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


October Newsletter 2020

Croydon Vision Celebrating

Black History Month

Black History Month is an annual month-long celebration in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Although the month is not long enough to celebrate and appreciate the history of black people and their great contribution to the world. It is a great time to commemorate some of the most outstanding thought-leaders, activists, artists, and philanthropists as well as educating ourselves on some of the struggles that have taken place over time.

The theme of this year’s Black History Month is RID the stigma. RID (Representation, Identity, Diversity) the stigma will provide a focus on black heritage and how young people feel they are perceived in the community. We want to change negative perceptions by ridding the stigma, focusing on true representation, celebrating diversity and enjoying amazing successes.

”Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama

Throughout the pages of this Newsletter, we will be sharing with you some stories and thoughts from our Volunteers and Staff as well as providing you with information for October’s activities including our upcoming AGM.

The theme for November’s Newsletter will be Celebrating our Community. If you are interested in writing an article or getting involved in this edition, please do get in contact via email (Newsletter@croydonvision.org.uk), telephone (020 8688 2486 Ext 6) or while you are at Bedford Hall.

Black History, Everyone’s History

”Won’t it be wonderful when Black history, Native American history, Jewish history and all of U.S. history is taught from one book. Just U.S. history.” – Maya Angelou

Human history started in pre-history when the first Homo sapiens emerged in Africa, eventually migrating to every continent on earth. Genetic research shows that the Caucasian race only emerged in Europe 8,000 years ago.

Recorded history began with the invention of writing around 4,000 BC (6,000 years ago). The history of black and non-Caucasian races records both highs and lows. One of the difficulties in recognising the history of a non-Caucasian race is that popular culture often portrays them as being white. For example, films, dramas and documentaries based on ancient Egyptians often use white actors. In reality, they would have had a North African/Arabian appearance. The ancient Egyptian culture spanned 3,000 years and at its height developed some of the most advanced engineering of the ancient world.

The Moors are another interesting culture. There was a mixture of races including white and black people. They ruled Spain for 800 years and introduced new scientific techniques to Europe. They also contributed to scientific knowledge in the areas of Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Geography and Philosophy also flourished. The Moors also introduced paper to Europe, along with Arabic numerals, which replaced the Roman system.

However, we cannot talk about Black history without mentioning the transatlantic slave trade. This dark period in history started in the late 16th century and did not end until the early 19th century. It could be argued that we are still living with its consequences in the present day.

As a Caucasian person, writing this article, it is my hope that the human race as a whole can learn to live in harmony with each other and that we can see an end to all discrimination. I also hope to see all our histories shared, so that we understand were we have come from.

Anna Smith – Outreach Officer

AGM 2020

Embracing Transformation

It is that time of the year when we review learnings, celebrate successes and discuss exciting developments at our Annual General Meeting (AGM).

While we have achieved amazing adaptation and change during lockdown, our AGM will focus on the period from April 2019 to March 2020, how we have embraced transformation and the challenges that we faced along the way.

The AGM will be taking place from 4 pm to 5:30 pm Friday 9th October allowing for a mix of in person and virtual attendees:

  • We will have a restricted number of places for in-person If you wish to participate in this meeting at Bedford Hall, please get in touch as soon as possible as spaces will book up fast.
  • If you need help setting up remote access via Zoom, please contact Katherine and Ola who will be able to assist you over the phone or alternatively come to your home to help.

We look forward to an interactive discussion as we will:

  • Review our progress, impact and development opportunities.
  • Discuss questions and feedback
  • Celebrate the launch of a new Croydon Vision branded MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) and our very own Technology Studio! This modern ‘Tech Hub’ will help us deliver high quality video and audio recordings, and it will be at the core of a new CV Library free of access to our members.

Please email Events@croydonvision.org.uk or call to confirm attendance to our AGM. See you soon!

Exciting Developments at C&YP

Reflecting on the topic of the AGM, our Children & Young People Team have made such a huge transformation in the past year and are continuing to go from strength to strength. Well done!

Sadly, we are saying goodbye to our current Officer, Korey Knight, who is leaving us to pursue further education. Korey will be deeply missed by everyone at Croydon Vision. We wish her all the best for the future and thank her for her great work!

