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


July Newletter (Part 1) 2020

A poetic welcome!

As we gradually transition from lockdown into the ‘new normal’, our member Bob uses poetry to share his experience and to cheer us up!

We are easing up, the Boris said,
Mandatory masks must cover your head
Not surgical one’s but home-made fayre,
Now come on Boris, are you aware.
Our members cannot see,
We are not a sewing bee,
Now come on lad, don’t be daft,
Us making masks, well maybe in craft,
But our club is closed, though very soon,
Its doors will reopen, what a boon!
Preparation is on the way,
Well that’s what she said, did Fay,
Our member are chomping at the bit,
Excitement is growing, so is my wit,
Our club will open soon, hurrah!
And we will come from near and far,
Our chums will come right through the door
When were at Bedford Hall once more!

We are very much looking forward to re-opening our offices in July 2020 in line with government guidelines.

Enjoy reading about our exciting programme of events to welcome you back!

Reflections on Diversity


‘Our lives begin to end the day that we become silent about things that matter’ (Martin Luther King Junior).

In the last edition of our Newsletter, we invited staff, volunteers and members to engage in constructive dialogue inspired by the work of the Black Lives Matter movement.

We would like to thank Sharon who has been in touch to inspire us with her insightful reflections:

‘I totally agree that all people should be treated the same regardless of their nationality. We are part of the universal creative force and therefore one family. I feel discrimination is ignorance, and it’s up to us to educate ourselves.

God has given us enormous potential. We can use this potential to improve our own lives and the lives of others. We have the ability to make decisions throughout our lives as we see fit. What each of us make of our life is our own personal responsibility. No one can replace or override that right. No other person or influence can put right our wrongdoings’.

Sharon’s words remind me of an excellent article by Ben Okri (Financial Times, Weekend 13/14 June 2020):

‘Something is in the air. Maybe the human race is growing up at last, refusing the horrible shackles of racism, rejecting all of its injustices. Black people and white people are joining forces in their monumental protests to rip this evil from our societies, our institutions, our hearts’.

Please stay in touch and let us know how you would like us to use recent events as a platform for constructive learnings across our community. Would you like to be part of future talks and educational events? Look forward to hearing from you!

Global Learnings

We ‘live and learn’, and this has been a very exciting month on the learning front.

We celebrated Small Charity Week (SCW) from Monday 15 to Saturday 20 June which was wonderful! This special week helped to raise awareness of the essential work of the UK’s charity sector with a focus on smaller organisations who make an invaluable contribution to the lives of millions of individuals, communities and causes around the UK and the rest of the world.

As I mentioned to the SCW organisers, this was my second week at Croydon Vision and I cannot think of a better way of honouring this event through my interaction with staff, volunteers and members. Thank you!

On Tuesday 16 June I reflected about empowerment and hope when listening to an excellent BBC Radio 4 programme called ‘Hearing Architecture’ (part of the Art of Now series). I was very inspired by the story of growth and resilience of Chris Downey, an American architect who re-invented himself as an innovative multi-sensory designer after experiencing sight loss in mid-career. Chris is driving architects and designers to re-think how we approach place-making and design by unlocking the opportunities offered when re-framing multi-sensory awareness. The programme is only 28 minutes in length and I highly recommend it: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000k2lf

I have started to research the inspiring work of the American Association for the Blind (AFB) and their new role in the AbilityOne Programme, and will keep you posted! AFB’s new role represents an opportunity to build on the program’s successful track record. Since 1938, the AbilityOne Program has created employment opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired by providing products and services to the US federal government. More than 550 non-profit organisations participate, creating jobs that provide products and services to the federal government at a fair market price.

As shops all over the country start to re-open, I reminded myself that there is nothing like a real bookshop as it allows you to stumble into the strange and wonderful by sheer chance.

I’m loving the stunning collection of essays and photographs of ‘My heart is not blind: on blindness and perception’ by Michael Nye (Trinity University Press). I agree that ‘knowing what the world looks like is not a requirement or understanding’ as the author says. Each VI person he met when researching this book recognised how their condition had expanded their sense of compassion and magnified their awareness and abilities in ways they never thought possible.  What a magnificent book!

