“I appreciate Croydon Vision very much, it is a community that develops my skills, especially on tech”- RA.

Blog Post

January Newsletter

To our Members, Volunteers and Staff

2018 was an exciting and productive year as we embarked on our own continuous improvement journey. The achievements would not have been possible without your support and I am grateful to have such an amazing team of people to work with.

We began the year by listening more to each other, setting up Group meetings – bringing Volunteers and Staff together, working more effectively to meet the needs of our members. Suggestion box became an active communication toolbox for our Members.

We then re-branded Croydon Vision (CV) through new signage, marketing materials, which in turn brought further awareness of CV. In addition, we re-emphasised the ethos of CV supporting all ages – Children, Young People, Working Age and Over 65’s.

Bedford hall was enhanced to utilise capacity and improve sound. Our New Addington family became much more prominent, promoting inclusivity and support for all.

We grew our events programme, developed collaborative networking opportunities and nurtured training developments for Volunteers and Staff especially around health and safety and for Members; workshops around healthy living.

Plans – 2019

  • We know we have much more to do to ensure we reach as many people with sight loss. We look forward to more outreach work, welcoming new members to our growing organisation whilst maintaining a service for existing members.
  • We have ambitious plans to provide even better services; especially transport, lunch, information, advice and buildings
  • Events will be even more insightful with increased focus on celebrating all ages, family outings and fundraising to sustain Croydon Vison long term.

My sincere thanks for all the messages and cards you sent me over the Christmas period.  I Wish you All a Blessed New Year.

Susanette Mansour – Director

Children and Young People

Visit to the Polka Theatre, Wimbledon

On Saturday 8th December 2018, we treated the younger members of Croydon Vision to a trip to the theatre. There were 28 of us altogether and we all met promptly at 10am at the Polka Theatre in Wimbledon to watch their fantastic production of the Wind in the Willows. The children were also able to participate in a touch tour before the production began which enabled them to experience the stage effects, props and even meet the cast. This production was extra special as it was audio descriptive and headsets were provided to all of the children who were unable to see.

The production was so interactive with the cast weaving between seats to include the children in the show, including giant bees and birds being flown across the audience, which many children tried to catch! The children and the parents had the most wonderful time and the finale added a special Christmas touch with fake snow blown all over the audience, which made the children squeal with delight! It truly was a magical show and the children cannot wait to go again next year.

We were pleased to receive sacks of presents donated by the Metropolitan Police in Croydon. I was delighted to pass on these wonderful gifts to the children at the end of the Wind in the Willows. This was such a lovely gesture and we are very grateful to the Met Police for thinking of the younger members of Croydon Vision

In the New Year, we have lots to look forward to:

  • Saturday 12th January Sutton trampoline centre
  • Wednesday 20th February fun and games at Bedford hall.
  • Thursday 21st Feburary Day out to Hobbledown in Epsom
  • Friday the 22nd February Creative Pottery session.

For more information on these events, please speak to Nicola.

Nicola Peake – Children’s and Young Peoples Officer

Working Age

It’s that time of the year again. Sparkly lights Tinsel Christmas Carols Presents under the tree. From me to you and on behalf of the W.A.G / Wednesday group we would like to wish everybody a Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year. This month the group have been taking part in Information sessions, fun, and games.

Jennifer Smith, the working age Group Assistant, has written an overview of what the working age group has been up to in the last month;

On Thursday 29th November, the working age forum was officially launched. After the introduction from the director and working age officer. Talks were given by an array of different speakers about employment opportunities, journey into employment with a visual impairment and our very own Vera about the white belt. The event ended with a buffet style networking event  with participants looking forward to the next event date
On Wednesday 12th December Susan and Tammy from the ‘Be Well’ project came to Bedford hall to give nutritional advice to the working age and social group. The group found the session very informative including learning about the eat well plate and how to use your hand to measure the various food groups we eat. The session ended with an invitation to the ‘Be Well’ project activities.

Upcoming Dates

On Wednesday 16th January and Wednesday 13th February Armadeep the employment advisor will be in and available for appointments

On the 20th February, there will be an outing to Ludoquist

Please see Trevor for more information on the working age group and about any upcoming events.

Trevor Aziz – Working Age Officer

Over 65’s

On Thursday December 6th one of our social groups went out for their annual social to Coombe Lodge.

They were transported there by one of our intrepid drivers and arrived hungry and ready for a fun filled afternoon. There were crackers on the tables and laughter in the air.

A fun filled, and food filled afternoon was had by all and they are all looking forwards to their next meal out.

