“I was stuck at home for 3 years, I am so glad to join Croydon Vision’s community!” PH.


Newsletter December 2019

Message from Susanette

Dear Members & Volunteers,

Thank you for your continued support to further enhance CV.
2020 will be my 3rd year at CV – times moving fast! It has been an absolute pleasure working with you all. See below some hightlights of 2019 and insight to some future plans:

Project Development:
We successfully gained funds for an outreach project; co-designed by members, volunteers & staff. I hope you access this service as required. The Officers were recently interviewed on talking news – please ask reception.

We had a full on calendar event for 2019 and it was great to see many of you participating. Our Christmas Party is next on the agenda! I do understand that some of the timings of events were not convenient, but we will look into this when planning 2020. Please continue to send in your suggestions; this will be presented at the next Service Enablers meeting and agreed events to circulate from February.

Fundraising Initiatives:
We had set targets to raise money for a dish washer, rails at back of Bedford Hall, Evacuation chairs and so on. There are a few pending such as tactile tiling to action by April 2020. The Kilimanjaro climb helped raise funds and our profile, so it was a great success! We are waiting to receive some pledged funds by local businesses and we will be purchasing a new 7 seater vehicle, hopefully in time for the summer excursions by July.  

Bright Ideas:
During the AGM, I mentioned that your ideas and concerns are paramount to us. It is great to see some ideas starting to emerge.

Member: CV to put on a festival for and organised by VI people.
Susanette: Brilliant idea and one we can schedule for summer 2020.

Member: Once a month (Monday) could we have a manicure/pedicure?
Susanette: This can certainly be organised, however, will need at least 5 other interested parties to make this worthwhile for the manicurist.

Future plans:
Following Q&A about the lift project at AGM 2019, I can confirm that the intended lift to be installed at CV will have a voice annunciation.

Strategic Plan 2020 (3yr plan)
Ever since the away day in November 2018; we have been developing a working strategy owned by the entire team (including Members). This plan is now in draft mode and we aim to share the report with members, volunteers and staff from 3rd February for 1 month – to get your views and input. Our goal is to launch a strategic plan April 2020.

A key focus for 2020 will be to support and enable people with sight loss. Encouraging members to set small/medium goals with Officers & Volunteers by your side; to assist in achieving your aim. One member recently asked for a trip to Ben Nevis, another launching their business. We want to help you realise your goal – and yes, a trip to Ben Nevis summer 2020 will be organised – watch this space.

Thank you once again and from the staff team – we wish you, family and friends a Merry Christmas and blessed New Year ahead.


Sharing Talent

Christmas time is fast approaching so here is a festive poem to get you in the mood for the holiday season. If you have any holiday poems or stories that you would like to share for next month’s newsletter please get in touch. Details of how to get in touch are at the end of the newsletter.

Christmas Traditions

The Christmas gift list, we all agree,
Requires a massive Shopping spree.

Wrap it up. Shiny paper and bows.
What’s inside, we won’t disclose!

Then the tree, fragrant and green.
Each year it’s the best, we’ve ever seen.

Hang the bulbs, ornaments too.
Light it up, say” ahh,” and “ooh!”

Plan the feast, same recipes,
All our favourites, prepared to please.

Christmas customs, on joyful display.
It’s always the same; we love it that way.

So bring it all, so necessary,
Beloved traditions, make Christmas merry.

By Joanna Fuchs


Spreading the Festive Cheer


On Thursday 19th December one of our volunteers Maria Stirling and her choir group will be singing and raising money for Croydon Vision at the Crown Pub from 7.30pm. So please come down and show your support and have a lovely evening while you’re at it. The address is 28 Wickham Rd, Croydon, CR0 8BA. 

Children and Young People

Christmas is fast approaching which means our children and young people are excited and ready to make their lists, checking them twice and hoping for lots of Christmas treats.

To kick off the festive season we are having a party at Bedford Hall which is open to all children between the ages of 3 – 18. I can’t wait to enjoy the fun and dance along with our members. They will also be receiving a visit from a special someone who is usually very busy at this time of year! We are extremely grateful to have an entertainer coming along, Lizzies Loonies, who will be making sure we have the best time possible. The Christmas party will start at 1pm-4pm.

Last month the children and young people went to ‘clip n climb’ in Chelsea and it was as said by one of the members ‘Epic!’ Our two Daniels both outdone themselves with their amazing climbing managing to get to the top of the rock where the red buttons were waiting for them. Iden challenged himself to the leap of faith and came out triumphant. Erin was the youngest of the group but that didn’t stop her; she shined and she climbed all the way to the top of some challenging walls. Allana faced her fears of heights and climbed as high as she could. We are all very proud of her and all of those who took part.