Here are a few words that Korey wants to share with all of you:  

“I have cherished all of my moments with the young members in the project. The first time I met them at Pizza Express was very special. They all made me feel so welcome and encouraged me. I have learnt so much about myself and about things I would never have thought of before working for a sight loss charity.

All I want to say to all our young members is:

Keep being amazing! You are so motivating to me. Good luck with your schoolwork and future endeavors. You are the reason I am going to university. You have given me the confidence to purse my dreams.”

Korey Knight

With departures come new arrivals and we would like to welcome Mickella Hosannah to the team who will be taking on the role of Children & Young People Officer! She is very excited to get stuck in and meet all our young members. You will find out more about Mickella in next month’s Newsletter so watch this space!

To get involved with the C&YP Project and to request a calendar of their updated activities, please email Mickella.Hosannah@croydonvision.org.uk or call Reception.

Diversity Inspiring Learning

”Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

My interpretation of Black History Month makes me think of the strong minded activists that stood up for the discrimination against those of African and Caribbean descent. A couple of these include Martin Luther King, who became a leader in the Civil Rights Movement from 1955, and Rosa Parks who is best known for being vocal in what became the legendary Montgomery Bus Boycott. They left a footprint in the world we live in today.

My grandparents were born and grew up in Jamaica. I have loved hearing stories about their history as well as appreciating the different types of food they’ve introduced me to. Black History Month opens up an opportunity for people to learn, share experiences and enhance one’s understanding of the history of those from African and Caribbean decent. This hopefully helps make this world a better place and minimises discrimination.

Natasha Thompson-Campbell – Office Manager

Where can I find out more about Black History?

An organisation call Black History Studies offers a range of options that include a thirty-week course that covers history, politics, sociology, psychology, science, art, music and religion. They also offer tours at the British Museum London, and at International Slavery Museum as part of Maafa Liverpool Tour. Additionally, they have films and presentations. To see the full range of their services please go to: https://blackhistorystudies.com

Croydon’s community is organising forums, exhibitions, music events and restaurant special offers. This link will show you a booklet of all the upcoming events. To request a paper copy, please ask Reception: https://www.croydon.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Black_History_Month_2019.pdf

Tech Driving

Talent & Empowerement

”Do not call for black power or green power.  Call for brain power.” – Barbara Jordan

Facebook Motivating & Empowering

Sophie has been an active member of Croydon Vision for some time, but she felt she was missing out on experiences during lockdown, especially Isha’s excellent food!

I visited Sophie in her home to help her set up Zoom so that she could access concerts and connect with her family. During our meeting she mentioned that she had read about our Facebook Live events in the Newsletter. She was particularly interested in watching the cooking events, so she could learn to cook like Isha!

When I left she couldn’t believe that we had covered so much! She is now looking forward to joining us at the next Facebook Live.

CV Tech Promoting Black History Book

Richard, a Croydon Vision member, is looking to write a play about Mary Seacole, a British-Jamaican nurse, healer and businesswoman.

He had access to a computer but didn’t know much about how to use it. Since coming to our IT sessions, he has learnt how to type and to format text so that his work will be legible as a play. Richard has mentioned that he missed his IT sessions during lockdown as he thrives through learning.

If you would like assistance either at home or at Croydon Vision do give us a call on 020 8688 2486 Ext 5, and ask to speak to Ola or Katherine.

Katherine Turner – Resource Centre Manager

Introducing Ola

Hello Everyone! My name is Ogunyanwo Oladapo, but you can call me Ola for short. I am the IT Facilitator, and I will be working closely with Katherine Turner to support your technology needs.

  • My role is to provide IT Tuition, one to one training, assistance and support to members with helping them use their devices.
  • I will also be assisting Katherine with managing the Resource Centre, meaning that you are going to be seeing and hearing a lot from me!

My first couple of weeks so far have been amazing! I have met most of the team, everyone has welcomed me, and I have already learnt a lot working with them, especially with Katherine. I have also spoken to some of the members, supported with some of their difficulties, and I am glad to say “so far so good”.

