“Happy Volunteers Week to our Amazing Team! – A Member said, They are my eyes when I can’t see.”- AJ.

 Getting Ready, a July Welcome!

Dear Members & Team (Volunteers & Staff),

I hope you all doing well.
It’s Susanette here; updating you on progress of re-opening from 1st July! Our drive to re-open is borne from reducing possible effect of lockdown:

• Physical inactivity: to reduce the development of health conditions.
• Mental wellbeing: promoting social interaction and engagement.
• Eye health: supporting and maintaining your sight; low vision, aids.

We’ve held various meetings with service enablers and staff team; to ensure an effective plan is implemented. Below is a summary:

Visiting Croydon Vision:
Members will require to book in advance before coming in, this is to ensure a short health check questionnaire is undertaken; both for minibus users and those travelling by public transport.

Accessing Services:
Please ensure you book activities in advance, first come basis. In order to adhere to the 2m regulations, capacity has been reduced drastically, for example; only 20 people per day for lunch (whole hall).

PPE & Temperature Check:
A system for temperature check will be put in place, to assess each person as they enter the hall/buildings from a distance. We are installing automatic dispensers (sanitisers) around the building, cleaning regime has been increased and rails, door handles wiped down am/pm each day. All members of the team will wear PPE at all times.

Transport & Guiding:
Transport capacity has been reduced – please see page 3. Members will be guided by taking their hand or the end of their cane. We decided on these options to prevent as much physical contacts; touching members clothing or elbow. Hands can easily be washed to keep safe.

Over the first six weeks from 1st July, refreshments will cease to prevent carrier of virus and danger of spillage. Encouraging all members to have tea or coffee before coming into CV. We will provide tea or coffee after lunch. During activities, the water dispenser will be available.

New Service Schedule – July 2020
Weekly Group                   Day                 Time                     Max Cap
New Addington                Monday        1.30pm – 3pm        12
Yoga                                      Monday        1.30pm – 3pm        7
Bowls                                    Monday *     11am – 12.30pm   12
Making Music                    Monday *      10am – 12pm         7
Music Appreciation         Monday *      10am – 12pm         6
Mental Aerobics               Tuesday         1.30pm – 3pm       12
Quiz Group                         Tuesday        10am – 12pm         7
Touch Group                      Tuesday        11am – 12.30pm   12
Art                                         Wednesday  10am – 12pm         4
Crafts                                    Wednesday  1.30pm – 3pm       12
Working Age                      Wednesday 10am – 12pm         12
Keep Fit                                Thursday      10am – 12pm        12
Social Group                       Thursday      11am – 12.30pm   7
Social Group                       Thursday       1.30pm – 3pm      12

*Biweekly Groups

Mini Bus 1: Max capacity with w/c 7 people, without w/c 9 people
Mini Bus 2: Max capacity with w/c 4 people, without w/c 7 people

Information & Advice, IT & Resource Centre
Appointments will be taken over the phone initially with face-to-face meetings taking place as required.

Low Vision Clinic – Thursday 23rd July reoccurring monthly
Coffee Lounge – Maximum capacity 4 people
Talking News Room – Maximum capacity 2 people
Chiropody, Macular & Glaucoma Groups will commence August

We look forward to seeing you soon!

We Celebrate Diversity

When 2020 started no one could imagine the sheer cataclysmic events which would take place such as the Australian wildfires, Covid-19 and now the resurgence of civil rights in America; leading to a global uproar.

The manner and death of George Floyd in America was pure evil! Racism isn’t getting worse; it is now being filmed for the world to see. At our last staff meeting, we discussed the effect of racial abuse. This led to discussions on other forms of discrimination people face.

We’ve decided to start a movement, to share our experiences; creating awareness whilst encouraging members and volunteers to share their stories. We want to build upon this, setup an open forum for difficult conversations, to support each other and be the difference we desire.

Croydon Vision Staff Members:

‘I am the youngest staff member at Croydon Vision. I am 22 and grew up in London, even I can provide examples of systemic racism I face. Feeling like I need to straighten my hair to be seen as more professional, altering my voice to be considered for a job, or university. Feeling like I have to buy something in almost every shop I go; to prevent possible accusation of stealing – it can be exhausting, we need change. I would like to thank Croydon Vision for providing a platform for this amazing and very important conversation and also for providing such a diverse work environment where I feel I can truly be myself.’ Korey Knight

‘Statistics around black representation in the UK continue to demonstrate that people of colour are marginalised. Racism across UK inevitably takes its toll on black people. My experience of working at a previous job for some years was simply horrendous. The way they treated black people was absolutely wrong! Sometimes I wonder if being black is a crime. Then there’s the media and police, their portrayal of black men doesn’t help us. Not all black men are criminals and this has to stop!’ Ade Ogunsanya

‘As a child, walking down the street with my mum, I heard a girl shouting at a man and using a word that I had never heard of. I asked my mum what it meant, and she explained that it was very offensive, and it was a word that I should never use for people who are black. I remember thinking, why would I though?