Lastly, I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and I hope you all have a lovely holidays. I can’t wait to hear the stories from all of our members and I look forward to seeing everyone in the New Year.

 Korey Knight – Children and Young People Project Officer


Information and Advice


The Information and Advice service provides vital support for members of Croydon Vision. Below is an example of service impact: 

Youssef came to Croydon Vision to get more information about our services. Following on from the first meeting the Information and Advice Officer arranged a follow up with Youssef. After much discussion one of the things that Youssef needed was a Certificate of Visual Impairment (CVI). This certificate will allow him to qualify for several different benefits including being eligible for a blue badge and a taxi card, which would help him greatly. 

The Information and Advice Officer rang the local optician and arranged an appointment. This appointment was booked, so that the opticians can triage him to Moorfields eye hospital to do a field test. The field test is part of the process for obtaining a Certificate of Visual Impairment. The meeting is pending, however, the Information and Advice Officer will continue to help Youssef through his journey; making sure he is issued a certificate.


Cold Weather Payment – you may get a cold weather payment if you meet the eligibility rules for certain benefits such as:

  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • Support for Mortgage Interest

The average temperature in your area must also be recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees Celsius or below for 7 consecutive days.

The Cold Weather Payment scheme runs from 1 November to 31 March. If you need support with this, please book through reception. 

John Ebubedike – Information and Advice Officer

Working Age

Maxine, a working age member recently interviewed a newer member of the group, Natalie and found out about her journey so far. 

M: Hi Natalie welcome to CV and how long have you been attending?

N: I have been coming to CV for about 3 weeks now.

M: When did you first hear about CV?

N: I have known about CV since the time I was registered partially sighted and I have always wanted to come but I was a bit nervous.
My main concern was not having people my age?

M: So, what made you join CV in the end?

N: I left my job; I was trying to figure things out when I decided to get in contact with Thomas Pocklington Trust. I was told about London Vision but then I remembered CV which is much more local. I looked at the website, which was much more inviting and informative, and I thought that I would give it a chance, come and see what it was like so I contacted reception and asked how do I become a member. I thought about the Working Age Group as there would be people my age, it’s work related and would be useful for me.

M: What do you want to get from the Working Age Group?

N: In an ideal world I would love to get a job, but I find it disheartening because of experiences I’ve had. I’m just trying to figure out how to move forward. It is nice to see what people are doing, so far, the group has given me a few ideas about things I could do.

M: What do you most like about the group?

N: It’s been good just meeting people who don’t ask me awkward questions like “Why I am looking at my phone in a certain way?” in general people don’t seem to understand. I am still coming to terms with my sight loss so it’s great to have a support system around me. 

Thank you Natalie for sharing with us. If you want to find out more about the working age group and how it can help you, then please get in contact with reception for more information.

Maxine Plowden – Volunteer and Member 


I’m pleased to be able to present my first article as an Outreach and Progression Officer. The outreach project has now had several referrals and visits. I have attended hospital visits with several members and will be attending befriending visits during the month of December.

I am looking forward to making a difference, helping members to improve their lives and enhance the wellbeing of those members who have a visual impairment and are isolated, housebound or unable to utilise the services available; perhaps week days due to work.  

So, if you know of anyone who could benefit please make a referral through reception.

Jennifer Smith – Outreach & Progression Officer


Outreach – IT Tuition

A member of Croydon Vision was having trouble with their computer and requested that visit their home and assess the PC. She has a new computer but unable to use it in the same way as her old one; due to the difference in setup.   

With the new outreach programme, I was able to visit her and make small changes which she tried out and was happy with. This meant that she felt more in control of what was happening to her computer and had input into the setup. I also went over some keyboard shortcuts to enable her to use her access software more effectively.  

When I left, she was feeling much happier with her computer again and had arranged for an engineer to come out and look at her line as there was a fault.  

The outreach IT service is available to assist you with any problems that you may experience due to your sight; such as interaction with accessibility software. There is also the option for IT lessons at your home if your main computer is a desktop version. 

Katherine Turner – Resource Centre Manager


Resource Centre

One of the biggest events of the year with regards to technology is Sight Village. It is held in various locations around the country and our nearest one is London. 

I wasn’t able to attend this year, but a group of the working age members did including Danielle the Resource Centre Volunteer.
Sight Village is a great opportunity for people to get their hands on technology and to find out about it from the people who make the items.  

Danielle spoke to one of the stallholders, Sight and Sound Technology, and has managed to secure a Sunu band and an OrCam for the centre. 