Fitness and Exercise

Regular physical activity in life is important for those of all ages but especially important to those who are that little bit older. It’s really important to maintain your health and look after yourself and getting involved with fitness and exercise can bring incredible benefits not only to your physical health but also your mental health.

Did you know that Croydon Vision runs Exercise groups. We have three different options on different days.

Keep Fit

This group runs on a Tuesday morning and its aim is to keep you flexible and more able to move easily. £4 per class


This group runs on a Wednesday afternoon, and is more about relaxation and stretching. £4 per class


This group runs on Thursday afternoon, and they dance to sequence dances, no prior experience is required.

For more information, please ask at reception.

Information and Advice

A very Happy New Year to all our readers, to start the year I have listed some information on Attendance allowance and Employment and Support Allowance.

Attendance Allowance

You may qualify for Attendance Allowance if you are aged 65 or over and need help to do things, like choosing clothes, reading and replying to mail and taking part in social activities.

Attendance Allowance is not a means-tested benefit, so it doesn’t matter how much other income or savings you have. You can get Attendance Allowance even if you live alone and don’t have anyone looking after you; it is your need for the help that is important. You can spend any Attendance Allowance you receive however you like. It can be paid on top of other benefits and may even increase the amount of other benefits you get. For further information please speak to John

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

ESA has replaced Incapacity Benefit and Income Support .ESA is a benefit for people who:

  • Have limited capability for work because of sickness or disability
  • Are not working (although voluntary work allowed)
  • Are aged 16 or over, but under the age at which you can claim your state pension
  • Are not entitled to certain other benefits (Statutory Sick Pay, Incapacity Benefit, Income Support, Severe Disablement Allowance or Jobseeker’s Allowance).


For more information and Advice, please book an appointment with John.

John Ebubedike – Information and Advice Officer

Resource Centre

This December has been busy in the resource centre. I thought I would take some time to talk about some of the items that have been popular.

The first is the Non-Spill mug. It has to be one of my favourite items to demonstrate as you can attach it to something plastic and hold it at 90 degrees to the floor whilst full of water (as long as the lid is on). The main reason behind its sticking power is so that it can be placed on a non-porous surface and not be knocked over, you have to lift it by the handle to pick it up. The mug is also a thermos mug, keeping hot things hot and cold things cold.

The second item, which I am sure many of you have heard of is the communiclock. This is a white ‘rounded cube’ with a big black button on the top, when you press the button it announces the time in a clear voice. The clock is radio controlled so you never have to worry about setting it correctly. It runs off of standard AA Batteries and they are very easy to change.

During the last full week in January (21st -24th), I will be having a second hand sale of Low Vision Aids that have been found in and around Croydon Vision. There will be items in the area outside the hall for you to look at and purchase.

Katherine Turner – Resource Centre Manager

DiariesWe still have a few large print:

Pocket Diaries £5.75

Desk Diaries £9.45

Wall Calendars £6.25

available from the Resource Centre,



Tuesday 11th December AGM

After much preparation and hard work from the team, our AGM had finally come around and what a wonderful AGM it was with many of our guest including Andy Barrow stating that it is the best AGM he has ever been to.

The AGM started at 12pm with some mingling followed by a delicious buffet prepared by Isatu and her wonderful kitchen elves. After everybody had eaten, the business for the day began.

Frances our re-elected chair started the proceedings followed by a wonderful speech from the Mayor of Croydon. Susanette our director then spoke a few words about the year just gone and year ahead before the mic was passed to our retired treasurer Colin who took us through the monetary part of proceedings.

After the business side was completed, we were privileged to hear some touching stories from some of our members and a volunteer representing New Addington. Thank you so much to Danielle Cleary, Vera Elliott, Henry Clarke, Lauren Crisp and Chaz Schokman for sharing their stories with us. After these beautiful stories, we were privileged to have a speech delivered from Andy Barrow. How do we follow such a speech well SELO did superb job. We had a beautiful performance from three very talented members from the group.

Thank you to all of the wonderful Volunteers who were at the event and delivered amazing support and help throughout the event. And a huge thank you to all the hard work from Irene Davey and Colin Coates who have retired as Trustees this year

Fay Chegwidden – Volunteer Coordinator


AGM – A Volunteers View

This year’s AGM proved to be very enjoyable. I must admit past AGMs that I have attended have all been rather boring and this one exceeded my expectation. It was very well organised and as a volunteer, I found it enjoyable to help on the day and I would 100% do it again next year. It was lovely to hear from the members and felt that their involvement added a little something special.

