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


May Part 2 Newletter 2020

Courage: VE-day Reflection

‘Courage’ is the strength that helps you to stand up when it is easy to fall down and lose hope. Courage is the desire to maintain our integrity when we are tempted to choose the other way. It is the power to move forward when we feel pity to ourselves and feel to come back.

Courage is the will that shapes us even when we feel others can do it better than us. It is the recognition that no one is perfect.

Courage is the power to step forward and lead a group when it is easier to be in a group. The foundation of courage is rock that never rolls which means that when you develop courage, you can’t let it go.  

It takes strength to survive, it takes courage to live.

Poem by a Member – Bob Horne

What’s on your mind the page said, What’s filtering’ out through your brain?
Are you getting enough milk or bread, have you gone quite insane?
No I am stable and healthy, The Covid has kept from my door,
Some food that is ‘freely’ offered, has actually caused a ‘dropped’ jaw!!
Croydon Vision are helping their members, by offering food to reheat,
No charge will be made for the first one, oh that’s an offer that cannot be beat!!
I have friends, that care about me, my health, and wellbeing are ticked,
There’s texting and gaming for free, and phone calls, that can’t be licked.
There’s nothing much wrong with me!!

We did it! – Free Lunches

From 26th April to 3rd May, Croydon Vision team worked even harder; taking part in the 2.6 challenge to raise £3,500 in order to deliver freshly cooked meals for free to all members in need.

Since our last update, we’ve actually surpassed our target of £3,500!
Thank you everyone who donated, took part, spread the word – we really appreciate your support! 49% more members receive meals; eating well.

Some of our champions speaks!!

Masha embraced creativity to a whole new level! She changed into 26 outfits in under 26 minutes! Masha said; “This was certainly a challenge but after many boiling moments, we did it! (mainly with the help of my wonderful and may I say it – very patient husband. thanks H!).
Masha – Tutor. Checkout Croydon Vision’s facebook for her video.

Mike set himself the challenge of walking 26 miles in a week!
“I must say with my dodgy knees the first few days were tough but then I dug out my trusty old cd Walkman. The walking became easier when I had my favourite band ‘The Beatles’ playing in my ears. Since the challenge finished I still walk every day!” Mike Jones – Staff

‘For the 2.6 challenge, I walked every day; for a week. It was lovely listening to the birds, and seeing the trees and flowers on the Heath.
I walked early in the morning so I could avoid the runners and other walkers. I power walked most of the way. It was lovely seeing the painted pebbles that folk had left on the Heath. The most interesting stones I saw were pebbles painted as ladybirds.’ Sue Lawrence – Volunteer

I climbed 26 flights of stairs for 7 days. My legs were sore at first but then I got used to it. I really surprised myself by being able to complete each day’s challenge in less than 30 minutes and look forward to the next challenge.’ Anna Smith – Staff

Service Adaption – Impact

What our Members & Volunteers say;

Talking News
“I listened to the talking news again and again. It is entertaining and I look forward to hearing more. One of the happiest days of my life was when I got involved with Croydon Vision. I am 96 and have experienced many difficult times but feel at peace when I am in touch with Croydon Vision. They see me for who I am and look past my additional needs” – George

Grocery Shopping
Croydon Vision have reached out to us and assisted with our food shopping. We are very grateful for their support; they have provided a remarkable service. – Margaret

Face book live Events:
I don’t have an oven, but am still very interested in any cooking lessons that Isha (Cook) puts on. For example, I’d like to know how to cook mince without it being very lumpy! – Jim
(A mince based dish was featured live on facebook; 7th May)

I have calls from my friends, but it is fantastic talking to someone who understands the added challenges my sight loss brings – Patricia

Lunch Service

Before the lunch service I was only eating sandwiches now I have hot nutritious meals 4 times a week – It makes such a difference. – Steve

Children & Young People:

We have found the online meetings very useful as a way to keep in touch and communicate with others at a time when we are not able to do so physically. – Ellie & Holly.