I like to stay active and learn new things. I currently play video games, the keyboard, guitar, and a bit of saxophone and drums. I also enjoy cooking. For sports, I play football and basketball every week, and table tennis and badminton whenever I get the chance.

I am excited to work here at Croydon Vision, and be part of the ambitious plans that are in store under Tech for Success and the Mobile Hub.

I look forward to meeting the rest of the team and all the members in upcoming weeks whether virtually or in person.

Do not hesitate to contact me via phone or email if you need any IT assistance: Oladapo.Ogunyanwo@croydonvision.org.uk  020 8688 2486 Ext 5.

Katherine Turner, Ola’s manager, is delighted to have company in the IT Room and Resource Centre! So far members have been really impressed with Ola’s “patience and willingness to help”, and how he empowers members so they can “get lots done independently”.

Outreach, Access & Inclusion

It is almost time to celebrate our Outreach Project’s first anniversary. What an exciting year it has been! The project was set up to improve the lives of people who found it hard to access Croydon Vision’s services, and we are pleased to report we have transformed many lives!

Eileen has been a member of CV for the past 4 years and thanks to the Outreach Project we were able to provide her with optimal support. The Outreach Team visited her in her own home, building her confidence and promoting her independence to attend social groups. There are many other members like Eileen who have been supported and empowered thanks to this amazing project.

The Outreach Project offers a variety of services to members and the visually impaired community in Croydon, including:

  • An initial visit to a person’s home to assess how Croydon Vision can support and form a plan to help them move forward.
  • Short to medium term support. For example, helping someone with newly diagnosed sight loss until they learn to use a cane.
  • Support to attend GP and hospital appointments (not necessarily only eye appointments), and help them to understand their eyesight condition better.
  • IT support including set up and training.
  • Liaising with the Advice and Development Officer to arrange visits in members’ homes to offer administrative support (e.g., financial forms) and advocacy.
  • Befriending services to connect and engage, therefore combatting isolation and loneliness.
  • Encouragement and signposting for further learning, empowerment and mentoring opportunities.

A big thanks to all involved and let’s transform more lives!

Anna Smith – Outreach Officer

Born Equal?

“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal”

(United States of America Declaration of Independence)

Is it ‘true’ or even ‘self-evident’ (axiomatic-unquestionable) that all men (humankind) are created equal or is it simply an idealism that has been propagated throughout generations?

Whilst I agree we are all created (born) equal, as we all come into the world naked and unaware of our surroundings or even our gender, the real question is do we remain equal?

I believe the answer to that question has got to be an unequivocal ‘No’. That being the case, one can only hypothesise as to why? However, due to the complexity and multifaceted nature of the subject matter, which is immense, many different conclusions can be reached. Perhaps it would be helpful to look at how we are socially conditioned to think or behave in a specific manner.

Once a child is born and its gender known, subconsciously and somewhat subtly, the equality begins to erode away (i.e., the difference in expectations or how we treat the child is hardwired into our psyche and becomes our cultural norm surrounding the role of the male and female child). Arguments have been made that from the age of conscious thought that we are subconsciously predisposed to gender inequality amongst many other injustices. Each and every one of us has the opportunity and duty to change this.

 Dehumanisation is “The denial of full humanness in others and the cruelty and suffering that accompanies it. A practical definition refers to it as the viewing and treatment of other persons as though they lack the mental capacities that are commonly attributed to human beings”.

Please write or phone in with your thoughts and feedback. We would love to hear from you at Newsletter@croydonvision.org.uk.

Glen Brazier – Volunteer

The Beauty of Diversity of Thought 

Diversity of thought and inclusion are at the core of who we are and what we believe in. The varied backgrounds of our Leadership Team (Board of Trustees and CEO), Staff and Volunteers truly represent the community we serve, an example of our relentless drive to meaningful diversity and inclusion.

