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


March Newsletter 2021

Good news! The clocks go forward this month! Finally, spring is officially here, even if the Croydon weather can’t be 100% relied upon.

We pray our members and volunteers are safe and continue to keep well!
Regeneration is in the air, and with it you’ll notice our newsletter is enjoying a bit of a makeover. We hope you approve, but since it’s written for you (with some of it by you) we want to make sure you like it.
To let us know what you like and dislike about your Croydon Vision Newsletters – and what you’d love to see in future editions – we’ve set up a little questionnaire. You can take a look at that here: https://rb.gy/uhv9th. Or alternatively you might get a call from a volunteer to collect your thoughts! 

Your Input Matters!

We are grateful to all our Members and Volunteers that keep sharing their feedback and comments with us. Together we are stronger, and your insights will always ‘make us better’.
Thanks in advance for participating whether via the link or phone, we appreciate your time and support. We look forward to seeing you at Bedford hall soon (see below information about the easing of lockdown restrictions).


We continue to adapt services to meet your needs through doorstep, home visits and/or virtual – we are here for you and look forward to seeing you in the spring! So many have been affected by this pandemic and we are keen to reopen Bedford Hall as soon as possible, to reduce isolation, promote wellbeing, and eye health support. However, keeping you safe is a priority of ours and after assessing matters locally and nationally, our new reopening date is 19th April.

So, this month, we will be assessing systems to ensure we reopen Bedford hall. We are a Covid-19 secure organisation and will continue to monitor our measures to minimise the risk of virus – keeping you safe.

We want your good ideas! 

Last year, we asked for your ideas for fresh new Croydon Vision services and activities and we were overwhelmed by your great responses. Manicures and pedicures, a choir group, Zumba and a drama group were just a few of our favourites. Once things open up again we’re going to get onto making your requests a reality but in the meantime keep them coming, Croydon Vision is here for you, so it only seems right you should help to shape it!

Would you care to dance? 

Open to This is an audio described dance project that helps you to keep active and open up your body with creative movements. Back in 2019 they were about to start working with us here – but we all know what happened in 2020. The aim now is to run sessions of around 20 minutes, which are likely to be virtual at first and in person at Croydon Vision in the late summer/ start of autumn.

Does this sound like something you’d like to be involved in?
We’d love to hear from you at reception if so…

A masterpiece in the making… 

We are working with Masha, our brilliant artistic Tutor, on a creative piece called “I Can, We Can”. Masha will be producing a wonderful picture to add a little sparkle to the coffee lounge but she can’t do it without your help.
So, what pops into your mind when you hear the words “I Can We Can”? Please do share your ideas about what could be included in the piece; we’d love to hear from you.


Shouting out our Befriending Team – our thanks and appreciation for their commitment to supporting members.

If you feel you could benefit from additional support to strengthen your wellbeing why not join our Talking Therapies programme led by Vanessa Gordon? Call us to discuss. Alternatively, if you want to join our Befrienders team, we are always welcoming the opportunity for new volunteers. You can find more information on our website: www.croydonvision.org.uk. Otherwise contact us by email volunteers@croydonvision.org.uk. Telephone: 020 8688 2486 to liaise with a member of staff.


The clocks will be going forwards on Sunday 31st March, which is great news for vitamin D fans but can be a bit rough on your body clock. Here are three top tips for enjoying the transition:

1. Experts recommend that when trying to adjust your sleep schedule, you start very slowly, getting up 15 minutes earlier each day leading up to the 31st.
2. Try to rejig your evenings to be more restful. Junk food and exercise close to bedtime is a no-no; taking a bath instead is a great way to ease into an early bedtime.
3. Exercise can help regulate the body’s internal clock, so in response to the shifting clock, why not kick start that workout plan you’ve had on the cards since January?

To help motivate you, check out our SEE Hub videos:
http://seehub.croydonvision.org.uk/portal/category/get-active/. Alternatively, join our talking news and an exercise programme will be posted to you – call us for more info.