The Sunu band is a mobility aid – not to replace a white cane but to enhance its use. It sends out ultrasonic pulses and vibrates on your wrist when there is an object in front of you. It links to a smartphone and through this can also provide navigation directions and a host of other features. It costs £240 and we can assist with any setup required.

The OrCam is a wearable text to speech reader. It clips onto the side of glasses (either your own or the pair in the box) and through gestures or pressing the device it will read text out to you, it does not require anything else to work.  It costs £2,700 and we can assist with any setup required. There is a more feature rich version that can also recognize faces it has been previously taught and identify products, this version costs £3,500 – market value.

If you would like to try either of these devices, please do come into the resource centre. 

We now have an outreach program so if you are unable to make it to Croydon Vision and would like to have a try of any of the items in the Resource Centre, please also give us a call and we can arrange to bring them out to you. 

Katherine Turner – Resource Centre Manager

Over 65

Sleep Hygiene

Having trouble sleeping? ‘sleep hygiene’ is the term used to describe good sleep habits. Considerable research has gone into developing a set of guidelines and tips which are designed to enhance good sleeping, and there is much evidence to suggest that these strategies can provide long-term solutions to sleep difficulties.

Here are some sleep hygiene top tips.

  1. Keep a regular routine – One way to train your body to sleep well is to go to sleep and get up at more or less the same time every day, even on weekends.
  2. Avoid caffeine and nicotine – Both of these acts as stimulates so it is advised to avoid consuming any caffeine or nicotine for at least 4-6 hours before going to bed.
  3. Bed is for sleeping – Try not to use your bed for any activities other than sleep so that your brain can learn the connection between bed and sleep.
  4. Bathtime – Research has shown that sleepiness is associated with a drop in body temperature. Having a hot bath or shower
    1-2 hours before bed will help with this.
  5. No clock-watching – Many people who struggle with sleep tend to watch the clock too much. Frequently checking the clock at night can wake you up.

Thank you Sue Ardley for that very interesting information from the Centre for Clinical Interventions. 

Talking News

I enjoy listening each week to the variety of presenters on the talking news. It is good of our volunteers to search out articles for us to enjoy. While they are tweaking the microphone, a couple of us take the old memory sticks out of the mail wallets so it can be formatted and edited in readiness for the new edition.

It is definitely worth the £10.00 annual charge for those who require a USB stick. For those without a “Boom box”, one is available free for you. Please ask the Resource Centre for more information. 

Jim Smith – Volunteer

Events Calendar 



Further Details

Saturday 7th December

C&YP Christmas Party

1pm – 4pm *

Bedford Hall

19th December

Christmas Party
(Christmas break)

Celebrating all ages from        *
12:00 – 16:00

Bedford Hall, (Essential to book)

Monday 6th January 2020


Warm welcome back Members

Tuesday 14th January 2020

Croydon Hearing

11am – 2pm

Bedford Hall

Monday 9th and Wednesday 13th March 2020

Living with Sight loss workshop

10am – 3pm

Bedford Hall

We are now taking suggestions for events in 2020. Please use the Bright Idea boxes or talk to your Group Leader who will pass on the suggestion. Alternatively, please call reception.

Christmas Party

Thursday 19th December will mark our last day at Croydon Vision before everyone takes a well-deserved festive break, to celebrate this most wonderful time of the year we are holding a Christmas Party for our members consisting of a Christmas lunch (see menu choices on p21.) and some festive entertainment. The day will start at 12pm and finish at 4pm. This event will cost £10 per person.

We are delighted that the amazing Salamander Saxaphone Quartet will be returning, getting everybody singing along to their favourite Christmas songs. Some of our members will also be performing a few Christmas songs during the event as well.

The day is sure to be a treat, booking for this event is a must as we have limited capacity on the day. Transport is available at the normal price of £3 each way but again there is limited availability so book soon. You can book your seat via reception on 020 8688 2486 or through your group leaders.


Dinner and Dance Review

On Friday 22nd of November, Croydon Vision held its Dinner and Dance event in aid of the Mayor of Croydon’s charities. Staff and volunteers had been prepping all day and the time for the dance was upon us. Guests started to arrive looking glamourous in their sparkles and dashing suits. Once everyone had settled, the Mayor gave a speech to the crowd before starters were served.

The entertainment on the night was fantastic and everyone had a great time. We were treated to a song by The Voice finalist Roger Samuels followed by a more creative task by each table. We also held a raffle with some amazing prizes and our wonderful DJ played songs throughout the evening.

Some of our members attended the event and had a wonderful time. Our member Steven said ‘I had such a great time, when is the next one!’