As a blind person with no usable sight, I know what it is like to be discriminated against and I know what it is to be the only blind person in a room and to feel isolated because of that and be treated differently for it. I have never seen it as acceptable any more than I would if somebody were being discriminated against for any other reason.’ Danielle Cleary

‘It is essential for our communities, to have a dialogue over the discrimination felt by black people and other ethnic minorities in today’s society. The same applies to someone with sight loss; trying to adjust their world and visual concepts; hard to explain your feelings sometimes.

I don’t know what it’s like being a black male in an environment and system that has been historically set up to oppress and repress their potential. Enabling them to fully realise their potential whether it be financial, emotional or social status within the British society. The dying words echoed by George Floyd for his mum resonated with me! I am asking as a mother; what can we do, to create a better future for our children and future generations?’ Jennifer Gibbs Smith

‘I am a mixed race heritage, the best of both worlds! However, my journey to lovingly embrace myself was costly. Growing up in a world that esteems one and discriminate another was a struggle, an issue kids and adults face daily; even in the 21st century.

My hope is that from such evil and loss of lives springs good. Let’s be the difference we want; taking the frustration we feel and make it stand for something meaningful. We all have a part to play, to be kind, to ask than assume, to educate self than apply cultural biases. Your words matter, your action matter. The choice we make impact families, the community and country – be the difference you want to see!’
Susanette Mansour

‘In 2012 I moved to Croydon from a predominantly white area. Coming to live in Croydon was a culture shock! I joined a multi-cultural church were a large proportion of the congregation had a Jamaican or African heritage. As I made new friends, I was challenged and stretched as I began to understand the different cultures and viewpoints. I have grown to appreciate and love diversity in the human race.’
Anna Smith

‘As a woman in a technical field I have had times where I have been either ignored because of my gender, or I have been told that ‘there will only be two women on this course is this ok?’. I was never phased by being in the minority as I was passionate about IT, but it was disheartening to be ignored or talked down because I was a female in a male dominated field’ Katherine Turner

‘At one of my first job interviews in Croydon twenty years ago, I was asked to change my surname. When I defended my point of view both diplomatically and robustly, I was asked; why didn’t I take my husband’s Irish surname when I got married? Needless to say, I didn’t get the job. I was ‘too foreign’ and had kept my maiden name, so I ‘failed’ on two fronts despite a brilliant interview. I am very pleased to say that Croydon has improved tremendously since. I love the vibrant, international and diverse community of my ‘adopted home’, and feel fortunate to be here. However, there is still a lot of work to do so let’s do it.’ Ines Canellas-Jager

What do these experiences mean to all of us and, most importantly, how can we drive change in the right direction? We want to take some time to pause and reflect about recent events in a well-considered and constructive way. We suggest that we carefully think about how we can convert these challenges into positive action and play a proactive role in transforming society. For example, Croydon Vision could design an educational programme comprising talks and creative art events to inform and spark debate about diversity and justice. We would love to hear your views and ideas so please keep in touch and let us know if you wish to get involved.

Introducing Ines – Business Manager

Hola! My name is Ines Canellas-Jager and I’m really excited to have joined Croydon Vision as Business Development Manager. In the past two decades I have been extremely fortunate and have enjoyed a demanding business career primarily in private healthcare. Throughout my professional journey I have had the privilege of working with many wonderful pharmaceutical companies, medical device organisations and healthcare institutions across the globe. Whilst my ‘crazy’ corporate life kept evolving in ways I could have never imagined, I felt there was an emotional hole in my life. This propelled me to honour my relentless commitment to social justice through community-centred volunteering in my own personal time. I am a Magistrate, a Tate Guide and the Chair of Turf Projects. Furthermore, during the COVID-19 crisis I have been delivering food parcels for Croydon residents on behalf of Hestia (a charity that helps vulnerable people).

I am at point in my life where I wish to invest the totality of my time helping others, therefore I have gradually transitioned my career to the charity sector. I am passionate about empowering and transforming people’s lives, and love the rewarding feelings linked to supporting successful journeys of personal growth.