Got any top tips for a restful sleep? Share them with us on Facebook, or pop us an email on volunteers@croydonvision.org.uk
Alternatively call us on 0208 688 2486 to share your ideas. Keen to try something experimental to improve your sleep? This TED Talk “How to Trick Your Brain Into Falling Asleep” by Jim Donovan is well worth a watch: https://rb.gy/9tk4g9. Jim is something of a drumming guru and he’s developed a simple tapping technique anyone can do, that’s pretty good at slowing down the rhythms of the body and mind!


8th March

  • All children and students will return to face-to-face education.
  • Wraparound childcare and other supervised children’s activities can resume where they enable parents to work or seek support.
  • Care home residents will be allowed one regular visitor provided they are tested and wear PPE.
  • The Stay-at-Home requirement will remain, but people can leave home for recreation outdoors such as a coffee or picnic with their household or bubble, or one person outside their household.
  • Some university students on practical courses will be able to return to face-to-face learning.

29th March

  • Outdoor gatherings of either 6 people or 2 households will be allowed, providing greater flexibility for families to see each other. This includes in private gardens.
  • Outdoor sports facilities, such as tennis and basketball courts will be allowed to reopen, and people can take part in formally.
  • At this point, the Stay-at-Home order will end, although many lockdown restrictions will remain.
  • You should continue to work from home where possible, and overseas travel remains banned, aside for a small number.

12th April

  • Non-essential retail, personal care premises, such as hairdressers and nail salons, and public buildings, such as libraries and community centres, will reopen.
  • Most outdoor attractions and settings, including zoos, and theme parks, will also reopen although wider social contact rules will apply in these settings to prevent indoor mixing. Drive-in cinemas and drive-in performances permitted.
  • Indoor leisure facilities, such as gyms and swimming pools, will also reopen – but only for use by people on their own or household.
  • Hospitality venues can serve people outdoors only. Customers must order, eat and drink while seated. • Self-contained accommodation, such as holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households, can also reopen.
  • Funerals can continue with up to 30 people, and the numbers able to attend weddings, receptions, and wakes will rise to 15 (from 6).

19th April

  • Croydon Vision will reopen Mondays and Wednesdays only, adapted services will continue to 14th May based on demand.
  • 17th May – Inward services will resume fully and maintain virtual.

17th May

  • Outdoors, most social contact rules will be lifted – although gatherings of over 30 people will remain illegal.
  • Outdoor performances such as outdoor cinemas, outdoor theatres and outdoor cinemas reopen, Indoors, rule of 6 or 2 households.
  • Indoor hospitality, entertainment venues such as cinemas and soft play areas, the rest of the accommodation sector, and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes will also reopen.
  • Larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is lower) will also be allowed, as will those in outdoor venues with a capacity of 4000.
  • In the largest outdoor seated venues where crowds can spread out, up to 10,000 people will be able to attend (or a quarter-full).
  • Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions, and wakes, as well as funerals and other life events such as christenings.

21st June

  • It is hoped all legal limits on social contact can be removed.
  • Lift restrictions on large events and performances that apply.
  • This will also guide decisions on whether all limits can be removed on weddings and other life events.


Maxine Plowden, From Undervalued to Empowered

I have memories of Croydon Vision (CV)  from when I was a child; I was at a school for children with Visual Impairments and CV had an annual party for members. This was my first experience and I really enjoyed it. I was really young – I don’t even remember going through a referral process – but as I got older, I got to know more about CV and came to appreciate it in an entirely different way.

I entered the world of work through an access course. I considered becoming a counsellor but eventually decided to get into Social Work.
It was good work that I believed in but once I became a Social Worker I realised that those around me assumed that I was incapable of doing the job. Colleagues would focus more on my disability, rather than my qualifications and whether I needed to receive the services we provided, rather than help to plan them.