Post-lockdown: Clarity (Susanette)

This month we will be assessing the logistics of re-opening Bedford Hall whilst maintaining an online/virtual services.
Our re-opening date is projected as 1st July 2020. We plan to continue providing all adapted services throughout May and June. The decision of a phased return is dependent on this virus being regulated/decreasing. Furthermore, we are mindful that some members may still be shielding at start of July – we are planning…

Children and Young People

Hi everyone! It’s Korey here, I hope you all staying safe and keeping well. Our young people have been getting creative with a cooking challenge. This is just one amongst other adapted services I created. It provides our young people a chance to enhance their cooking skills within the comfort of their own home. This is a weekly challenge where those who are taking part choose one of three recipes; taking their time throughout the week to cook independently.

This challenge gives our young members the opportunity to learn a new skill and improve their confidence in the kitchen. You can find images and descriptions of what our young people cooked on twitter and Instagram! Week 1’s recipes included: Pitta pizza’s, French toast and Flapjacks.

Another activity we are running for our young members is book club, which takes place every Tuesday at 3pm. We have been reading David Walliam’s billionaire boy and next week we will be discussing the ending, what we thought about the book and what we wish was different.

At the beginning of May, we had a comedy zoom session. It was a fun session; telling lots of jokes, ending with a family quiz. Our young people each brought along 2 jokes as well as some jokes of my own.
I am going to share with you some of my favourites:

  • Why did the music teacher sit on the ladder to sing?
    Because she wanted to reach the high notes
  • How does the moon get a haircut?
    He eclipse it
  • What does a lawyer wear to court?
    A lawsuit!

A big congratulation to team Gryffindor who won the family general knowledge quiz! In that quiz I learnt that the capital city of Brazil is Brasilia! Did you know that? To find out more information on the children and young people’s project and how to get involved please contact me via email korey.knight@croydonvision.org.uk

Korey Knight – Children and Young Peoples Officer

Information and Advice

Hi everybody, Danielle here.  Recently I have encountered a couple of enquiries relating to the renewal of blue badges. This article will tell you everything you need to know about the blue badge.

Currently parking restrictions, certainly in Croydon have been put on hold however you still cannot park on a red route. Croydon council are taking sixteen weeks plus to deal with blue badge enquiries.

To renew your blue badge online, you can go to: https://www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge

You will need the following before completing an application:

  • A clear digital photo showing your head and shoulders against a plain background.
  • Copy of your birth certificate or passport.
  • Proof of address such as a utility bill or council tax bill or other government letter.
  • Copies of any front pages of benefit letters for benefits which you are receiving. These musts all be dated within the last three months.

If you have all of this in digital form, I can assist you to apply for or renew a blue badge. Paper forms are on hold until our internal services reopen.

If you need to obtain proof of benefits, you can call the department for work and pensions and they can send you copies in the post.
The number to call is 0345 608 8545, Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm.

In light of COVID19 the UK Government is endorsing new guidance issued jointly by the British Parking Association, the Local Government Association, and London Councils advising that local authority parking teams should not issue Penalty Charge Notices to citizens using Blue Badges with an expiry date of 1 January 2020 onwards. This relaxation of enforcement against expired Blue Badges should continue initially until
30th September 2020. If this is reviewed, I will let you know via newsletter or talking news. – Danielle Cleary – Information and Advice Officer.

Working Age – Power of Peer support

Some of our working age members gave their views on service adaption, explaining the benefits of service continuity via online socials. According to members, the weekly social group is helping them to stay motivated, positive whilst encouraging each other to focus on their goals.

‘It gives me a routine and focus, helping me keep in touch with everyone and find out information.’ – Maxine

‘It enables me to still interact with everyone even though we are all remote from each other.’ – Lauren

‘I have a sense of focus after attending the calls, I always look forward to the next one’ – Ramsha

The groups been setting personal goals such as Job searching, joining in our Facebook events, doing something different each day and attending online courses. Seelan aims to write an article on dictation;

‘I’m really enjoying using dictation on my iPhone and PC because that way I don’t need to use my keyboard to type repetitively. I started with my iPhone, then I began to use it on my PC. I found out that it is very useful. Although, you still need to proof read the text as it may have errors such as incorrect spelling. This is due to the fact that it may have trouble recognising what you are trying to say as everyone has a different voice, which leads to not understanding; more commonly known as miscommunication.’ – Seelan

