“I appreciate Croydon Vision very much, it is a community that develops my skills, especially on tech”- RA.


Our Voice – September 2021


We’re big fans of relaxation, of old favourites and familiarity but at the same time there’s nothing like trying something new to get your juices flowing!  

Over the summer months we’ve all had lots of opportunities to visit new places together, such as our excursions to Lloyd Park, Crystal Palace Park and Botany Bay among others. “I have had so much fun today, I really enjoyed myself” – Malcom Sines after visiting Brighton.  And of course we’ve been able to come together again for groups, lunches and the Summer Fiesta at Bedford Hall. 

Being together and enjoying fresh experiences has felt good. So let’s keep our pursuit of newness and exploration going as we head into autumn… 

This issue of Our Voice – which we now send out on a quarterly basis – is filled with dates for your diary, ideas for new hobbies and activities to try and plans for the coming year. So let’s all get stuck in and see what we can achieve when we leave our comfort zones… 

“A ship is always safe at shore, but that is not what it was built for.”
Albert Einstein 



Please do put Friday the 15th of October 4-6pm in your diary as that’s the date for this year’s AGM. The meeting will focus on the theme of ‘Walking with Purpose’, as we look at what we’ve achieved and learned in the last year and the way that will inform the year to come.  

From 3-4pm we’ll be hosting a late lunch for attendees and at 4pm the AGM presentation will commence followed by guest speakers. As an integral part of the Croydon Vision’s vibrant community we’d love to see as many members there are we can accommodate. There are 30 seats allocated to members so if you’d like to attend please email info@croydonvision.org.uk or phone: 020 8688 2486 Ext 1(Reception).  

The Annual Review will feature a section dedicated to member voices, so if you’re able to share a testimonial about what Croydon Vision means to you, please do email them to Josie: josie.robson@croydonvision.org.uk or phone: 020 8688 2486 

The minutes from last year’s AGM, along with an audio version of this year’s Annual Review will be available via the Talking News, reception and the Croydon Vision website from the 27th of September.  

NATIONAL EYE HEALTH WEEK – 20th-26th of September 

In our bid to promote good eye health in Croydon we’re planning to be out and about in our community. Please check our social media feeds or ask at Reception for more details closer to the time. 


Bedford Hall is going to be fitted with a brand new lift at the start of 2022. It’s an exciting new development for Croydon Vision, though it does mean we’ll be closed from the 17th of December until the 7th of March. Don’t worry though adapted services – including lunch deliveries – will still be available! 


The Summer Fiesta was a roaring – and actually pretty sunny – success. As well as summer tunes, a cake auction, a bamboozling quiz and a superb barbeque we raised more than £500. But the real win was getting to spend time together. Thank you to everyone who made it such a fun afternoon. 


We’re so delighted to have been chosen as SHW Property’s charity of the year. We’re still not sure who put us forward but we’re thrilled that you did and delighted to receive their support. We look forward to working in partnership with SHW, who specialise as an independent property real estate advisory business, over the coming months. 


The RNIB are responding to a health and disability green paper, which looks at how employment support, including Access to Work, and the benefits system can be improved for people with disabilities and long term health conditions. The consultation is open until 11 October and particularly focuses on employment support, including a lot of focus on Access to Work.

Here’s a short survey RNIB have put together to ask blind and partially sighted people about their experiences of the benefit system and employment support:  


If you require any assistance completing the survey, please email the RNIB at campaigns@rnib.org.uk or call them on 030 3123 9999  


Our community is all about sharing advice and experiences so we love to share recommendations from members. We were recently contacted by a members who’s discovered the Opticare Arthro 10 Eye Drop Dispenser is incredibly helpful for administering eye drops with speed and accuracy. To find out more about how it works, take a look at this Moorfields video on YouTube: 


The Mental Aerobics Social Group 

We chatted to The Mental Aerobic’s Social Group at Bedford Hall, to discuss the topic of getting out of your comfort zone. It was great to share thoughts and ideas about trying new things…  

Claire: Over lockdown we started French classes, Lauren and I. I studied French at school but I was very nervous about it. Odette soon made us feel comfortable, she’s so kind. 

Mike: When my wife died I had to leave my comfort zone by cooking for myself. I’ve never poisoned myself but I have spilled a lot. Also at the start of each session we take turns to select a piece of music to share. Today I brought along Eddi Reader (from Fairground Attraction) singing the songs of Robbie Burns. I’ve always loved exploring new music, as a child of the 60s I grew up listening to pirate radio and John Peel. These days I have regular chats with my cousin on the phone about new musical discoveries we’ve both made. Radio 3 recently introduced me to Gwenifer Raymond, who is a really wonderful guitarist. 