Throughout my working life I’ve spent a lot of time being unemployed, rather than employed. I’ve done a lot of short-term agency work, though a number of agencies turned me down once they found out that I have a disability. Eventually I took the difficult decision to leave Social Work; I just wasn’t progressing, as I wanted to. This was something of a turning point for me as it’s when I returned to CV, this time as a volunteer.

I found out through the Sensory Impairment Team that they had expanded their services and I was able to get support with administrative tasks. I joined the Working Age Group, helped out with the newsletter and then began an internship at Thomas Pocklington Trust.

When I was younger, the hospitals and CV didn’t work together, they were separate entities. It’s brilliant to see how far they’ve come and how they are starting to work in unison now. Their work makes a huge difference to working age people like me, who just want a chance to make society better for everyone.

More from our members this month…
“I’m so grateful to receive the meals twice a week; it’s been such a great service.” – Bernadette.

“Thanks for helping find a device that helps me read. This has been useful during the lockdown.” – Elisabeth.

“It’s nice to come home and see mum has been looked after with food and social interaction.” – Family of member.

“The befriending service has been really good, considering that there are others too.” – Stephen.

“Thank you so much, I really appreciate the meals, they are smashing” – Claire White.

 “We would like to thank you for all you did for mum over the years, Croydon Vision was a great help to her and we really appreciate it.” Margaret Cobby’s son.

More from our members this month…

  • I’m so grateful to receive the meals twice a week; it’s been such a great service. – Bernadette
  • Thanks for helping find a device that helps me read. This has been useful during the lockdown. – Elisabeth
  • It’s nice to come home and see mum has been looked after with food and social interaction. – Family of member
  • The befriending service has been really good, considering that there are others too. – Stephen
  • “Thank you so much, I really appreciate the meals, they are smashing” – Claire White
  • “We would like to thank you for all you did for mum over the years, Croydon Vision was a great help to her and we really appreciate it.” Margaret Cobby’s son


Trevor Sylvah – 6 Months On…

Trevor joined Croydon Vision in August 2020 and has been supporting staff, members and volunteers in a variety of different ways since then. He is now recognised as a friendly face around Croydon Vision and we love having him around.

Trevor has struggled in previous work environments, feeling as though he never quite fitted in. However, throughout his time volunteering at Croydon Vision, Trevor has undertaken training in Food Hygiene, First Aid and Fire Safety. He has also helped out with everything from researching, and befriending to meal preparation for our members. Consistent and reliable, Trevor has been supporting our adapted services and is always ready and willing to assist our members whenever necessary.

Trevor enjoys making a difference by giving back and feels the support he’s received from us has helped his confidence grow. This is something all the staff have noticed, it’s been a joy to watch his development here.
It’s Trevor’s hands-on approach and can-do attitude that have to be credited with his ongoing progression. His family have enjoyed watching him grow and love that there is somewhere he can go to obtain support. Recently he started working with an Employment Coach and is progressing towards his job aspirations, so we’re excited to see where he goes from here…


Mickella Hosannah- Brand Manager, Young People
Congratulations on your new role, tell us about it!

I create and review strategies that will change how people perceive the image and voice of Croydon Vision through social media, advertising, design or events.

What are you excited about this month?
I am excited to host a reading session with the children and young people. They have been giving me book suggestions and we are swaying towards one written by David Walliams!

What’s your biggest challenge this month?
My biggest challenge is making sure I capture the essence of Croydon Vision on social media this month so that the member’s voices are heard in support of ‘national save your vision’ month.

What would you like our members to know about?
I would like our members to know that we will be having more competitions and giveaways happening this year. We recently had a social media giveaway for a Christmas skincare hamper in December and wait for it… we will be advertising a book giveaway to celebrate world book day on 4th March.

Tell us something that happened to you at Bedford Hall recently? Recently I rang the bell to enter the front door and Natalie let me into the building, but Gee also heard the bell and headed down to open the door at the same time so we nearly ran into each other and I gave him a fright!