Thank you to everybody who attended and supported us in preparation for the event and on the night.

Seeing Beyond the Eyes

On the 7th of November CV were delighted to host a Seeing Beyond the Eyes Workshop delivered by Dan Williams and Jayshree Vasani from Visualise Training and Consultancy. It was amazing to see that the event was attended by so many professionals and other people who work in the sight loss sector including ophthalmologists, opticians and ECLO’s. It was a chance for these professionals to learn from the people who use the service.   

The guests were sat in groups of ten at a table and were given various case studies and asked how they would respond to each scenario. For example, how would they deal with a patient who had just been told that they were losing their sight? It was a great evening where professionals had learnt information about the various support services and how patients need to be treated. Hopefully they have learnt from each other and the importance of working with local sight loss organisations, ELCOs, and most of all patients. 


Proposed Title Change – CV’s Leader

The Board of Trustees would like to recommend that in future the paid employee heading our organisation is known as – Chief Executive Officer. 

This would be in keeping with other charities of our standing and would better represent the modern and forward thinking organisation we have become. 

Some of you may recall that at the 2017 AGM there was a lot of discussion on the title for our leader and that was influenced by Thomas Pocklington Trust; insisting that we should not use the CEO title as it would cause confusion with their CEO. The special relationship we had with TPT has now been dissolved (as I informed you in September 2019’s newsletter) and there being no encumbrance from outside parties we are free to choose the title we believe is most fitting for our head of service. 

The Trustees therefore propose that Susanette Mansour’s title is amended to Chief Executive Officer and we intend that this will be ratified at the next AGM.

Frances Cullen – Chair of Trustees


2020 Dates for Croydon Hearing

Croydon Hearing will be visiting Croydon Vision four times in 2020. The drop in sessions will run from 11am until 2pm. They will be at Croydon Vision on the following dates:

Tuesday January 14th 2020

Tuesday April 14th 2020

Tuesday July 14th 2020

Tuesday October 13th 2020

Please call reception if you would like some more information on this service.


Christmas Collection for St Christopher’s Hospice

Every year millions of people around the world celebrate Christmas, one tradition that many people take part in is the giving of Christmas cards. Christmas cards are a wonderful way of spreading love and thanks, however for those with sight loss the gesture is somewhat lost.

This year at Croydon Vision like many in the past, we will be having a Christmas card collection for St Christopher’s Hospice as an alternative to sending each other Christmas cards.

St Christopher’s Hospice exists to promote and provide skilled and compassionate palliative care of the highest quality. Founded in 1967 by Dame Cicely Saunders and, over 50 years later, her words still remain at the heart of everything we do: “You matter because you are you and you matter until the last moment of your life.”

Buckets will be available through reception or through your group leaders and can choose to give as little or as much as you would like.

For more information, please see Irene Davey or Reception for more information.

Christmas Carol Singing

On Saturday 21st December, Croydon SDA Church (95 Selhurst Rd, London SE25 6LH) is holding a charity concert called Accessible in Sound, starting at 7.30pm. They have chosen us to be their charity to raise funds for on the night. The event is free to attend and is sure to be great fun. Thank you to SDA Church for supporting Croydon Vision this year. 

Survey for Student Study

Study by students at UCL and Manchester University: Are you a UK-based relative, friend or caregiver of someone living with a visual impairment? Do you have 10-15 minutes to spare? If so, please consider taking our survey on your experience of support services. Find out more and take part in the survey by visiting this web link: https://bit.ly/2ry6fCA please see reception for more information.

 Quiz Time

It wouldn’t be the December edition of the Newsletter without a festive quiz to get you in the mood for the holiday season.

  1. In the song ‘12 days of Christmas’ how many maids were milking?
  2. Which small bird is associated with Christmas?
  3. Name the gifts that the three wise men gave to baby Jesus?
  4. Who had a number 1 hit with the song ‘Last Christmas’?
  5. Name the town that Mary and Joseph travelled from to Bethlehem?
  6. Name Dr Seuss character who hates Christmas?
  7. Why does the country of Norway give the England a Christmas tree every year?
  8. Who wrote the story ‘A Christmas Carol’?
  9. When and where did the idea of placing a Christmas tree in the home start?
  10. What are the names of the main 2 characters in the story “A Christmas Carol”?
  11. Before becoming tied up with Christmas what was Yule?
  12. The French word Noel is often used around Christmas, but what was its original meaning in Latin?
  13. What was the poem ‘Twas the night before Christmas’ originally titled?
  14. In what decade did Coca-Cola start using Santa Claus in advertisements?
  15. In the 17th Century who banned Christmas in England? 