On SCW Fundraising Day (Thursday 18 June), Susanette and I attended a special Fundraising Conference via Zoom! This gave us the chance to learn, discuss and reflect upon key fundraising topics in our sector. Treating funders as people and proactively showing them our work in action are key to success. We are very much looking forward to continuing to invite Croydon Vision funders and partners to immerse themselves in our great work as we re-set our services post-lockdown.

As we learn together, it would be great if we could all start thinking about new fundraising events to help us grow whilst having fun! What about a special Purple Day to dial-up our message? We could either wear purple for a day or even dye our hair in purple! And why not bake and sell a massive purple berries cake in the local area? Are you up for that or do you have other cool ideas?

Please feel free to email your thoughts at Ines.C.Jager@croydonvision.org.uk or call me on our main number 0208 688 24 86.

Thank you! Let’s keep smiling and learning together.


New Service Schedule – July 2020

Weekly Group



Max Cap

New Addington


1.30pm – 3pm



Monday *

11am – 12.30pm


Making Music

Monday *

10am – 12pm


Music Appreciation

Monday *

10am – 12pm


Mental Aerobics


1.30pm – 3pm


Quiz Group


10am – 12pm


Touch Group


11am – 12.30pm




10am – 12pm




1.30pm – 3pm


Working Age


10am – 12pm




11am – 12.30pm


Keep Fit


10am – 12pm


Social Group


11am – 12.30pm


Social Group


1.30pm – 3pm


*Bi-weekly appointments.


Key changes: No drop-in service, and need to pre-book appointments and attendance to services in advance.


Postponed until further notice. Currently searching for a new Tutor.


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. 

Low Vision Clinic: Starting Thursday 23rd July, re-occurring monthly.

Coffee Lounge: Max capacity 4 people.

Talking News Room: Max capacity 2 people.

Chiropody, Macular & Glaucoma: Groups will commence in August.


More fun challenges for C&YP

It’s finally time to announce the winners of the Croydon Vision Tik Tok Challenge with Synergy Dance! Thank you to everyone that took part. You all did an amazing job!  It was a very hard decision but here are the winners.

Third place (bronze medal) for Croydon Vision staff: Fay, Katherine and Natasha who created a fun Tik Tok dance to the Macarena!

Second place (silver medal) goes to Ty who curated his very own Tik Tok dance to Tootsie and included visuals (such as rain) to his break dancing.

The first place and gold medal are for Clara! She performed a Tik Tok dance including popular moves from the Renegade and Savage dances. Her dance was fun, complicated and a pleasure to watch. After trying to learn a Tik Tok dance myself I know how difficult some of these moves are so well done to everyone who took part! 

New challenge alert! 

I have set our children and young people a travel challenge as we come out of lockdown. This will be a chance to learn more about travelling in and around London and Croydon whilst allowing creative juices to flow!

  • Participants will design a picture or model of an automobile.
  • They will also create fact sheet or audio recording explaining how the automobile works and how is it accessible for people with a visual impairment, hearing impairment, or physical disabilities.
  • They will then use the TfL map to plan the quickest routes based on start and end destinations provided.

The deadline for this challenge is 1st August 2020. Prizes will be allocated on points. Please contact me on Korey.Knight@croydonvision.org.uk for further information.

TFL Transport Information

Talking about post-lockdown travel, TfL have said “When there are queues outside a station, customers who identify themselves as disabled should be allowed to enter the station without queueing.”

‘Turn up and go’ service:

TfL are committed to continuing to offer customers a ‘turn up and go’ service. However, they need to make some changes to protect everyone’s health. Our staff need to maintain a distance of 2 metres at all times. This means that if a visually impaired person requests customer assistance, TfL staff will arrange a taxi to take them to their destination station. We will maintain a two-metre distance when supporting customers with a mobility impairment (for example, by providing manual boarding ramps). In situations where face coverings make communication difficult, TfL staff will use written messages on paper, whiteboards or mobile devices. Running tethers will hopefully be used for guiding soon.

Face coverings:

From Monday 15th June, face coverings must be worn by those who can for their entire journey. Exemptions for the use of face coverings will apply to those with certain health conditions, disabled people and children under the age of 11. Children under the age of 3 should not wear them. TfL will be giving out free face coverings at stations.