Can you recommend a book, film, TV show or place that you have visited this month?
There is a virtual crafts day on the 6th March @12pm and a virtual reading session on the 20th March @1pm for the children and young people.


Gadget of the Month

Labelling – both low tech and high!

There are many ways to label things so that you can tell what they are, from using bumpons (sparingly), writing things with a thicker pen or using colour to help you identify things.


Bumpons are sticky tactile dots that you can attach to items to help identify things. You could put bumpons on your thermostat to help you line up temperatures, or on the microwave to identify buttons.


The PenFriend is a hand held recorder that you place against special sticky labels and then record your own message, to play back the message all you have to do is put the pen against the labels. If you need more labels then come with your PenFriend, you can buy more but you have to get a different set of labels otherwise they won’t work. We have a PenFriend in the Resource Centre and many of the items have been labelled with PenFriend dots, so if you would like to have a go with it please do come and visit us.

Bumpons: 10p per bumpon

Thick pen: £1

Pen Friend: £81.99

Pen Friend additional stickers: £13.

If you would like to know more about labelling items, give Katherine or Ola a call. We are here to support you over the phone or alternatively we can schedule a home visit by calling reception on 020 8688 2486.

Hack of the Month

Since light switches are often a similar colour to a wall, finding one you’re not familiar with can be tricky. So we were impressed by the idea of framing your light switches with coloured tape, or even card to increase the contrast. Bright idea eh?

Got a tip, trick or hack you’d like to share with other Croydon Vision members? Email: newsletter@croydonvision.org.uk.

G’s Joke of the Month

Yesterday I saw a guy spill all his Scrabble letters on the road.  I asked him, “What’s the word on the street?”

Overheard at Bedford Hall

“I cannot get enough of Bridgerton. From the clothes to the parties and the classical versions of modern music to the excellent Lady Whistledown twist. Such a joyful thing to watch and a breath of fresh air for spring!” Mickella

All episodes available with audio description on Netflix!

Thinking Time

Three questions to think about over a cuppa, discuss with a friend or even chat about over a family dinner…

  1. If you had to pick only one – would you want to be a great singer or a great dancer? Why?
  2. If you went to another planet – what would you bring with you?
  3. Can you think of three things you’re really good at?


  1. When is the first day of spring?
    a, 1st of March           b, 5th of March          c, 20th of March 
  1. Which flower, the national emblem of Wales, heralds the arrival of spring?
  2. Does spring start at the same time in Ireland?
  3. What is the definition of spring?
    a, longer days         b, new beginnings         c, hotter days
  1. Where does the water come from in spa towns?
  2. How long does spring last?
  3. Complete the proverb…’never cast a clout till —— is out’
  4. What is special about March the 21st?
  5. Which famous flower show is held at the royal Hospital?
  6. Which animated cartoon character said ‘time for bed’?
  7. Which spring flower is linked with Croydon?
  8. Christopher McCausland is a blind comedian who used what toy to teach his children maths during lockdown?
  9. In which decade was the trampoline invented?
    a, 1910                          b, 1920                              c, 1930
  1. How many bank holidays are there in spring?
    a, 2                                       b, 4                                   c, 5
  1. Which spring bulb originated in Holland?
  2. Why do some people not look forwards to spring?


1 c, 20th March 2, Daffodil 3, no 4, b, new beginnings 5, Springs 6, 3 months or ¼ of a year 7, May 8, spring equinox Same length of day and night 9, Chelsea Flower show 10, Zebedee 11, Crocus…the name Croydon comes from the same derivation as crocus and the flower was farmed here 12, pogo stick 13, b, 1930s 14, b, 4 15, Tulip 16, they suffer from hay fever.


