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


July Newletter (Part 2) 2020

Celebrating Members Voices


As we welcome members back to Bedford Hall, we wish to celebrate, amplify their friendly voices and learn from their helpful feedback.

Welcome back! We are so excited to see you!

‘It feels AWESOME being back. It feels like I have been on a very long holiday away from Croydon Vision. Now that we are back, it’s like a New Year, a fresh start and it feels great.’
Lauren – Returning to CV

‘Since I have been with you, I have enjoyed all of my meals. Before receiving your meals, I lacked nutrition as I only had ready meals.
I enjoy every moment now. Thank you.’
Constance – Lunch Service

‘Thanks to Croydon Vision for organising these meetings. It’s a great opportunity to chat and share experiences.’
Sitas – Facebook Live Events

‘Grocery service has been a great help, especially when I haven’t been able to get out. I do not know what I would do without this service.’
Margaret – Grocery Shopping

‘After some assistance, I now have a much better understanding of iPhones and how they work.’
Anna – Tech Training

Exciting Voices of C&YP

We are always excited to hear the voices of our younger members! This month we have enjoyed many interesting activities that have taken our Children and Young People through different learning paths. Moving forward we will continue our virtual services and will add external activities too, so watch this space!

I’m really pleased to announce the winner of the Croydon Vision Writing Competition. We had some brilliant entries and the winner is Ellie Paddick for her amazing newspaper article on home schooling chaos, you can read Ellie’s article on the website: https://croydonvision.org.uk/2020/07/14/newspaper-article/

Ellie won a lovely £30 gift card and writing supplies.

Well done, Ellie!

Upcoming fun events – Please join us!

Thursday 23rd July – Cooking via Zoom:

We will hold a sweet and interactive cupcake making session at 1 pm!

Tuesday 28th July 2020 – Book Club Sessions:

2:30 pm: 3-6 years. ‘Mog and the Granny’ by Judith Kerr.

3pm: 7-13 years. ‘The boy at the back of the class’ by Onjali Q. Rauf.

3:30 pm:  2020 Book Club Review.

31st July at 12:30 pm Teddy Bear Picnic:

We will be attending Lloyd Park for a socially distant picnic with lunch and games. Please bring a teddy or toy to play with your friends.

For further information and to book your place, please email korey.knight@croydonvision.org.uk
Korey Knight – C&YP Officer

Hello from Odette

Hello everyone! My name is Odette Battarel and I am the new Advice and Development Officer.  My role involves providing information and support from a wide range of topics; including form filling, general advice and accessing services. In addition, I will also support members’ development, empowering people to get ready for work or volunteering and helping them reach their desired goal.

Many of you have already met me as a member of Croydon Vision and a previous Trustee. I am a Croydon resident for the past 20 years and registered severely sight impaired since 1995. I have Stargardt Disease and have lost my central vision.

I grew up in France and came over to London in the early 1980s. I started my career as a dance teacher working both with primary school pupils and adult learners. When I became visually impaired, I went to Dorton College where I learnt how to use assistive technology, did a PA Course, and secured a post as an Administrator in Wimbledon. This took me to a journey of further learning, which encompassed a Management Course at Croydon College, a Manager post at the Balham Resources Centre for the Blind and various stimulating roles at Thomas Pocklington Trust.

I love keeping active! I do a lot of dancing, ride a tandem bike with my husband and act as a tennis coach, which involves many exciting national and international tournaments.

I am very excited to join the Team at Croydon Vision and to be given the opportunity to be part of such an amazing organisation. I hope to meet you all very soon and together can step into a brighter future!

Do not hesitate to contact me via phone or email if you need general information and advice, or wish to gain support on professional development matters. Please see my contact details below.

0208 688 24 86, ext. 2
Odette Battarel – Advice and Development Officer

Learning & Accomplishment

I decided to return to Bedford Hall on Wednesday 8th July. I was very apprehensive, as this was my first time using public transport since lockdown began. I was very cautious on my journey. I kept saying to myself: “Always make sure you wear a mask, as there will be some people who will not follow the rules”.