Jenny Davey – Volunteer

AGM – A Members View

This AGM was a new experience for me and one that I took a lot from. The event had a great balance between entertainment and speakers. As a member it was lovely to hear other members get involved and be heard. Myself personally had a few questions for the trustees, I felt like I was listened to and I learned that a lot goes on behind the scenes to ensure our services carry on. We had a speech from Andy Barrow, which was brilliant. He did a lovely job of linking his personal struggle with visual impairment and is a fantastic role model.

Anna Smith – Member

AGM – A Trustees View

I enjoyed the whole event. Memorable as Andy’s speech and the fact there was a minute silence for all our departed was a lovely touch. The staff and Volunteers did a great job, which made the whole day really wonderful. The meal was excellent too so thanks to kitchen staff and helpers. The AGM went well (not too financially difficult to follow). It was very well organised and good to hear well-deserved praise from members especially about how Croydon Vision has made a lot of difference to them. It was also good to see some of our Contributing Organisations and support from the Lady Mayor.

Jim Smith – Trustee


AGM – New Addington View

Wow what an AGM. A warm welcome, good tasty food, entertainment and heart warming stories. After the business end of the AGM was over, we listened to the future head from Susanette. We then had a display of photos and names of the members who passed away during the year R.I.P. This was followed by heart warming stories and poignant moments from Danielle, Vera, Henry and Lauren, how CV helped them to lead a normal life. To me it was reflective and how fortunate I was to have all my senses. Great community spirt, a buzz around Bedford hall, which I had not heard for a long time, to end the afternoon an uplifting talk by the guest speaker Andy Barrow.

Chaz Schokman – New Addington Volunteer

A Year In Review 2018

I joined CV to hang out and do activities with other children whose vision isn’t great. It makes me feel more normal and I really enjoy all the experiences I have had with them. It is nice to be able to be involved in everything and enjoy things without worrying about my disabilities.

Phoebe Age 13 – Young Member

“I feel very good here at Croydon Vision and I’ve gained more confidence’

“Its an excellent organisation and I’ve made some good friends; lunch is great!’

If you would like a copy of the annual review 2018, please ask a member of staff who can send it to you in various formats.



South East London Orchestra (SELO) Christmas Concert


On Sunday 9th December, 18 of our members, staff and volunteers attended the SELO concert at St Barnabas’s Church in Beckenham.


Here are some of their post-concert comments.


I was enraptured with the way that I experienced my first orchestral carol concert. All my senses filled with awe, wonder & praise. Evelyn – Member

A magical afternoon. I thought the music was marvellous. Sitting among good friends in the church setting, it put me in a state of perfect happiness. Thank you SELO
Claire – Member and Volunteer

I thought the concert was fantastic. The carols were good. I liked the sleigh ride. Thank you David for letting us feel and play the percussion instruments before the concert. Steve – Member

It was lovely. The second half was very Christmassy and more somewhat bouncy. Lauren – Member

 It was wonderful; it really uplifted me, especially the 2nd half.
Mike – Staff

Brilliant concert, everyone played their instruments really well. Atmosphere was really good and it caught the Christmas spirit.
Sarah – Volunteer

Wonderful concert, beautiful, it really lifted me and did me the world of good Irene – Member and Volunteer

Thank you to everyone that attended and from everyone at SELO we wish all CV members a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Sue Ardley – Volunteer

Christmas Celebrations

We hope everybody had a lovely Christmas before the Christmas closure we had a week full of Christmas celebrations.

On Tuesday 18th, we had an afternoon performance by Salamander Quartet, made up of four very talented musicians. The performance took your imagination off to so many different places. The performance was enjoyed by everybody and was very interactive. A review of this performance along with all the musical performances we have had will be written up in February’s Newsletter.

On Thursday 20th December, we had our Christmas Lunch. In the morning, we had a hall full of fun activities and treats for all our members and volunteers. Firstly, we had free manicures curtesy of a class from Croydon College, while members had their nails done, others were playing with some tactile board games including giant connect four and we had some interactive fun with a Nintendo wii. We also had two members from The Body Shop team, displaying their different products and offering them at discounted prices. All followed by a big Christmas lunch and music from our very own Sue Ardley with SELO.

Listening Books

Listening Books is a national audio library that provides a fantastic range of titles for those who find it difficult or impossible to read or hold a book due to an illness, disability, mental health or learning difficulty. They are currently offering free memberships to overcome the barriers fees may occur. For more information on the service and for a membership form please enquire at reception.


Women’s Group

On the 7th December, our women’s group had their first quarterly outing. We headed to our local pizza express where the 7 of us had some festive foods and wonderful conversations. It was lovely to see the women at ease, enjoying their time and talking about anything and everything.