TfL serving disabled customers:

TfL’s Independent Disability Advisory Group now meets weekly so they can respond to issues quickly. Feedback already implemented includes face coverings, ‘turn up and go’ service and ‘street scape’ (smarter urban design with new extended pavements). For more information, please go to https://tfl.gov.uk/transport-accessibility/help-from-staff. Alternatively, please call us on 0208 688 24 86 and we will do our best to help.


Information & Advice

From July 1st all Information & Advice and Resource Centre initial assessments and appointments will be taken over the phone. After this, any matters that need a face-to-face appointment will then be booked. There will be a maximum of 2 people allowed per room in the Low Vision Room and the Resource Centre at any one time.

To book a telephone appointment, please call the office on 0208 688 2486. Look forward to receiving your call.

Urgent Help:
If you or a member of your family are vulnerable, high risk or in need of urgent support, Croydon Council may be able to help you with shopping, medication, keeping active, connecting with local groups and supporting your mental health.

You can get in contact via phone on 02086047787, or send an email to covid19support@croydon.gov.uk. Alternatively, please visit their website on www.croydon.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Food Stops:

Become a member of one of the four food stops located in New Addington, Selsdon, Thornton Heath and Purley. If you are eligible, you

can have £20 worth of fresh food and other groceries for £3.50 per week. Please contact gcc@croydon.gov.uk.

Further Support:

Croydon Voluntary Action is connecting you to your local community. Information such as help with shopping, food parcels, meals, food banks and activities in the community can be found at cvalive.org.uk/coronavirus/ 020 8253 7076 or 07540 720 102.

Please contact me on Danielle.Cleary@croydonvision.org.uk with your feedback and questions.

Working Age On The Up

The Working Age Project has experienced tremendous growth in the last two years. It has transformed itself from primarily being a social group run on Wednesdays to becoming a fully-fledged weekly project with tangible impact.

The group has demonstrated its agility and capacity to adapt through COVID-19. It has creatively adjusted to new ways of working whilst encouraging and supporting everyone involved.

We have set up alternative ways to keep in contact and still have a weekly spot to talk about technology, exercise and, most importantly, for goal-setting and journaling our experiences.

One of the great results of the project is watching members grow in their talents, skills and potential by taking ownership of new goals and driving their own progress forward. It is a credit to the project that many of its members have gone into volunteering or employment. As described by Maxine Plowden, ‘the working age group was instrumental in assisting me with job searches and securing employment, and I found the group to be very friendly’.

On the return of services at Croydon Vision in July, the group will be working on themes such as adjusting your interview techniques, how to job search in the current climate, how to travel with physical distancing rules, and other topical subjects. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage members to participate in activities at Bedford Hall and look out for the Working Age social media events.

As part of our process of continuous learning and growth, perhaps we can also explore free courses at Open Learn and Future Learn: https://www.open.edu/openlearn/ and https://www.futurelearn.com/

Please contact me on Jennifer.Smith@croydonvision.org.uk with your feedback and questions.


Empowerment Through Tech

Gadgets encourage experimentation

While watching one of our Facebook Live events a member, Evelyn, realised she needed a new Liquid Level Indicator. She requested it during the event, paid for it over the phone and it was delivered to her with her next lunch order. Evelyn is happy that she can continue to be safe and independent. Well done, Evelyn!

Zoom drives personal growth

Graham had been invited to many Zoom events and wanted to be able to attend. He had followed the instructions given to him by friends, but none were working for him.

He phoned Croydon Vision and experimented with different methods of attending Zoom events until he found the one that suited him. Graham is very pleased that he has been able to attend virtual coffee mornings and talks, and is continuously learning. Cool stuff!

Technology promotes independence

Ann has used our IT tuition service and has transformed herself from someone who didn’t know how to use her computer to using Skype and shopping online. Wow!

During the lockdown it has been especially useful to order her shopping online, but she had to update her card details and needed guidance as this was new to her. I was able to remotely access her computer and talk her through the steps to updating her card details. She is now shopping with confidence and has been able to update her card details on other sites.

I am available for telephone appointments and for some home visits. To get advice, book an appointment or visit please call in on 020 8688 2486 extension number 5.