Lauren: I like to listen to Radio 4 to broaden my horizons. And sharing music is part of what I do to feel good. I regularly chose songs to go on Croydon Vision’s Talking News. I really love Beyoncé, I ask Alexa to play her music all the time. 

Anna-Marie: Me too! And Westlife. And I like to challenge myself by playing Word Building, it’s really good for my dyslexia. 

Evelyn: Word Building really tests my brain. It’s where we take a long word use the letters from that word to make as many smaller words as you can. Our conversations are so good for making me think in a different way; like when we talk about our three favourite meals or three famous people we’d like to have dinner with. I take the things we talk about here and discuss them with my grand-children. It makes them go “Wow!”  

Anna: I’m really looking forward to starting at Goldsmith’s University in September. But I’m nervous too. I’ll be doing an MA in social work which is definitely outside my comfort zone! 


Shalini O’Kane 

Shalini is passionate about food, so she can often be found helping Isha in the kitchen, as well as online running Facebook cooking classes. Macular dystrophy means her vision is quite low, but she doesn’t let that stop her doing what she loves… 

What have you been doing at Croydon Vision over summer? 

It’s been so nice to be back and interacting with people this summer. There are happy and positive vibes at Bedford Hall! The Summer Fiesta BBQ was lovely and chilled, with everyone feeling happy and well looked-after. I loved making salads with Isha, she uses different ingredients to me and G’s special chicken marinade was very good! I was also at the LinkedIn workshop that Odette ran so attentively for working age members. The whole team helped me to improve my LinkedIn profile, which I think will be really useful in my working life as a paid cook. 

Who have you enjoyed seeing? 

Lauren is so fun to be around and he always recognises my voice and often wants seconds! And Anna is so good to talk to. Then there’s Isha, she knows everyone so well that she’ll season the food she cooks differently for different members. I hope that by helping here enough I’ll be able to do that! 

What gives you energy? Cooking! That’s the greatest thing for me. I have always believed that people who can’t see so well often have hidden talents and I now know that making food for people is mine. I’m so happy that I can do that for my work now. 

How good are you at trying new things? Let’s see, well today I’m making a dish that I’ve been cooking since I was a girl but I want to change it up. So I’m researching ways to do that by watching videos and collecting new ideas. I’m not too strict about following recipes; I go with the flow and I’m always up for trying new things in the kitchen. 

What tips would you give to visually impaired people, looking to try new things in the kitchen? Don’t stress about measuring everything out, instead add ingredients a bit at a time and taste as you go. You can always add more but you can’t really remove them once they’re in the pot. And remember, you don’t need your eyes to taste! 

What words of wisdom do you live by? 

Carry on! I have Lupus and I’ve been to ICU a few times with it, I also lost the use of the muscles in my legs at one point. I had to relearn to walk. When my husband complains I remind him of that! I just got through it. I suppose I believe that if you happen to have a bad time, just carry on being strong and eventually things tend to pass. Don’t get me wrong, I do get sad and frustrated but I work through tough times and usually come out the other side.  

Shaking things up!  

We’re all on a journey of growth at Croydon Vision, so to ensure we’re all on the same page we’ll outline the Croydon Vision members of staff below, their job titles and what they do here…  

Natalie: Director of First Impressions 
“I answer enquiries and share information via reception. I have been called the eyes and ears of Croydon Vision!” Email: info@croydonvision.org.uk      Telephone: 020 8688 2486 Ext 1 

Gee: Happiness Hero 

“I ensure that our members are collected safely, and help build confidence through generally having a chat and a laugh. I also help rent out Bedford Hall for private events.” Email:gyles.gordon@croydonvision.org.uk 

Dave: The Transporter  

“Many of our members rely on me to transport them to and from Croydon Vision; to attend activities and to stay for lunch.”  Email:info@croydonvision.org.uk 

Isha: Super Chef 

“I cook healthy, tasty food for our members, liaising with volunteers to cater for all dietary needs.” Email: info@croydonvision.org.uk 

Katherine: Tech Whisperer 

“I’m passionate about enhancing the lives of people with sight loss through technology.” Email: katherine.turner@croydonvision.org.uk 
Telephone: 020 8688 2486 Ext 5 