On arrival at the gates of Croydon Vision, it felt amazing, like nothing had changed!  It was lovely to be back. It was a lot more relaxed than I expected. I felt very safe. Hand sanitizers have been placed all around the building, temperatures are being checked upon arrival and Reception has a new plastic shield, amongst many other risk management measures in place.

On my first day back, I looked for courses which could help me progress in my job search. I found some great and cost effective options through Reed’s website (www.reed.co.uk). Although Reed was originally founded as a recruitment agency, it is worth considering them in you wish to complete courses to help you find work and drive your career further.   

Maxine Plowden – Member & Volunteer

The Working Age Group is now officially back at a new time of 10 am – 12 pm on Wednesdays. It is open to those who need support getting voluntary roles or paid working opportunities. For more information, please call 0208 688 2486 ext. 2 or email Odette.battarel@croydonvision.org.uk .

Technology Shaping Voices

Smartphones help us to engage in meaningful interaction with the world. Thanks to screen readers and magnification features built in across all modern smartphones, we can find new ways of shaping our voices whilst engaging in dialogue with others.

VI Specific phones
These phones have been designed specifically for people who are visually impaired. They are generally based on Android systems and have features that make them easier to use. The downside is that you can only use the features that the manufacturer has pre-designed based on assumptions of what customers want.

Android phones allow personalised customisation; however, there is a slight risk that this process will be erratic. The design of some Apps does not facilitate smooth integration with Android’s built-in accessibility software.

Apple phones are designed with limited freedom for personalised customisation. The upside to this rigidity is that most Apps will work well with accessibility software.

Apps are additional tools that you can add to your phone to tailor it to your needs. If you are looking to use some of the more visual impairment specific Apps, please note that most of them are designed for Apple as they reach a higher use base which allows developments.

If you would like to learn more about smartphones, please phone me on 020 8688 2486, ext 5.

Katherine Turner – Resource Centre Manager

Seaside Adventures – Book by 30th July!

Our round of 2020 summer excursions will take place on Mondays and Fridays throughout August.

Monday 3rd August or

Friday 28th August

Littlehampton Seaside


Excursion Return: £20

Including Home Pickups: £25

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

Monday 10th August or 

Friday 21st August



Excursion Return: £20

Including Home Pickups: £25

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

Friday 14th August or

Monday 17th August



Excursion Return: £15

Including Home Pickups: £20

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

 Friday 7th August or

Monday 24th August



Excursion Return: £20

Including Home Pickups: £25

Hastings is known for its 1066 historic battle. It’s approximately 1hr 30mins from Croydon Vision.

 We have duplicated our trips, as availability on our minibuses will be limited due to social distancing. Enjoy your packed lunch or have lunch in a local restaurant. We will leave by 9:30 am and return by 4:30 pm.  Please note, home pickups/returns will only be provided to those who are unable to make their own way to CV.

If you require a guide, please mention this when booking. Please call reception on 0208 688 24 86 to book a place.

Box Hill Challenge – 

Fundraisers Wanted!

On Saturday 1st August we are planning to participate in a fundraising hill-based challenge again! Last year we climbed Mount Snowdon in Wales. This year we are going to climb Box Hill, a more local summit in North Downs, Surrey.

This is a fantastic opportunity for us to fundraise towards a key initiative: a new electronic gate, to enable easy and safe access to our courtyard. An electronic gate became a fundraising goal after feedback from members and volunteers over safety with random cars constantly turning in and speeding away with no consideration for our members.

We are committed to raising £4,500 to realise this plan, and therefore each participant is aiming to raise at least £100. Please share this link for sponsors to donate via our just giving page https://justgiving.com/fundraising/susanette-mansour.
Alternatively; call us for a sponsorship form.

  • We will leave Croydon Vision at 9 am so that we can start walking in time to miss the crowds.
  • After a gentle walk up the hill, there will be the option of 3 walks to the top, varying from 30 to 90 minutes each and offering different types of scenery.
  • At the top is a Café serving cold and hot drinks and snacks, or you can bring your own lunch if you prefer.
  • We can walk down the hill either via a leisurely route or through a ‘rougher’ steep stepped walk if you want an extra challenge!