Research Study
Anglia Ruskin University are conducting research; focussing on the impact COVID19-mandated isolation is having on physical activity in blind and partially sighted people. It is a short online questionnaire (20-30mins) aimed at individuals aged 18+ years living in the UK – se link for further information: https://angliaruskin.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/covid-19-physical-activity-in-the-uk-in-a-blind-and-visual 

Reminiscing on VE Day

This year marked the 75th anniversary of that joyous day!
VE (Victory in Europe) day celebrates the formal acceptance of Germany’s unconditional surrender in WW2 on 8th May 1945.

To commemorate the day, we asked some of our members and volunteers to share their first hand experiences of VE day

‘I was deployed in March 1942 and in Germany, when the war finished in Europe. I remained in Germany until 1947 training a battalion. The war was a difficult experience, on VE day I felt such relief and was so thankful that I did not have to go any further. There was such a loving feeling with everyone dancing and embracing each other, with parties lining the streets.’ George Simpson – Member

‘I was 11 years old when the war began and 17 when the war ended. During the war I had been evacuated. I came back to Addington during the flying bombs, everybody was helping the community in any way they could. Communication and news where not as it is today. When VE day came I felt such relief. Community spirits were high and we had a big street party, everyone was so excited’ Jean Jennings – Volunteer

‘I was part of the land army based in Nottingham. When it was announced that the war was over I was absolutely delighted. Each year on VE day the community I lived in through street parties to celebrate’
Elsie Warrack – Member

Winston Churchill – remember this speech?

I say that in the long years to come not only will the people of this island but of the world, wherever the bird of freedom chirps in human hearts, look back to what we’ve done and they will say “do not despair, do not yield to violence and tyranny, march straightforward and die if need

Outreach – Befriending

Members that have signed up for our befriending service receive a phone call once or twice a week. The call provides the opportunity to have a chat, providing reassurance and companionship during this time. This is proving to be very helpful to our members.

Evelyn said, ‘I find the calls very helpful as it gives me something to look forward to, it breaks up my routine.’

By phoning members, we have been able to lift member’s mood and help to alleviate the boredom and isolation that lockdown can bring. We have also been able to give some practical advice to help members cope during the lockdown, such as stretches or walking in the garden.

I am one of the team members who phone up members and it has been interesting to hear what people have been doing during the lockdown.
A lot of our members have been out in the garden, either enjoying the sun when it’s been warm enough or getting the garden ready for summer. Evelyn told me how she has been putting compost in the garden and planting flowers. This has enabled her to exercise, get some fresh air and keep her mood up. It has also given her something to look forward to.

A number of members have been enjoying audio books from the RNIB. Audio books are a good alternative to the television as they provide a different atmosphere. If you are interested in getting audio books you can phone the RNIB on 0303 123 9999 or contact us for further help.


Anna Smith – Outreach Officer

The Power of Volunteering

Glen started volunteering with Croydon Vision in January 2020.
He shares with us part of his volunteering journey.

Since volunteering for Croydon Vision my life has taken on a whole new dynamic, my skill set enhanced; whilst acquiring new skills and abilities I never thought I had. Volunteering is fun, exciting and rewarding, it’s an opportunity for me to give back to the community in which I live whilst simultaneously allowing me to make new acquaintances and friends.

I’ve also had the opportunity to join in with various other groups within Croydon Vision, I’m a member of the Working age group where we actively seek employment opportunities, update CV’s and learn about different interviewing techniques etc. As a volunteer I help with admin tasks. I have also participated in mystery shopping which yielded a positive outcome, a shop taking on board many of the suggestion we put forward to make the store more accessible for people with sight loss.

On Saturday 7th March 2020, I had the privilege of participating in a sponsored swim at Purley Swimming Pool in aid of Croydon Vision. It was a fantastic experience and something I would never have gotten involved with had I not been a volunteer. Furthermore, the comradery amongst the staff, volunteers and members is very special and mutually respectful.   

