- Expressing your views and concerns.
- Accessing independent information and services.
Advocacy is not…
We will never try to influence your decisions, our aim is simply to support you.
Croydon Vision provides a Low Vision Clinic, offering advice on magnifiers and lenses.
At Croydon Vision, once members are assessed, they are able to try out different products and recommended a best fit. This helps to make daily tasks that can become difficult due to reduced vision much easier. Our Optometrist – Fiona Hazell – runs the clinic on Thursday mornings, once a month.
We also have a weekly clinic managed by Moorfields eye hospital from our Low Vision room on Wednesday’s. Referrals for this can be made directly through your GP or Moorfield’s hospital itself.
Eat, Live and Age well
We are a Food Standard Agency 5 star approved organisation.
Our chef provides nutritious meals which are freshly cooked for Monday to Thursday services each week. We take into consideration members dietary requirements and do our utmost best to provide a 2-course meal (mains and dessert).
To promote inclusivity, we now provide a range of options including meat, vegetarian and pescatarian dishes.
Lunch isn’t just a hot, healthy meal for our members; it provides the opportunity to make or meet with friends and take a break in safe environment.
Take Away Service:
We also provide the option to order your meals to collect and take away. These packages will be the same freshly prepared meals, which you can pop in the microwave at home.
Keeping You In The Loop
Each quarter our wonderful volunteers take to the mic and record segments that come together to form Croydon Vision’s talking news. This service is designed to keep our members informed with the local Croydon news and to provide them with entertainment they can listen to. The Talking News is a fully accessible service that we can use to reach members at their home in the form of an mp3 stick.
The first section of the Talking News is all about Croydon’s local news keeping listeners up to date with the Croydon borough. The next section is called the talking magazine, which is hosted by a different regular volunteer each week who covers a variety of topics that would interest our members. Each month our newsletter is read out as a substitute for the talking magazine to make sure that for those who have difficulties reading paper format can be fully updated with all of Croydon Visions events and news.
This service is £20 for an annual subscription. We will mail your USB in a bright yellow package, once you have listened to the talking news for the week simply place the USB stick back into the yellow package and post back to Croydon Vision, free of charge, where we can then swap your memory stick for the latest copy.
To sign up to the Talking News and to find out more about this service please call reception on 020 8688 2486 or email info@CroydonVision.org.uk
Door to door service
We provide transport for our members Monday to Thursday each week via minibus.
We cover most areas of the borough of Croydon and driver will contact regular members 24 hours prior to confirm pick up.
We also provide transport for events and excursions when required.
Our transport fees are set at a reasonable price – please query at reception on 020 8688 2486.