Croydon Vision – Eat well, Live well & Age well

(Includes choice of main course and dessert)

Tuesday, 2nd March

Meat: Cottage pie served with steamed vegetables

Vegetarian: Cauliflower cheese with steamed vegetables

Dessert: Homemade rice pudding with jam or fruit salad served with ice cream or yogurt


Thursday, 4th March

Meat:  Stew chicken served with rice or potatoes and steamed vegetables

Fish: Baked Cod with potatoes served with steamed vegetables

Dessert:  Homemade plum crumble with custard or fruit salad served with ice cream and yogurt


Tuesday, 9th March

Meat: Chicken hotpot served with steamed vegetables

Fish: Baked Haddock served with potatoes and steamed vegetables

Dessert: Homemade strawberry angle delight or fresh fruit salad with ice cream or yogurt


Thursday, 11th March

Meat: Roast pork served with roast potatoes, steamed vegetables and gravy

Vegetarians: Vegetable pasta bake served with salad

Dessert: Homemade bread and butter pudding with custard or seasonal fruit salad with yogurt or ice cream.


Tuesday, 16th March 

Meat: Chicken casserole served with mash and steamed vegetables

Fish: Baked Salmon served with potatoes and steamed vegetables

Dessert: Homemade semolina pudding with custard or seasonal fruit salad with yogurt or ice cream


Thursday, 18th March

Meat: Chicken fried rice served with mixed salad

Vegetarian: Vegetable fried rice served mixed salad

Dessert: Homemade sponge cake with custard or fruit salad with ice-cream or yogurt


Tuesday, 23rd March

Meat: Pasta Bolognese served with steamed vegetables

Fish: Baked Cod served with potatoes and steamed vegetables

Dessert: Homemade Mixed berry crumble with custard or summer fruit salad served with ice cream or yogurt


Thursday, 25th March

Meat: Chicken in breadcrumbs served with chips and beans

Vegetarian: Macaroni cheese served with steamed vegetables

Dessert: Homemade lemon cheese cake or seasonal fruit salad with yogurt or ice cream


Tuesday, 30th March

Meat: Meatball stew served with rice or potatoes and steamed vegetables

Fish: Baked Cod served with potatoes and steamed vegetables

Dessert: Homemade chocolate sponge cake with custard or summer fruit salad served with ice cream or yogurt


Thursday, 1st April

Meat: Roast Chicken served with roast potatoes steamed vegetables and gravy

Vegetarian: Roast vegetarian sausages served with roast potatoes, steamed vegetables and gravy

Dessert: Homemade strawberry trifle or seasonal fruit salad with yogurt or ice cream



By Appointment   Only

Monday – Thursday

Resource Centre, IT Sessions, Advice and Advocacy.

By Appointment Only

Monday – Friday


Outreach Home Visits, please contact Reception to arrange a visit.

Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays


Talking Therapies is over the telephone. If you would like to find out more or book an appointment, please speak to Reception.
Thursday 11th and Friday 12th March from 11am – 1:30pm Living with Sight Loss Workshops, please call Reception to book.
Wednesday 21st April from 09:00am – 01:00pm

Chiropodist (Joy Dell), please call Reception to book an appointment


Thursday 15th April from 09:30am – 12:00pm Croydon Vision Low Vision Clinic (Fiona Hazell), please call Reception to book an appointment.
Due to staff matters –
new date in April 2021 tbc
Low Vision Clinic by Moorfields, please book directly via Moorfields.

Facebook Live events every Thursdays at 4pm – Join us:


What’s coming in March 2021?

4th March Be Creative with craft Masha Croydon Vision’s Art Tutor have an egg box, pens, paint, ruler, scissors and bits and bobs at hand
11th March Getting ready for employment Rita and Fabiana from the Educational Development Trust Pre-employment work coaches
18th March Delicious recipe from Mauritius With Shalini O’Kane Cooking at home
25th March Quick wins Little things that make your life easier on your compute


We welcome your submissions for the April 2021 “Easter” Edition by 12 noon on Monday 15th March 2021.
Please email us:  Newsletter@croydonvision.org.uk.


Feb 25, 2021

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“A life saver & a life change”