Karen Blackett OBE recently featured in ‘The Bottom Line’, a very interesting series of business programmes on BBC Radio 4. Karen is an inspirational figure who combines multiple roles including UK Country Manager for WPP and the UK Government Race Equality Business Champion. Karen encourages organisations to increase the progression of ethnic minority staff at senior levels by removing barriers and embedding initiatives such as mentoring and sponsorship programmes. Karen reminded us of the paramount importance of diversity of thought. The word ‘diversity’ invokes images of a workplace consisting of people from different backgrounds, cultures and genders. While those aspects of diversity are certainly critical, we cannot forget about the benefits of diversity of thought.

What good is promoting diversity if everyone thinks the same way? The key to successfully implementing diversity is to have a team with different backgrounds and diverse thoughts. Only then will true innovation and growth be possible as Karen highlighted in her conversations with the BBC.

Furthermore, Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, dislikes social cohesion and, instead, prefers open disagreement in meetings. As the company’s website says: “Have backbone; disagree and commit. Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting.”

Incidentally, Susanette Mansour (our CEO who is passionate about growth, empowerment and learning) has been invited to feature in a video curated by Croydon BME Forum as part of Black History Month. We look forward to sharing more in our next Newsletter!

Ines Canellas-Jager – Business Development Manager

Information To Help & Protect All

COVID-19 Guidelines

Croydon Vision are exempt from the ‘Rule of Six’ because we are a charity, and our activities support people in the community.

Indeed, we pride ourselves in being certified as a COVID-19 Secure Business. We will continue to follow our well-though health and safety measures in addition to social distancing rules (including imposing limits on number of people per meeting room as required).

COVID Testing Site, New Addington

Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has approved Croydon’s first Local Testing Site, which will be located at Addington Community Association, Central Parade (a car park). This will be open from Friday 18th September, 8 am-8 pm, seven days a week. 

The site will operate on an appointment-only basis. Tests must be booked in advance, at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus or by phoning 119. Of course, a priority system will operate to promote smart processing due to a growing demand for tests.

Public Health England have overseen the quality control processes to ensure maximum safety for all visitors. Please remember to obey by social distancing measures and follow the news to stay informed as developments are moving quickly.

NHS Is Here For You – New Campaign!

The NHS South West London CCG and Croydon University Hospital have created a short film offering reassurance to local people that it is safe to return to the NHS for treatment. Enjoy!  https://vimeo.com/456643745/b873180904

Health & Connectivity

Engagement Through Talking Therapies

We have now started our new Counselling Service, known as Talking Therapies. Vanessa is our new Counsellor and will be available on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. This is both a virtual and face to face service. Please call Reception if you would like to book an appointment or require further information. We have received excellent feedback from members so far!

‘Fit and Fab’ Women’s Group

Croydon Vision proudly announces the start of a new fitness program for women. This is part of the ‘This Girl Can’ initiative by Sport England. We will be offering 12 weeks of sessions through a fun delivery mix of face to face (Bedford Hall), Zoom and via audio recordings using a USB stick (just like a talking book!).

We are asking our members to contribute to the exercises so we make it fun and accessible to all. Please call Reception to share your ideas. Let’s get fit and looking fabulous!

Reflecting On Lloyd Park Walk (18th September)

Member, Volunteers and Staff truly enjoyed this wonderful Friday in Lloyd Park. The walk was a great success and we will be planning more events like this in the near future.

“I walked all the way around the park on my mobility scooter. Very accessible. The weather was good too! It was a great day out

Raymond – Member

“The walk was challenging but the company made it more bearable!”

Glen –Volunteer

I really enjoyed the walk!”  Wendy – member

Embracing Tech Open Day

On Monday 26th October we will be hosting a very special Technology Open Day.

  • You will be able to book a half hour slot with Katherine and Ola either face-to-face or via telephone. Please contact Reception as unscheduled walk-ins won’t be accepted.
  • Additionally, you will be able to view a number of pre-recorded videos on our YouTube channel on how to use certain tech.
  • We will have a Q&A session on Facebook Live so you can get interactive and ask any questions you may have.

Supporting Croydon Refuge Day Centre

Croydon Refuge Day Centre (CRDC) is based at West Croydon Baptist Church. Like many charities, they had to go into near total lockdown for many months. They offer a selection of food, second-hand clothes and information to asylum seekers and those already granted refugee status. English lessons are also available to women.