Answers. 1 8 2 Robin 3 Frankincense, Myrrh and Gold 4  Wham 5 Nazareth The Grinch 7 Token of gratitude  Charles  Dickens 16thC Germany 10  Ebenezer Scrooge  Bob Cratchit 11 A pagan midwinter festival 12 Birth 13 A visit from ST Nick. 14 1920’s 15 The Puritans

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.


What’s Happening

Contact Info


Fri 3rd Jan

7pm (Touch tour TBC)


Fairfield Halls, Croydon, CR9 1DG

T: 0203 292 0001

£15 – £45




Sat 4th Jan

2.30pm (Touch Tour 12.45pm)

The Duchess of Malfi

Almeida Theatre, London, N1 1TA

0207 359 4404                                               



Mon 13th Jan

7:30pm (Touch Tour 5.45pm)

Come From Away
Phoenix Theatre, London, WC2H 0JP

T: 0844 871 7677


Sat 25th Jan

2.30pm (Touch tour TBC)

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

The Bridge Theatre, London, SE1 2SG

T: 0333 320 0052


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.

Friday 20th December –Monday 3rd January

CV closed for Christmas Break, Reopening on Monday 6th January.


Macular Support Group

Monday 13th January



The next meeting of Croydon Macular Support Group will be at Masonic Lodge at 1.30pm.

Low Vision Clinic

January Date TBC

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.


January Date TBC

The chiropodist Joy Dell will here on Please book with Reception.


Monday 3rd February

The Glaucoma Group will meet at Bedford Hall at 1.30pm



 Croydon Vision – Eat well, Live well and Age well

(Includes a choice of main course and dessert)

 Monday 2nd December

Food Available on Request


 Tuesday 3rd December 

Meat: Chicken and vegetable pie and mash served with steamed vegetables and gravy

Vegetarian: Ratatouille served with potatoes and steamed vegetables Fish: Fish pie served with steamed vegetables and gravy 


Bread and butter pudding served with custard

Fruit salad served with ice cream and yogurt


 Wednesday 4th December

Jacket potatoes with cheese, tuna or baked beans served with mixed salad

 Fruit salad with yogurt or Ice cream

Thursday 5th December


Meat: Stew Chicken served with rice or potatoes and steamed vegetables

Vegetarian: Tofu and vegetables stew served with rice or potatoes
Fish: Pan fried salmon served with potatoes and steamed vegetables 

Homemade Strawberry Angel delight
Fruit salad with yogurt or ice cream



Monday 9th December

Food Available on Request


Tuesday 10th December

Meat: Meatball stew with rice or potatoes served with steamed vegetables 

Vegetarian: Macaroni cheese and steamed vegetables

Fish: Baked cod with potatoes and steamed vegetables



Homemade panna-cotta with fresh berries

Fruit salad with yogurt or ice cream


Wednesday 11th December

Food Available on Request




Thursday 12th December


Meat: Shepherd’s pie served with steamed vegetables 

Vegetarian: Mediterranean vegetable quiche served with mixed salad

Fish: Baked Haddock with potatoes and steamed vegetables



Homemade vanilla sponge cake served with custard

Fruit salad with ice-cream or yogurt


 Monday 16th December

Food Available on Request


 Tuesday 17th December


Meat: Beef lasagne served with steamed vegetables   
 Vegetarian: Quorn mince lasagne served with steamed vegetables Fish: Baked Haddock served with potatoes and steamed vegetables

Homemade blueberry pie served with custard

Fruit with yogurt or ice cream



Wednesday 18th December

Chicken casserole with mash and steamed vegetables



Fruit salad served with ice-cream or yogurt


Thursday 19th December


Christmas Dinner


Roast turkey

Roast potatoes

Pigs in blankets

Brussel sprouts

Cranberry sauce

Roasted vegetables and gravy


Linda McCartney Vegetarian Roast with roast potatoes, roasted vegetables, brussel sprouts, cranberry sauce and gravy


Pan – fried salmon served with roast potatoes, roasted vegetables, cranberry sauce, brussel sprouts
and gravy


Christmas pudding served with custard

Fruit with Brandy Butter or Clotted Cream

Mince Pies with Brandy Butter



New Addington Menu

Eat well – Live well – Age well

Thursday 5th December

Stew Chicken served with rice or potatoes and steamed vegetables


Homemade Strawberry Angel delight

Thursday 12th December

Shepherd’s pie served with steamed vegetables 


Homemade vanilla sponge cake served with custard


Thursday 19th December

Christmas dinner at Bedford Hall



We would love to have your input!

Submissions for the January Newsletter are due in by: Thursday 12th December


Nov 28, 2019

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