The women’s group has been running for a while in partnership with Croydon Vision and is a place where women can talk about whatever they like without judgement. We take part in activities that in general are more women orientated. We are doing bigger events/outings quarterly with a few smaller meetings in-between at varying times so that we can try to catch all of those interested.

We have agreed on a date for our next women’s get together to be Wednesday January 30th at 3.30pm – 4.30pm. This meeting will be another chance for discussion and to take part in some activities at Bedford Hall. If you would like to get involved in our group, please email or call Fay for more details.

Fay Chegwidden – Volunteer Coordinator


An Alternative to the Cane

Our wonderful member Vera Elliott is proud to be promoting an alternative method to the white cane to assist visually impaired people whilst getting about. She says that she finds the white cane restrictive and cumbersome to use. This aid is a white shoulder belt that indicates to others that you are visually impaired. Vera has been using it for a few years now and says it has been an invaluable aid leaving a free hand to feel and grab rails and handholds.

For more information and to hear more about Vera’s story please contact reception who will give you some more information.




TFL Bus Consultation


TFL would like your views on proposed changes to bus routes serving Croydon town centre. They are proposing that some bus routes terminate on the side of the town centre from which they approach, so they would no longer cross the town centre.

These proposed changes would help maintain reliability of services in Croydon by making the bus network simpler and more efficient.

The buses that will be affected are: 50, 75, 109, 154, 197, 250, 264, 403, 405, 412 and 433.

For full details and to share your views, please visit: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/croydon-town-centre/

This consultation will run until Sunday 13 January 2019.

If you would like to take part in this consultation, need help, please book an appointment with Katherine our Resource Manager.


Traveleyes is the world’s first commercial tour operator offering independent group travel for both blind and sighted travellers. On each holiday half the group are visually impaired and the other half are fully sighted. Traveleyes have announced that an episode of ‘BBC’s River Walks’ will be presented by their Founder and Director Amar Latif, who himself is blind and it will be available to watch on BBC iPlayer. It will be a fantastic watch over the festive period. You will get to see Amar pushing his boundaries with lots of outdoor adventures and be truly inspired by what he does.


Quiz Time

Let us kick the New Year off with a quiz all about British history. Good luck!

  1. Which English king was defeated at the Battle of Hastings?
  2. In which year did colortelevision transmissions start in the UK?
  3. The ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ was the nickname of which British serial killer?
  4. What is the best-selling song released by The Beatles?
  5. Which of Henry the IIVs wives gave him his only son?
  6. Which famous explorer landed on Possession Island and claimed it as British territory?
  7. Which famous military leader defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo?
  8. In which year did England win the world cup?
  9. Who wrote the longest running play in history and what was the title of the play?
  10. Which British artist painted The Hay Wain in 1821
  11. How many shillings were there to a pound?
  12. Who was the leader of the suffragettes
  13. What year was the great fire of London



1 Harold II 1967 3 Peter Sutcliffe 4 She loves you 1963 Jane Seymour 6 Captain James Cook Duke of Wellington 8 1966 9 The Mouse Trap Agatha Christie 10 John Constable 11 20 12 Emmeline Pankhurst 13 1212


That’s Entertainment

A selection of Audio described performances in London next month.
Please note that some of the time for Touch Tours is yet to be confirmed (TBC), please use contact detail to enquire.


Date What’s Happening Contact Info Price
Sat 12th/19th/26thJanuary
2:30pm &7.30pm 
CinderellaSt Georges Hall, Beckenham T: 07737538794 £10
Sat 26th Jan
(Touch Tour 12pm)
Doctor FaustusBankside, London Bridge T: 02074019919 £10-£50
Sat 9th Feb


The Phantom of the OperaHer Majesty’s Theatre, Haymarket T: 03444825137 £35
Tues 26th Feb(Touch Tour 5.30pm)


Everybody’s Talking About JamieApollo Theatre, Shaftesbury
T: 03303334815 £32.50


Telephone numbers for local theatres: 
New Wimbledon Theatre:        0844 871 7646
Bromley Theatre:                     0203 285 6000

Dates for your Diary

Tuesdays & Thursday
IT Training
The IT Trainer Katherine Turner will be teaching on Tuesday and Thursday.
Tuesday to Thursday
Information & Advice
John Ebubedike, Information, Advice
and Guidance, is in Tuesday to Thursday, please book through reception.
Mondays & WednesdayResource Centre The Resource Centre will be open for appointments.
Thursday, 10th January
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.
Monday 14th January
Macular Group
No meeting this month instead a lunch is being held at The Masonic Hall 12.30 priced at £21.50. Please call Pat Tebbutt on 02086815038 to book.
Wednesday 16th January
The chiropodist Joy Dell will here on Please book with Reception. 
Thursday 24th January.
New Addington
Katherine will be at New Addington
Thursday 31st January
New Addington
John will be at New Addington



Lunch Menu – Bedford Hall

Croydon Vision – Eat well, Live well and Age well

All meals include a choice of main course and dessert

Tuesday 8th January

Meat: Cottage pie served with steamed veg and gravy.