Many of their volunteers are currently unavailable to help due to COVID-19, however they have managed to open a walk-through clothing service.

This is very much needed as many of their guests are arriving by boat in just the clothes they are wearing. Imagine that! There is therefore a great need for winter footwear, socks and all types of clothes in all sizes.

If you have clothes that you wish to donate, please drop them by Reception and we will organise for them to be collected by CRDC.  

Thank you for your support!

Dates for Your Diary


By Appointment Only

Monday – Thursday

Resource Centre, IT Sessions,

Information & Advice

By Appointment Only

Monday – Friday

Outreach Home Visits – Please contact an Outreach Officer to arrange a visit

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday

Phone based Talking Therapies

Monday 5th October 1.30pm

Via Zoom

The Glaucoma Group are meeting virtually via conference call. Please email glaucomagroupcroydon@gmail.com to receive updates and information. Please ask Reception for any further support

Monday 12th October

Macular Society Groups are meeting virtually via conference call. They meet every second Monday of the month at 1pm. To join the call please dial 0126 4560 225 and press number 1 when asked for your pin. You can call from your landline, charged at your local rate

Wednesday 21st October

Sarah’s Essential Aromas – Fully qualified Aroma Therapist, providing massages using essential oils, customised exclusively for the individuals. £20 for ½ hour, £30 1 hour. To book please call Reception

Tuesday 27th & Wednesday 28th October

Our Living with Sight Loss course has gone virtual (11 am – 1.30pm via Zoom and conference call).  Please call Reception for further information

Facebook Live Events

Check our website, Twitter alerts, Members Bulletins and Reception for exciting updates!


Please do not visit Croydon Vision without previously contacting Reception and arranging a visit. Thank you for your consideration.

Team Quiz

This month’s quiz is to test your knowledge on some of some of the great British black females who have contributed to society and have achieved amazing successes.

  1. In which war did Mary Seacole set up the “British Hotel” behind the lines?

Fact – Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands became the first-ever autobiography published by a free black woman in the British Empire.

  1. Maggie Aderin-Pocock is a space scientist who was awarded an MBE in 2009 for her work in science education. Which BBC show does she regularly present?
  2. Dina Asher-Smith is a British sprinter. At the 2019 World Championship she set a new British world record in the 100m, what was her time: a) 9.83 seconds b) 10.83 seconds c) 11.83 seconds

Fact – She is the fastest British woman in recorded history.

  1. Who was the first ever black woman to be elected to parliament in 1987?
  2. Who became the first ever black person to become Children’s Laureate in 2013?
  3. Joan Armatrading became the first female UK artist to be nominated for a Grammy in the blues category. How many times in totals was she nominated?

Fact – She became the first female UK artist to debut at number 1 in the Billboards blues chart.

  1. Crimean War 2. The Sky at Night B) 10.83 seconds 4. Diane Abbott 5. Malorie Blackman 6. 3


From now on we will be offering a Takeaway Food Service for those members who would like to plan ahead and purchase food for later in the week.

Please place an order at least 24 hours in advance and pick it up when you come to Bedford Hall. Each portion will be £5 as usual.

The week beginning 26th October there will be an Afro-Caribbean style side dish for members at Bedford Hall to try to celebrate Black History Month.

Croydon Vision – Eat Well, Live Well and Age Well

Includes main course and dessert                                                                        

Monday 5th October

Meat: Cheesy pasta and chicken bake served with steamed vegetables 
Vegetarian: Cheesy pasta bake served with steamed vegetables
Fish: Baked cod with potatoes served with steamed vegetables

Fruit salad served with ice cream and yogurt


Tuesday 6th October

Meat: Meatball stew served with rice or potatoes and steamed vegetables
Vegetarian: Plant base meatball stew served with rice or potatoes and steamed vegetables 
Fish: Baked cod with potatoes served with steamed vegetables        

Homemade semolina or fruit salad served with ice cream and yogurt


Wednesday 7th October

Meat: Shepherd’s pie served with steamed vegetables 
Vegetarian: Diced potatoes, leek and onion bake with steamed veg
Fish: Baked salmon served with potatoes and steamed vegetables