Katherine Turner – Resource Centre Manager

Our Creative Force

‘A Mini Trooping the Colour’ by Anna Smith, Outreach Officer:

The sun shone brightly. The castle looked majestic. The 1st Battalion of the Welsh Guards dressed in their ceremonial uniforms looked splendid and the Queen was radiant. This event, held at Windsor Castle on the 13th June, has been described as a ‘Mini Trooping the Colour’.

This annual event that has been held for over 260 years to celebrate the British Sovereign’s official birthday was severely scaled back. Gone were the cheering crowds, carriages, horses and RAF flyover. A new marching manoeuvre, called ‘feathering’, had been designed to allow the participants to remain socially-distanced.

There is light at the end of the tunnel as we all slowly come out of lockdown and enter the ‘new normal’. It would have been so easy to just cancel Trooping the Colour this year. Instead, people worked hard to enable the event to happen on a smaller scale. It required creative and imaginative thinking, not giving into fear and showing determination. It has given hope and encouragement to many people and has shown that small scale events can now safely take place.

We are aware at Croydon Vision that the last three months have been very difficult for our members. We have done our utmost to reach out to you and adapt our services through innovation and creativity. Many of you have not been able to leave your home or see close family. Some of you have expressed how bored and frustrated you feel. I want to encourage you that there is light at the end of the tunnel for you as well.

We are looking forward to seeing some of you in July. The staff have fully assessed the risks and are getting the building ready for members to return.

By working together, Croydon Vision’s opening will be as smooth and organised as the ‘Mini Trooping the Colour’.

Mayor of Croydon Fundraiser

Due to COVID-19 the Mayor of Croydon is unable to hold his major 2020 Gala Dinner. The Mayor has decided to do one last fundraiser for his chosen charities in conjunction with four local restaurants (Chat House, Urban Guj, Bagatti’s and Zafran) with an opportunity for you to have a conversation with him as a final farewell before he leaves his post.

This creative idea means that there will be a set menu and 15% of the total proceeds will go to the Mayor’s charities which are Croydon Vision, Mind in Croydon, Apasen International, Ashdon Jazz Academy and Croydon Refugee Day Centre.

Once you have placed an order, you can request a code from the restaurant which will enable you to join the Mayor for a conversation on Sunday 5th July 2020 via Zoom for 30 minutes. How it will work:

  • Place an order at your preferred restaurant mentioning ‘The Mayor’s Charity Gala Diner’ and request a code.
  • Receive delicious food.
  • Email: kabir@croydon.gov.ukwith your code for a link to join the Mayor for a conversation.

Zoom timings for a conversation with the Mayor on Sunday 5th July:

  • Chat House: 6.30 – 7pm
  • Urban Guj: 7 – 7.30pm
  • Bagatti’s: 7.30 – 8pm
  • Zafran: 8 – 8.30pm 

You can try a menu from these four restaurants multiple times. Food can be ordered anytime from now until Sunday 5th July 2020. Please contact us if you would like to receive further information on these carefully chosen restaurants and the menus.

Mr Mayor hopes you will help him fundraise one last time and join him for a final farewell as Mayor. Please share with your friends and networks, as Croydon Vision is at the centre of this fundraiser!

Facebook Live Events

As we enter July our Facebook events are thriving, gaining much interest. The events are a great way to interact with others and take part in activities form home. The sessions cover a variety of topics to keep you informed, keep fit and healthy and most importantly to have fun.

Upcoming Facebook Events

Thursday 2nd July

Our member David will be hosting a session teaching us some basic Spanish and French phrases. 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 join us, this time teaching us some moves followed by a Q&A from Danielle Cleary (Information & Advice).

Thursday 16th July

We will be back in the kitchen with Isatu where she will be teaching us how to cook and bake! While the food is cooking away. We will be treating you to another fun filled quiz to test your brains.

Thursday 23rd July

We will have another helpful session on Eye Health this time hosted by our Dhruvin Patel, one of our Trustees, who is an experienced optometrist and business entrepreneur.

Thursday 30th July

Synergy Dance will be joining us again to help us with our flexibility this will be followed by a talk about using public transport.