When I read Croydon Vision Strategic Plan 2020-2023, my first reaction was “Wow!!!”.
I couldn’t believe I had found an organisation that spoke so directly to my deepest values and aspirations. Some of my German relatives were severely impacted by sight loss following post-WW2 challenges. Although their personal narratives keep haunting me, I am keen to turn those experiences into positive action for constructive change.

On my first day I have had the pleasure of meeting some of my very friendly colleagues who greeted me with most awesome biscuits (Gracias!). I look forward to working very closely with all of you. Thank you again for this amazing opportunity!

Children and Young People
Hope everyone is doing well. The past couple of weeks have been amazing. We have introduced new members, tried new challenges and experiences and been able to catch up with one another. The young people have been submitting lots of their Croydon Vision Tik Tok challenges and venturing out of their comfort zones. They have been learning new dances and it has been amazing to see. I am very proud of our young people for the courage they have shown over the past few months and I want to say a big well done to Ellie Paddick. As part of the six weeks Skills Challenge our young people learnt about inspiration. For Ellie’s inspiration challenge she wrote about who inspires her the most. Her writing was emotive and I wanted to share with you.

What inspires me – Ellie Paddick
The person that inspires me the most is my dad as when I am older I want to be a sportsperson. I am passionate about sports but my favourites are netball and cricket. I would love to follow in my dad’s footsteps and even if I am not famous at least I will be doing something I love and enjoy.

The reason my dad inspires me so much is because he plays for England blind cricket and even goes overseas to play matches! He also plays at places closer to home like the Oval and Lord’s. In the past he has taken part in 2 tours. One in India and the other in Dubai. I really hope that one day I will be as good as my dad is. He has worked really hard to get to where he is and I am determined to as well.

Upcoming Zoom Sessions:
Why don’t you join a Book Club session on Tuesday 16th June?
2.30pm: Session for 3-6 year olds reading ‘My Monster and Me’ by Nadiya Hussain.
3pm: Session for 7-13 year olds reading ‘The bad guys’ by Aaron Blabey.
3.30pm: 2020 Club Session (14+) reading ‘Numbers’ by Rachel Ward’.
And on Wednesday 17th June at 3pm we have an exciting audio described dance!Korey Knight – Children & Young People Officer

Information and Advice

Hi everyone, It is Danielle here. This month I will sharing with you some information regarding Freedom Passes. If you are of retirement age, like to get out early and use a Freedom Pass, now is the time to check that you hold a Disabled Person’s Freedom Pass as opposed to an Older Person’s Freedom Pass. There are no changes to the Disabled Person’s pass.

From Monday the 8th of June, all passengers with an Older Person’s Freedom Pass will not be able to use those passes during morning peak hours, 4.30am to 9am Monday to Friday. They will continue to be valid at all other times on weekdays and all day on weekends and Bank Holidays.

The temporary changes are being introduced in order to help support social distancing on the public transport and help control the Covid-19 virus. Passengers are being advised, where possible, not to travel immediately after 9am.

Changes are in accordance with the funding and finance agreement between TfL and Government and will help conserve space on public transport for people who have to use it to return to work.

Older Person’s Freedom Pass and 60+ card remain valid after 9 am on weekdays and at all times at weekends.

Disabled Freedom Pass holders are unaffected and will still be able to travel at all times using their pass.

All passengers are reminded to only use public transport if essential and maintain 2m social distancing wherever possible.

If you would like any support or advice about your Freedom Pass, or any information and advice regarding other topics, please do contact me. I can be reached on the following email address; Danielle.cleary@croydonvision.org.uk or alternatively call the office to make a referral. Danielle Cleary – Information and Advice Officer

Working Age
A Members View of The ‘New Normal’
As a member of the Working Age Group, phone conferences felt very alien at first, not having the normal routine. After a few weeks I have fully been immersed into the tech experience. I have found remote meetings useful in many ways. They provide me with a routine, it’s nice to keep in touch and to hear to each other voices. There is also a chance to learn or get information from others.

Like me, some people have taken this opportunity to do free online courses or learn a new skill such as computer technology. Other members have set goals such as getting fit. There is still a social side where we have a laugh or a general discussion. I think it is a great idea to do telephone conference groups. It helps you keep in touch with people at Croydon Vison so you don’t feel alone. It also makes the Working Age Group much more accessible as there are some who were unable to attend the groups physically.

The Working Age Project
The Working Age Group meet every Wednesday but this is not the total of its services. There is a weekly bulletin reminding members of the services available, and upcoming events. There are also frequent emails about job opportunities or training courses. The Working Age group is somewhere you can go to talk about problems you are experiencing as a person of working age, and to find opportunities to transform them into positive opportunities. This can involve getting into employment, volunteering or supporting others.