Volunteering can help you to improve your social and practical skills and a great way to meet new people and develop friendships. I feel so honoured to have been selected as a volunteer for Croydon Vision and I shall endeavour to support the staff team and serve its members (in whatever capacity) to the best of my abilities.

Glen Brazier – Volunteer

To find out more about volunteering and the opportunities available please visit our website or contact the Volunteer Coordinator on
0208 688 2486 EX 4 or email volunteering@croydonvision.org.uk

Resource Centre

IT support by Phone or Home Visit

Cris has been accessing the IT telephone support to maintain connectivity with friends and family. She shares with us her journey so far.

“IT has helped me to carry on my day to day interaction with people. I don’t worry about doing anything wrong as I know I can phone for advice if I have a problem”

Using a software to remotely access PC’s, Katherine is continuing tech training with Cris, helping her to independently resolve minor issues; thereby, developing her IT skills even further.

Jim recently had some issues with technology that couldn’t be resolved over the phone. A home visit was arranged and we were able to solve all of his problems; setting his mind at rest.

Jim says “IT support enables me to ask questions when I am worried.
It helps me to stay more connected and has enabled me to join in the Facebook Live events”

Facebook Live events

It is easy to join the Facebook Live event. Firstly, go to our Facebook page at 12:55pm every Thursday, we go live at 13:00.

Scroll down the page and our live video should be there, If the live video isn’t, go to the videos section and join in. From this page, you can type us comments, ask questions and interact with everyone else.

If you need assistance in accessing Facebook, please give us a call for a tutorial before Thursday or on the day and a colleague will assist –
our aim is to keep you connected and living well.

If you need any other IT support please call 0208 688 2486 Ex 5 or email at Katherine.turner@croydonvision.org.uk

Katherine Turner – Resource Centre Manager

Facebook Live Events

Each week we host fun activities through Facebook Live – this is a great way to reach members in their homes. Events are usually split into two sections with different themes.

On Thursday 30th April, we hosted an I&A session with our Officer Danielle, who answered member’s questions. Following this our Art tutor Masha took us on a garland making session – it was beautiful.

7th May, we joined Isatu in the kitchen, followed the steps to cook a scrumptious pasta Bolognese with Katherine audio describing every step. While the pasta was cooking Katherine was joined by Susanette, Natasha and Fay to discuss all things books! Members joined in with questions.
It was fun and eating the pasta afterwards; oh my, tasted so good.

14th May, a dance session by our Trustee Odette, she taught us how to do the electric slide with some line dancing. Next on, Katherine gave us a virtual tour of the resource centre; an interactive session with Natasha; talking all things tech.

A replay of all videos is on facebook, ready and waiting for you to access!

Upcoming Live Events:

Thursday 21st May

Ronnie from the Southwest London Law Centre will be joining us to discuss all things Universal Credit. Please send any questions you have for Ronnie to info@croydonvision.org.uk by Tuesday 19th May. To end the day, Arts and Craft session with our tutor Masha, details of materials will be posted on twitter and Facebook.

Thursday 28th May

We are back in the kitchen and this week Isatu will be teaching us how to make fruit trifle! Followed by a themed fun food based quiz whilst throwing in some interesting food facts; mind blowing!

Experiencing Something New

Following some goals setting at start of the year, we’ve decided to take you on the journey of participants’ progress. So, in each newsletter, we will share two stories. To commence the process, we are catching up with Natasha our office manager and Maxine Plowden; a volunteer at CV.

Natasha Thompson Campbell – To speak fluent French by end of 2020

‘I enjoy speaking different languages and learning about various cultures. It widens my cognitive skills and develops me in many ways. One of my goals for this year is to speak French fluently. I have a basic understand of the language as I once lived in France, a small town called Apt in 2016.

My proficiency level was intermediate but the only problem is; you lose what you don’t use! Recently, I received a phone call and was asked a very important question, “Natasha, how do you plan to become fluent in French by the end of the year?” I explained my progress so far followed by how I intend to enhance my language skills. They shared their knowledge of the language and kindly offered to tutor me. I can now say I am on the right track to reach my goal. Stay tuned for an update!