All Facebook live events from 2nd July will start at 4pm.

Exciting Excursion Program

During August, our normal activities will run from Tuesdays -Thursdays with excursions on Mondays and Fridays. This year we plan to visit various beaches due to the current situation with many places still being closed. We’ve also duplicated our trips as availability on our minibuses will be limited. You can bring a packed lunch or have lunch in the restaurants. We will aim to leave by 9:30am and return by 4:30pm.  Please note, home pickups/returns will only be provided to those who are unable to make their own way to and from Croydon Vision.

Monday 3rd August or

Friday 28th August

Littlehampton Seaside


Excursion Return: £20

Including Home Pickups: £25

Littlehampton is roughly 1hr 30mins from Croydon, located in Sussex. It’s a sandy beach and has a fishing village.

Monday 10th August or 

Friday 21st August



Excursion Return: £20

Including Home Pickups: £25

Eastbourne is around 1hr 30mins from Croydon Vision. Qualisea is a very good Fish and Chip restaurant to visit.

Monday 17th August or

Friday 14th August



Excursion Return: £15

Including Home Pickups: £20

This is one of the closest beaches to Croydon and only takes just over an hour to get to. It is known for its famous 1,722ft long pier.

Monday 24th August or

Friday 7th August



Excursion Return: £20

Including Home Pickups: £25

Hastings is known for the 1066 Battle of Hastings. It’s approximately 1hr 30mins from Croydon It’s very historic with an elegant, lovely seafront.

If you require a guide, please mention this when you book. To book on an excursion please call us on 0208 688 2486. We accept payments over the phone, and from 1st July you can pay at reception with card or cash. Please book by Thursday 30th July.


Transforming Lives

Danielle Cleary has shared a compelling example of service impact:

A member contacted me with a problem. Their boiler had broken down and the Council had told her that they could not replace it until August. This was highly inappropriate as the member has extra health conditions, which meant that they should not be carrying boiling water around.

I took immediate action and liaised with the Sensory Impairment Team who were able to support the member internally, making the positive commitment to replace her boiler much earlier than initially planned.

The member in question now has full use of hot water in her house and is ‘very grateful for the help received’. This has made a ‘massive difference’ to her life.

Our recent Facebook talk on Eye Health by Ketan Jadeja, Trustee at Croydon Vision and Optometrist at Moorfields Eye Hospital London, was a real success. Ketan’s expertise in glaucoma, commitment to raising awareness on eye health and reducing blind registrations was evident and inspired great feedback from attendees, including comments such as:

‘so important and noble to be helping people with impaired vision’, ‘brilliant and with lots of good information’, ‘helpful and informative’, ‘mind blowing’ and ‘fantastic’.

The Facebook Stretches Session promoting exercise by Synergy Dance also sparked positive responses:

‘Love the breathing exercises, really relaxing’, ‘cool’ and ‘really good’!

Connect & Engage

In our June Part 2 Newsletter we heard from Sarah Woolley, our Talking News Presenter. Sarah made an excellent suggestion to try to increase member interaction and engagement with Talking News. If you have any topics in mind or any improvements, please get in contact on 0208 68 824 86, volunteering@croydonvision.org.uk or tweet her @SarahWoolley.

The Village

We are keen to continue interacting and engaging with other communities beyond Croydon Vision. On that note, Simon Doy, co-founder of a social activity audio site called The Village, reached out to us to share his insights and encourage joint learnings:

‘Members of The Village socialise via an easy to install and accessible chat client called Team Talk. We run a full daily schedule of social events hosted by our members: games and quizzes, general chat sessions, music and chat, audio-described movies, TV, radio, documentaries and much more!’

Many people make good friends and there is a considerable amount of support available. We are a diverse community with members from all over the world. What makes The Village special is its general ethos of being kind, compassionate, friendly, with a passion for accessibility, diversity, and non-discrimination’.

Membership of The Village is completely free and open to people with a degree of sight loss or those who are close to someone with visual impairments. We are keen to continue to expand, as this helps us to put on more events, with even greater variety, thus giving all our members even more choice.