Vegetarian: Vegetable cottage pie with steamed veg & gravy.

Fish: Fish pie served with steamed veg.


Homemade pear tart served with custard or Fresh Fruit salad with yogurt or Ice cream

Wednesday 9th January

Macaroni cheese served with salad


Fruit salad served ice-cream or yogurt

Thursday 10th January

Meat: Roast chicken 
Quorn roast chicken

Fish: Baked Cod

All served with roast potatoes, steamed veg & gravy.



Homemade chocolate sponge cake served with custard or Fresh Fruit salad with yogurt or Ice cream

Tuesday 15th January

Meat: Beef stew served with mash and steamed veg.
: Quorn & veg stew served with mash and steamed veg 
: Baked cod served with mash and steamed veg


Apple pie served with custard or   Seasonal fruit with yogurt or ice cream

Wednesday 16th January

Spinach and cheese quiche served with salad 

Panna cotta served with berries


Thursday 17th January

Meat: Stew chicken served with rice or potatoes and salad

Vegetarian: Quorn Stew served with rice or potatoes and salad

Fish: Stew salmon served with rice or potatoes and salad


Homemade pear and plum crumble served with custard or Seasonal fruit and yogurt


Tuesday 22nd January

Meat: Roast pork

Vegetarian: Vegetarian roast

Fish: Baked cod

All served with roast potatoes, steamed veg and gravy



Homemade rice pudding served with berries or Seasonal fruit with yogurt or ice cream


Wednesday 23rd January

Chicken tikka masala served aromatic rice and salad 

Fresh fruit salad served with ice-cream or yogurt


Thursday 24th January

Meat: Roast chicken

Vegetarian: Quorn roast chicken

Fish: Roast salmon


All served with fried rice or potatoes and salad


Homemade vanilla cheesecake or Seasonal fruit with yogurt or ice cream


 Tuesday 29th January

Meat :Creamy chicken and pasta bake served with salad

Vegetarian: Vegetable and pasta bake served with salad

Fish: Fish pie served with salad


Homemade Apple tart with Custard or Seasonal fruit with yogurt or ice cream


Wednesday 30th January

Homemade chicken in breadcrumbs served with chips and salad

Banoffee pie


Thursday 31st January

Meat: Roast lamb

Vegetarian: Quorn roast chicken

Fish: Baked cod


All served with roast potatoes, steamed veg and gravy.


Homemade vanilla sponge cake served with custard or Fruit salad Seasonal fruit with yogurt or ice cream


New Addington Menu
Eat well – Live well – Age well

Thursday 10th January

Roast chicken served with roast potatoes, steamed veg & gravy.

Dessert: Homemade chocolate sponge cake served with custard


 Thursday 17th January

Stew chicken served with rice or potatoes and salad

Dessert: Homemade pear and plum crumble served with custard


 Thursday 24th January

Roast chicken served with fried rice or potatoes and salad

Dessert: Homemade vanilla cheesecake


Thursday 31st January

Roast lamb served with roast potatoes, steamed veg and gravy.

Dessert: Homemade vanilla sponge cake served with Custard

We would love to have your input!Submissions for the February Newsletter are due in by
Thursday 17th January 2019.newsletter@croydonvision.org.uk

Jan 1, 2019

Related Articles

Related Articles

Our Voice – July 2024

Our Voice – July 2024

A note from Team CV Our values are the key to true success. The staff team at Croydon Vision is motivated by a clear set of key values; awareness, compassion, teamwork, diversity and integrity. These underpin everything we do and everything we want to achieve. So in...

read more
Our Voice – April 2024

Our Voice – April 2024

A note from Susanette Mansour 2023 brought a mix of opportunities and challenges. The highs, the lows and the in-betweens were evident throughout, and navigating them was both rewarding and exhausting. There’s a saying by Jim Rohn that puts things into perspective,...

read more
Our Voice December 2023

Our Voice December 2023

A Year in Review - from Susanette Mansour 2023 was not for the faint-hearted, there were many twists and turns, some big wins, and hard losses. Life has moments of mountain tops and valleys - we are choosing to reflect, to learn from failings and more so, think about...

read more

“A life saver & a life change”