Strawberry angel delight or fruit salad with ice-cream or yogurt


Thursday 8th October

Meat: Chicken and leek pie served with steamed vegetables
Vegetarian: Chickpeas, butter beans and lentil stew served with rice or potatoes and steamed vegetables 
Fish: Baked cod served with potatoes and steamed vegetables   

Chocolate sponge cake with custard or fruit salad with ice cream


Monday 12th October

Meat: Chicken fried rice served with mixed salad
Vegetarian: Vegetable fried rice served with mix salad
Fish: Baked salmon served with potatoes and steamed vegetables

Homemade vanilla cheesecake or fruit salad with ice cream or yogurt


Tuesday 13th October

Meat: Roast pork served with roast potatoes, steamed veg and gravy
Vegetarian: Tofu and vegetable curry served with rice or potatoes and mixed salad 
Fish: Baked haddock served with potatoes and steamed vegetables

Rice pudding with strawberry jam or fruit salad with ice cream


Wednesday 14th October

Meat: Chilli con carne with rice or potatoes and steamed vegetables
Vegetarian: Cheese and onion quiche with steamed vegetables 
Fish: Baked cod served with roast potatoes and steamed vegetables

Apple pie with custard or fruit salad with yogurt or ice cream


Thursday 15th October

Meat: Penne pasta Bolognese served with steamed vegetables
Vegetarian: Broccoli and mushroom pasta bake with steamed veg
Fish: Baked haddock served with potatoes and steamed vegetables

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


Monday 19th October

Meat: Beef stew served with mash and steamed vegetables
Vegetarian: Vegetable stew served with mash and mixed salad 
Fish: Baked cod served with potatoes and steamed vegetables

Fruit salad with ice cream or yogurt


Tuesday 20th October

Meat: Roast chicken with roast potatoes, steamed veg and gravy     
Vegetarian: Vegetarian sausages with steamed vegetables and gravy
Fish: Baked salmon with roast potatoes and steamed vegetables 

Chocolate brownies or fruit salad with ice cream or yogurt


Wednesday 21st October

Meat: Chicken and diced potatoes in creamy sauce with steamed veg
Vegetarian: Vegetarian sausages and diced potatoes in creamy sauce with steamed veg
Fish: Baked cod served with potatoes and steamed vegetables

Plum crumble with custard or fruit salad with ice cream or yogurt


Thursday 22nd October

Meat: Roast beef with roast potatoes, steamed vegetables and gravy
Vegetarian: Cauliflower cheese with roast potatoes and steamed veg
Fish: Pan fried salmon with roast potatoes and steamed vegetables

Banoffee pie or fruit salad with ice cream or yogurt


Monday 26th October

Meat: Chicken hot pot served with steamed vegetables and gravy
Vegetarian: Vegetable hot pot served with mixed salad 
Fish: Baked cod served with roast potatoes and steamed vegetables

Side dish
Fried yam

Fruit salad with yogurt or ice cream


Tuesday 27th October

Meat: Lamb stew served with rice or potatoes and steamed vegetables
Vegetarian: Diced Quorn pieces in vegetable stew served with rice or potatoes and mixed salad
Fish: Baked salmon served with potatoes and steamed vegetables   

Side dish
Jollof rice

Strawberry trifle or fruit salad with ice cream or yogurt


Wednesday 28th October

Meat: Beef lasagne served with mixed salad 
Vegetarian: Vegetable lasagne served with mixed salad 
Fish:  Baked haddock served with potatoes and mixed salad

Side dish
Fried plantains

Vanilla sponge cake with custard or fruit salad with ice cream


Thursday 29th October

Meat: Roast chicken with roast potatoes, steamed veg and gravy
Vegetarian: Meatball stew with roast potatoes and steamed veg
Fish: Pan-fried salmon served with potatoes and steamed vegetables

Side dish
Rice and peas

Custard tart or fruit salad with yogurt or ice cream

We would love to have

your input!

We would love to hear your feedback and get your involvement.

Submissions for the November 2020 Newsletter are due in by
12 noon on Monday 19th October 2020 at

November’s theme will be Celebrating our Community and we look forward to hearing from you!

Sep 28, 2020

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