If you would like to receive the Working Age bulletin or find out more information on how the project can support your need then please contact Jennifer Smith on 07458301453 or alternatively send an email to jennnifer.smith@croyodonvision.org.uk.

Resource Centre
Developing Your Skills

Pat is a member of lots of external groups and is used to attending various meetings. For now, all of her meetings have transitioned to virtual ones. Using phone calls and some visits we have set up Zoom on her mobile. She has since purchased a webcam and is now able to use Zoom on her computer. Pat can now attend all of her meetings virtually as well as staying connected with friends and family. As time progresses she is getting more invites to use other platforms, and feels able to do this as she has conquered Zoom. Pat now feels that she is able to attend her meetings without fear of being unable to manage the technology.

Member Feedback
“Thank you to Croydon Vision and Katherine for their untiring assistance with my IT recently; which included the use of my printer. I can now print the whole of the text of an email which previously showed only some of the text which could be printed. I now have a wireless keyboard and mouse replacing faulty equipment. I  find difficulty with modern IT and technology but the service and support that has been provided has made me develop my own IT skills as well as putting my mind at ease. Thanks a lot, Katherine! It seemed like an early Christmas to see my stuff working”. Jim Smith – Member & Volunteer

I am available for telephone appointments and for some home visits. To get any advice or to book an telephone appointment or visit please call in on 02086882486 extension number 5. – Katherine Turner – Resource Centre Manager

Facebook Live Events

We have had some great feedback and interaction on our events. It is amazing to be able to communicate with members virtually. If you would like any assistance in attending the events, please get in touch. And if you have any suggestions for events please do email them; info@croydonvision.org.uk .

Our virtual event is here to stay!
From 1st July, we will stream our Facebook live events every Thursday. However, the timing will shift from 1pm to 4pm – see you there!

Upcoming Facebook Events

Thursday 18th June
Ketan (Moorfields) will be joining us for a discussion on eye health followed by a keep fit segment by Synergy dance; focusing on flexibility.

Thursday 25th June
We will be joining Isatu in the kitchen where we will be getting healthy, she will be showing us now to make different kinds of salads with fruits and vegetables. Jennifer will then be talking to us about employment and route to work.

Thursday 2nd July
Our member David will be hosting a session teaching us some basic Spanish and French phrases. If there are any phrases or topics, you would like to learn about please email info@croydonvision.org.uk by Monday 30th June. After this session, we will be joining Katherine in the Resource Centre where she will be talking to us about handheld devices and how to make them more accessible.

Thursday 9th July
Synergy dance will be with us again teaching us some moves followed by Danielle our information and advice officer answering your questions.

Supporting Each Other

It’s never too late to learn a new skill
Mavis, one of our members, is an active 92-year-old and uses an Amazon Echo to overcome some of her sight loss difficulties. Amazon sells different models of the Echo, and Mavis chose one that has a screen. Mavis told me that she likes to say ‘Alexa, Good morning’ and it tells her an interesting fact. She also likes to say ‘Alexa, Good night’ and it comes back with an appropriate message. Mavis also asks the Echo to read Bible passages as well as asking it simple questions such as ‘Alexa, how old is the Queen?’. Mavis is an inspiration to everyone and shows it is never too late to learn a new skill or to engage with technology.

Outreach Volunteer Support
I started my role as one of the Outreach Officers at the end of October last year. I am registered as Severely Sight Impaired, as part of my role, I visit people in their homes and like many people with sight impairment, find it difficult to go to a new place alone.

With Volunteers Week having just past I thought I would reflect on my own volunteer support. Lorraine, one of Croydon Vision’s volunteers, has helped by acting as a Volunteer Support Worker. Lorraine has been an invaluable help and has allowed me to fulfil my role to the fullest by assisting me with getting out and about. I look forward to continue working with her and others.

If you would like to volunteer with the Outreach Project, please get in touch with the Volunteer Coordinator for more details on volunteering@croydonvision.org.uk. There are varying roles within the project available.
Anna Smith – Outreach Officer

Member Feedback

We have been running our adapted services since the lockdown began our members share with us their experiences of the adaption and how they have changed their lives.