Maxine Plowden – To enhance my skills in readiness for employment

My goal at the beginning of 2020 was to find a job before the end of the year. After looking at the area of work that I want to get into; I have altered my goal.  This will be reviewed after lock down but I still keep connected with other members; especially the working age group.


This month we have a thrilling quiz on music to get your brains moving. Good luck and happy quizzing!

  1. Who was known as the Forces Sweetheart?
  2. What is Elvis Presley’s middle name?
  3. Who was the Queen of Soul?
  4. Which famous group was original known as The Quarrymen?
  5. Which Irish singer  sang the winning song twice  in  The Eurovision song Contest?
  6. Which group had a hit with the Macarena?
  7. Who won the most Grammy awards in the 80s?
  8. Who had the biggest hit with White Christmas?
  9. Who composed the music for the Spaghetti Western, The Good, the Bad and The ugly?
  10. Who was Elvis Presley’s Manager?
  11. Who is the drummer of Metallica?
  12. Which of the Beatles was killed in New York?
  1. Vera Lynn 2. Aaron 3. Aretha Franklin 4. The Beatles 5. Johnny Logan 6. Los Del Rio 7. Micheal Jackson 8.Bing Crosby 9. Ennio Morricone 10. Kolonel Parker 11. Lars Ulrich 12. John Lennon

You guessed it, More Quiz to enjoy…

  1. What is the most common colour of toilet paper in France?
  2. If you dug a hole through the centre of the earth starting from Wellington in New Zealand, which European country would you end up in?
  3. Henry VIII introduced which tax in England in 1535?
  4. What is the correct term for a question mark immediately followed by an exclamation mark?
  5. The average person does what thirteen times a day?
  6. Coprastastaphobia is the fear of what?
  7. What were the first ice hockey pucks made out of?
  8. It’s illegal in Texas to put what on your neighbour’s Cow?
  9. Which bird is nicknamed The Laughing Jackass?
  10. Who entered a contest to find his own look-alike and came 3rd?
  11. French artist Aquabouse paints cows with what material?
  12. In which country are there six villages called Silly, 12 called Billy, and two called Pratt?
  13. Native to the Caribbean, what sort of animal is the mountain chicken?

Pink, 2. Spain, 3. A beard tax, 4. Interrobang, 5. Laughs, 6. Constipation,
7. Frozen cow dung, 8. Grafitti, 9. Kookaburra, 10. Charlie Chaplin,
11. Cow dung, 12. France, 13. Frog


We continue to provide our members with freshly cooked lunch by our wonderful cook Isatu. Food Deliveries will occur on Mondays and Wednesdays and you can order as many portions as you would like. 1 portion a day will be of no cost to members, any additional meals cost the usual £5. Lunch consists of the normal main course and dessert.

Please give us as much notice as possible when ordering a hot meal so that we can prepare and cook the right amount of food. To order food please call 0208 688 2486. Please note that orders for Mondays must be placed by Thursday 3pm and orders for Wednesdays must be placed before Monday at 3pm. – (check with the office for bank holiday timings).


Monday 18th May & Tuesday 19th May

Meat: Chicken casserole with mashed potatoes and steamed veg

Veg: Tofu vegetable curry with rice or potatoes and steamed veg

Dessert: Homemade chocolate brownie with custard or fruit salad


Wednesday 20th May & Thursday 21st May

Meat: Meatball stew with rice or potatoes and steamed veg

Veg: Vegetable stew with rice or potatoes and steamed veg

Dessert: Homemade sponge cake with custard or fruit salad


Tuesday 26th May & Wednesday 27th May

Meat: Chicken pasta bake and steamed veg

Veg: Vegetable pasta bake and steamed veg

Dessert: Homemade semolina pudding or fruit salad


Thursday 28th May & Friday 29th May

Meat: Beef lasagne and steamed veg

Veg: Vegetable lasagne and steamed veg

Dessert: Bread and butter pudding with custard or fruit salad


Isatu’s cooking tip of the month:

‘ A dash of mixed herbs makes everything taste more flavoursome.’



Peter Charles Beckett, may he rest in peace.

We would love to have your input!

Submissions for the June (Part 1) Newsletter are due in by:
Wednesday 20th May

May 18, 2020

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