For many VI people, the internet is a liberating place and becoming a member of a site like The Village can only open up new horizons. Please contact us if you would like to receive further information and share with others too: admin@thevillage.groups.io . Look forward to hearing from you! ‘


  1. What colour most often are the domes of churches in Russia?
  2. In which Spanish city did the Joan Miro museum open in 1975?
  3. Which Italian artist painted the Birth of Venus?
  4. Who was the original author of Dracula?
  5. In which city is the famous Manneken Pis fountain?
  6. Who is the inventor of photography?
  7. Which artist painted The Scream?
  8. What is the first book of the Old Testament?
  9. Who painted the Mona Lisa?
  10. In which English town did Adolf Hitler study art?
  11. Which famous French engineer designed two bridges for the city of Porto?
  12. In which city can you see Michelangelo’s David?
  13. What is the Jewish candlestick with special religious meaning called?
  14. What is the Kabbalah?
  15. Who painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel?
  16. In which country was the famous painter El Greco born?
  17. In which city is the composer Frederic Chopin buried?
  18. Who painted the famous painting Guernica?
  19. In which city did Romeo and Julia live?


  1. Gold 2. Barcelona 3. Botticelli 4. Bram Stoker 5. Brussels 6. Daguerre 7. Edvard Munch 8. Genesis 9. Leonardo Da Vinci 10. Liverpool 11. Gustave Eiffel 12. Florence 13. Menorah 14. A System of Jewish Mystical Beliefs 15. Michelangelo 16. Greece 17. Paris 18. Picasso 19. Verona


Monday 6th July 2020

Meat: Homemade chili con carne with rice or potatoes and steamed veg
Vegetarian: Vegetable Tikka Masala with rice of potatoes and steamed vegetables
Fish: Baked cod with potatoes and steamed vegetables

Chocolate angel delight or fruit salad with yoghurt or ice cream

Tuesday 7th July 2020

Meat: Chicken and Vegetable pie and mash served with steamed vegetables and gravy
Vegetarian: Diced potatoes and leak in cheese sauce served with steamed vegetables
Fish: Baked Salmon with potatoes and steamed vegetables

Homemade vanilla cheesecake or fruit salad with yoghurt or ice cream

Wednesday 8th July 2020

Meat: Meatballs in tomato sauce with pasta and steamed vegetables
Vegetarian: Vegetarian meatballs with pasta and steamed vegetables
Fish: Baked Cod with potatoes and steamed vegetables

Fruit salad with yoghurt or ice cream

Thursday 9th July 2020

Meat: Roast Chicken, roast potatoes, steamed vegetables and gravy
Vegetarian: Vegetable Lasagne and steamed vegetables
Fish: Baked Salmon with potatoes and steamed vegetables

Homemade custard tart or fruit salad with yoghurt or ice cream


Monday 13th July 2020

Meat: Chicken casserole with mash and steamed veg
Vegetarian: Chickpea, lentil and butterbean stew with mash and steamed vegetables
Fish: Baked cod with potatoes and steamed vegetables

Homemade chocolate brownie or fruit salad with yoghurt or ice cream

Tuesday 14th July 2020

Meat: Cottage Pie with steamed vegetables and gravy
Vegetarian: Vegetarian cottage pie with Quorn mice with steamed vegetables and gravy
Fish: Pan Fired Salmon with potatoes and steamed vegetables

Vanilla sponge with custard or fruit salad with yoghurt or ice cream

Wednesday 15th July 2020

Meat: Creamy chicken pasta bake with steamed vegetables
Vegetarian: Creamy pasta bake and steamed vegetables
Fish: Baked haddock with potatoes and steamed vegetables

Homemade mixed berry crumble and custard
Fruit salad with yoghurt or ice cream

Thursday 16th July 2020

Meat: Roast pork, roast potatoes, steamed vegetables and gravy
Vegetarian: Stuffed aubergine with potatoes steamed vegetables and gravy
Fish: Baked cod with roast potatoes and steamed vegetables

Homemade strawberry trifle or fruit salad with yoghurt or ice cream


We would love to have your input!

Submissions for the July (Part 2) Newsletter are due in by
12 noon on Wednesday 8th July 2020:

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

Please note our revised telephone opening times from 1st July 2020:

Monday – Thursday

8.30am – 4pm


Jun 25, 2020

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