“Thank you to all the befrienders who take their time to call me and other members. Their calls make me feel connected; It brings me joy” – Irene Davey

Tech Training
“Thank you for your time and patience with me. I successfully attended two Zoom events over the weekend. I now feel more connected than ever before” – Graham Piper

“Due to health conditions, I have been in isolation for weeks. I struggle with online shopping and find it impossible to get this done alone. However, I know I can ring up Croydon Vision, give my shopping list and have it delivered to me without any worry. Katherine and I have discussed training so that I can remain independent”
Debbie Bell

Hot Meals
“Thank you very much Isha and team, I really enjoy the meals each week and I can’t wait to return to Croydon Vision” Mr Singh


Sarah presents the local news section of our Talking News. We are pleased to announce that due to funding we are able to offer the talking news to our members for free until the end of the year. Please call the office on 0208 688 2486 for more information. She shares with us below her volunteering journey. I was very nervous when I started volunteering with Croydon Vision as the host of one part of Talking News. I had some big shoes to fill and I wanted to do it justice.

I began volunteering last year when I was looking for opportunities as an audio producer. I hadn’t known about Croydon Vision before I signed up and it was incredible to learn about just how much one charity is doing with such an amazing team of staff and members. It’s been the most welcoming experience I’ve had in my years of volunteering. When I first started out I was using a microphone that plugged into my phone and I would sit under my desk with a duvet on top of me to get a good sound. I’m glad to say I have a much more comfortable set up at my desk these days – but I still have to edit out my dog Luna walking into the room sometimes.

I really enjoy researching local news in Croydon each week, especially when there is any news related to culture because Croydon is such a hub of talent for music and the rest of the arts. I also try to include any news that is relevant to sight loss whether its personal stories of achievement or new research. The feedback I’ve had from listeners has been so lovely and a real boost to my confidence as. I’ve never produced a radio show before and only really learned how to use a microphone back in 2018. Looking ahead I’m hoping to make the show more interactive and encourage listeners to email in their thoughts or anything they want to share on the air, whether it’s a reflection on local news or a message they want to go out to someone. Thank you to everyone at Croydon Vision for such a warm welcome, especially the Volunteer Coordinator Fay. – Sarah Woolley – Volunteer

It’s quiz time! Let’s test your brains! Good luck.
1. In what year was Google launched on the web?
2. In computing what is RAM short for?
3. What does FTP stand for in the computer and internet world?
4. Which device is used to measure the air pressure?
5. Who was the first American in space?
6. Who was the inventor of the steam engine?
7. Which device was invented by Henry Mill?
8. What is the lightest existing metal?
9. Who discovered penicillin, one of the first antibiotics?
10. Which planet is nearest the sun?
11. Which natural substance is the hardest?
12. What is the lightest chemical element?
13. Which planet was discovered by Frederik Herschel in 1781?
14. How many eyes does a honeybee have? One, four or five?
15. What is the colour of a giraffe tongue, blue or purple?

1. 1998 2. Random Access Memory 3. File Transfer Protocol 4. Barometer 5. Alan Shepard 6. James Watt 7. The typewriter 8. Aluminium 9. Alexander Fleming 10. Mercury 11. Diamond 12. Hydrogen 13. Uranus 14. Five 15. Blue

We continue to provide our members with freshly cooked lunch by our wonderful cook Isha. Food deliveries occur Mondays and Wednesdays. 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.

Wednesday 17th June & Thursday 18th June
Meat: Pasta bolognese with steamed veg
Veg: Vegetable pasta bolognese with steamed veg
Dessert: Tiramisu or fruit salad

Monday 22nd June & Tuesday 23rd June
Meat: Chicken fried rice with steamed veg
Veg: Cheese and onion quiche with steamed veg
Dessert: Rice pudding or fruit salad

Wednesday 24th June & Thursday 25th June
Meat: Roast beef, roast potatoes and steamed veg
Veg: Ratatouille with roast potatoes and steamed veg
Dessert: Pear crumple with custard or fruit salad

Monday 29th June & Tuesday 30th June
Meat: Lamb stew with rice or potatoes and steamed veg
Veg: Roast Mediterranean vegetables, roast potatoes and steamed veg
Dessert: Fruit salad

Wednesday 1st July & Thursday 2nd July
Meat: Roast pork, roast potatoes and steamed veg
Veg: Cheesy pasta bake with steamed veg
Dessert: Banoffee pie or fruit salad

We would love to have your input!
Submissions for the July (Part 1) Newsletter are due in by:
Thursday June 18th 2020 newsletter@croydonvision.org.uk

Croydon Vision
Bedford Hall
72-74 Wellesley Road,
Croydon, CR0 2AR

Please note our revised telephone opening times;
Monday – Thursday
10am – 4pm

020 8688 2486
Charity Number: 1165086

is not something far away.
It is to be found neither in fame nor in popularity.
When you live with integrity, your hearts begin to fill
with a happiness as vast
as the universe.
It’s about being true to yourself
and starting from where you are