Please call on 0208 688 2486 where we will provide you with a full itinerary and a sponsorship form. There will be a £10 cost which will cover transport to and from Box Hill to CV. There will be no home pick up for this event.

We are very excited about this walk and hope that you can join us or help us to fundraise!

Talking News – Familiar Voices

Each week we record different segments which come together to form our Talking News. We send this out to our members via post and upload a copy on our website for everyone to listen to.

The Talking News is comprised of three regular sections: The Local News, the Magazine Section and Song of the Week. We also include any important documents or updates that need to be recorded in audio format.

The Local News:

This is hosted by our volunteer Sarah who keeps everyone updated with what is happening in Croydon and beyond. We are grateful to Sarah for her lovely updates and stories.

The Magazine Section:

This section is hosted by a different volunteer each week, and includes quizzes and word games to keep our brains stimulated, interesting stories, articles and some fun facts. Once a month we are also joined by our volunteer Matthew who reads out our monthly Newsletter, menus and relevant CV updates.

Song of the Week:

Currently, our member and volunteer Lauren presents his favorite song of the week for everyone to enjoy. Lauren has a great passion for music and wants to share it with everybody.

The Talking News is fully accessible and tailored to those who have a visual impairment. We send it out to our members on USB sticks, which can then be played on a computer or Boombox.

We can provide members with Boomboxes and our subscription is currently free until the end of the year. Please call on 0208 688 2486 ext. 5 if you wish to receive one so that you can begin listening as soon as possible. The Talking News is also accessible via our website.


Outreach – Never Alone!

Welcome to Croydon Vision for the first time since lockdown! It’s really good to see you.

How have members and volunteers found lockdown?
For some it has been boring and frustrating. Others have spent time learning skills and trying new things.

It is important to build on the positives. If you have learned a new skill, make a determined effort to keep on learning and improving. 

With shielding restrictions easing, we can now catch up with family and friends which is wonderful. Just remember to stay safe. If you need to be guided it’s OK for someone from your household to do that.


Positive Impact

Our Outreach Service continues to offer vital support to those members who are still self-isolating or taking small steps. We are doing everything we can to help people stay connected with the world.

One of our many recent successes is a referral made by a Social Worker. They had concerns for a person who not only was self-isolating but had disappeared from everyone’s ‘radar’.

We made contact with this member and agreed that he would benefit from weekly befriending phone calls. It’s been lovely talking to him and reducing the social isolation that he was feeling. The member told us he was glad that this service was available, as he was extremely lonely and slowly getting depressed. We feel honoured for the impact the service has made on this member’s wellbeing.

If you know anyone who would benefit from this service, please email Anna or Jennifer (Our Outreach Officers): anna.smith@croydonvision.org.uk or jennifer.smith@croydonvision.org.uk .

Thank you for helping us to reach out, support and empower!

Support After Shielding

The latest scientific voices tell us that the chance of encountering COVID-19 in the community has continued to decline. On average less than 1 in 1,700 people are estimated to have the virus, a substantial improvement from 1 in 500 people only four weeks ago. 

Shielding measures will relax from 1st August allowing more of us to go out, visit shops and places of worship, provided safety guidelines are followed.

As we gradually re-enter the ‘New Now’, Croydon Vision’s food delivery service will be coming to an end 31st July. However, in house lunch service will continue. For more information on lunch service and how Croydon Vision can support you; please call Odette, Advice and Development Officer on 0208 688 2486 ext. 2

Government food boxes will stop at the end of July, If you have been receiving a food box from the Government, now is the time to start planning how you will get your shopping and essentials.

Recipes and Grocery Boxes

Several companies can send out recipe and grocery boxes. Here are some of our favourites.

Hello Fresh provides a variety of meal options and multiple recipes. They cater for a range of 2-4 people per package and an average of 2-5 meals per week. Prices start form £30 per week. Please check www.hellofresh.co.uk

Gousto cater for 2 or 4 people with a variety of 2-4 food recipes included. Boxes start from £25 as you will see at www.gousto.co.uk

Pale Green Dot prices starts at £13.50. You can buy a single meal pack or subscribe to weekly arrangements. It’s great for getting fresh produce to your door. Find out more at www.palegreendot.co.uk

Cook Food offers people a range of good quality, healthy and hearty ready meals. They come in a variety of different packages as you can explore here: www.cookfood.net

Food Stops

This is a very helpful alternative to recipe boxes and supermarket shopping which offer people the opportunity to reduce their shopping bills.

Each Food Stop relates to a different ward in Croydon, so please check before you visit as you will need proof of address.

Name: Family Centre
Wards: Fieldway/ New Addington South/ New Addington North
Address: Fieldway, New Addington, Croydon, CR0 9DX
Email: familycentre.fieldway@virgin.net 
Number: 01689 844 277

Name: Parchmore Methodist Church and Community Centre
Wards: Thornton Heath/ North of the Borough
Address: 55 Parchmore Rd, Thornton Heath, Croydon, CR7 8LY
Email: becky@parchmore.org
Number: 020 8653 7353

Name: Old Lodge Lane Baptist Church
Ward: Non-specific
Address: Reedham Park Avenue, Purley, CR8 4BQ
Email: foodstop@ollbc.org.uk
Number: 020 8668 6260

For any help and assistance, please get in contact with either Our Advice and Development Officer or Outreach Officers – we are happy to help!

Diversity through Art!

I have been reflecting about the evolving nature of diversity in the current socio-political landscape, and how we should inspire everyone to learn and embrace, enhanced ‘ways of being’ as we become kinder, fairer and more considerate towards others. Openness and sometimes uncomfortable journeys of self-exploration are key to raising awareness, levelling up and thriving towards self-improvement.

The Photographers’ Gallery ran a very interesting ‘Slow Looking’ discussion on Saturday 4 July 2020 kindly sponsored by the Vision Foundation. For me this was a very personal ‘pilot session’ where we enjoyed three works by Hannah Reyes Morales, a Filipina photographer and National Geographic Explorer. I was inspired by the audio-descriptions provided by Zoe Partington (Artist & Curator) as they offered new ways of seeing and creative platforms to challenge assumptions.

Images that may appear positive, naïve and harmless at first glance, took us to a path of discovery which unlocked themes about injustice and disregard for diversity. We were shaken by the vulnerability of women to sexual violence and trafficking in unexpected situations, deceived by a highly crowded prison mirroring a social sporting reunion and impressed by ‘underground’ salons that provide a safe space for free expression in developing countries.

Transcripts and audio files of this event can be found on the following link:


I was moved by the gallery’s short yet powerful Anti-Racism Statement in response to recent Black Lives Matter protests which can be found on the following link: https://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/anti-racism

If you have any suggestions on how Croydon Vision can engage in constructive dialogue about diversity and justice, please contact Ines.C.Jager@croydonvision.org.uk

Keep Trying, Keep Learning

We are excited! Our Peer Support Reflective Practice Group will kick-off its first meeting at the end of July. A number of staff members will leverage their personal thoughts and experiences about professional learnings and personal growth, and will be happy to share our distilled insights at our next Newsletter.

I would like to use this opportunity to pay tribute to Carl Reiner, an American actor, writer and director who passed away on 29th June 2020 at the age of 98. Some of you may know him from The Dick Van Dyke Show and his work with Mel Brooks.

Reiner was captivated by the goal of how to live a long life, which drove him to co-author ‘How to live forever’. One of his inspirational quotes contains a recurring message:

“Complete a project, start a new project. Spend time to improve it and after you improve the improvements, start a new project. Spend time to improve it…” And so on. On the surface of it, 271 pages of just that line may appear like a joke, but it works!

Reiner acted on his advice as he continued to read and write with passion, vigour and purposeful focus until his final days.

As Matthew Sayed highlights is his masterful book ‘Bounce’:

“Purposeful practice is about striving for what is just out of reach and not quite making it; it is about grappling with tasks beyond current limitations and falling short again and again. This may not be easy but it’s breathtakingly effective”.

Feel free to share your own learnings and personal growth stories with us at Ines.C.Jager@croydonvision.org.uk
Ines C Jager – Business Development Manager


This week we have some thrilling nature-based questions to test your brains. Happy quizzing!

  1. What flower is associated with Mother’s Day?
  2. What is the common name for antirrhinum?
  3. What is the English national flower?
  4. Where would you find edelweiss ?
  5. What flower is the symbol of good luck in Japan?
  6. Which flower do you associate with Holland?
  7. Which two evergreens feature in a carol?
  8. Which plant is supposed to be a diuretic and in its mature form can tell the time?
  9. What does a four leafed clover mean?
  10. Which tree symbolises England?
  11. Which tree produces conkers?
  12. Which vegetable was planted for flowers but was discovered to have edible produce?
  13. What herb can form part of a lawn for its fragrance?
  14. What Christmas plant has red leaves?
  15. Why is the weeping willow so called?
  16. What leaf is the symbol of the National Trust?

Daffodil 2. Snapdragon and bunny’s ears 3. Red rose 4. Germany Austria or Switzerland – Hi High up in the Alps 5. Peony 6. Tulip 7. The holly and the ivy 8. Dandelion 9. Good luck 10. Oak 11. Horse chestnut 12. Runner beans 13. Chamomile 14. Poinsettia 15. From the way that rain looks like tears when it’s dripping off the curved branches. 16. Oak

Lunch Menu

Monday 20th July

Meat: Chicken Tikka Masala with rice or potatoes and steamed veg
Vegetarian: Vegetable and Quorn Tikka Masala with rice of potatoes and steamed vegetables
Fish: Baked haddock with potatoes and steamed vegetables

Homemade semolina, or fruit salad with yoghurt or ice cream

Tuesday 21st July

Meat: Beef stew with mash, steamed vegetables and gravy
Vegetarian: Tofu and vegetable stew with mash and steamed veg
Fish: Baked cod with mash potatoes and steamed vegetables

Fruit salad with yoghurt or ice cream

Wednesday 22nd July

Meat: Sheppard’s pie with steamed vegetables and gravy
Vegetarian: Cauliflower cheese with steamed vegetables
Fish: Baked cod with potatoes and steamed vegetables

Bread and butter pudding or fruit salad with yoghurt or ice cream

Thursday 23rd July

Meat: Chicken fried rice with steamed vegetables
Vegetarian: Vegetable fried rice with steamed vegetables
Fish: Baked salmon with potatoes and steamed vegetables

Homemade apple pie with custard or
Fruit salad with yoghurt


Monday 27th July

Meat: Stew chicken with rice or potatoes and steamed vegetables
Vegetarian: Potato and leek bake with steamed vegetables
Fish: Baked salmon with potatoes and steamed vegetables

Fruit salad with yoghurt or ice cream

Tuesday 28th July

Meat: Chicken and potato bake with pan-fried vegetables
Vegetarian: Sausages with potatoes and pan-fried vegetables
Fish: Baked cod with potatoes and pan-fried vegetables

Panna cotta with berries or fruit salad with yoghurt or ice cream

Wednesday 29th July

Meat: Roast beef with roast potatoes, steamed vegetables and gravy
Vegetarian: Roast Quorn fillet, potatoes, steamed vegetables & gravy
Fish: Baked cod with potatoes and steamed vegetables

Chocolate sponge cake and custard or Fruit salad with yoghurt or ice cream

Thursday 30th July

Meat: Sausage and chips with baked beans and gravy
Vegetarian: Vegetable burgers and chips with baked beans
Fish: Baked haddock with chips and baked beans

Blueberry pie with custard or fruit salad with yoghurt or ice cream


We would love to have your input!

From August 2020 we will be trialling a new format for our Newsletter. We aim to celebrate a theme every month, starting with Summer Holidays! Look forward to receiving your feedback.

Submissions for the August Newsletter are due in by
12 noon on Wednesday 22nd 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  8.30 am – 1pm

Tuesday to Thursday 8.30 am – 4 pm

Jul 16, 2020

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“A life saver & a life change”