Ola: Mr. Computer 

“I help bridge the IT gap between our members and the use of their technology and living aids at home or at Croydon Vision.” Email: oladapo.ogunyanwo@croydonvision.org.uk  Telephone: 020 8688 2486 Ext 5 

Glen: The People’s Champion 

“I provide a confidential and impartial generalist advice and advocacy, as well as emotional support for our members.” Email: glen.brazier@croydonvision.org.uk    Telephone: 020 8688 2486 Ext 3

Odette: Community Dynamo 

“I support adults in the pursuit of their personal development goals and professional ambitions.” Email: odette.battarel@croydonvision.org.uk  Telephone: 020 8688 2486 Ext 2 

Nataliya: Money Maestro 

“As the finance officer I maintain our database system, to measure qualitative social impact for Croydon Vision, Funders and Partners.” Email:nataliya.lavitskaya@croydonvision.org.uk 
Telephone: 020 8644 2486 Ext 7 

Josie: The Amplifier  

“I’m all about bringing people together, through our quarterly magazine, podcast, partnerships and PR. We’re stronger together so I’m here to amplifiy Our Voice.”  Email:josie.robson@croydonvision.org.uk 

Natasha: Operations Ninja 

I oversee quality management systems, review operational objectives, monitor risks and improve business efficiency to keep Croydon Vision going and growing. Email: natasha.t.campbell@croydonvision.org.uk Telephone: 020 8688 2486 Ext 9 

Mickella: Ambassador of Buzz 

“I sculpt the image and voice of Croydon Vision in the community, covering branding, social media and content creation. I also manage fun and engaging activities for the children and young people.” Email: mickella.hosannah@croydonvision.org.uk Telephone: 07458305928 

Susanette: The Catalyst 

“You know me! I was appointed to drive positive change for the future at Croydon Vision.” Email: susanette.mansour@croydonvision.org.uk 

Five simple ways to try something new… 

Getting stuck in a rut is all too easy. Following on from our chat with The Mental Aerobics Social Group, here are five ideas to help you say goodbye to your comfort zone and hello to brand new experiences: 

  1. Talk: Call someone you’ve not spoken to in a while. It may seem daunting if you’ve let your relationship fall by the wayside but the best time to reignite old friendships is always right now. 
  2. Taste: Eat something you wouldn’t normally eat. A different fruit, different breakfast cereal, or a different dish from your favourite takeaway menu. Give your taste-buds a break from the norm! 
  3. Time: A change is as good as a holiday, so they say, so if you’re the type of person who has the same daily and weekly routines, a subtle shift could be enough to make a big difference. Try taking your daily mid-morning walk as the sun’s coming up for example, to experience the route you know so well in a whole new way. 
  4. Tunes: Ask someone to recommend a new piece of music for you to listen to. Ideally try a new genre, or music from a different culture or generation to give the music-lover in you a whole new lease of life.  
  5. Tuesday afternoons – are craft afternoons at Bedford Hall, bring along your hobby of choice and David will facilitate everything from sewing and knitting to writing and calligraphy. The pictures below are of his calligraphy set, which he’s been sharing with members… 

TECH FOR WELLNESS: Audible weighing scales 

The Guardian reported in July that there’s been “summer health drive in England as 41% say they gained weight in lockdown”. Those who said they had put on weight, in the survey of more than 5,000 adults, gained an average of nearly half a stone (4.1kg), and 21% reported putting on a stone or more. 

It’s natural that more time spent indoors would lead to less active lifestyle, so if you’re one of that 41% and you’re looking to get on a health kick, we have just the gadget for you.  


Audible bathroom scales offer a simple way of keeping track of your weight and can be ordered via our Tech Team. We’d recommend the 
no-nonsense Terraillon Window Vocal digital bathroom scale, which are £35.99 (inc. VAT). This battery-operated talking bathroom scale has a large LCD display, adjustable volume controls and a metric/imperial conversion button. 

To discuss this as well as other models and assistive technology please do give Katherine or Ola a call on 020 8688 2486 

Looking to upskill your IT knowledge? Contact us for a training session. 


G’s Joke of the season… 

Want to hear a roof joke? The first one’s on the house. 

Overheard at Bedford Hall 

The witty Jim Smith who – after a fierce bidding-war – ended up winning Isha’s wonderful cheesecake… 

“The BBQ on the 23rd was hugely enjoyable. Much credit to the organisers, though the strawberry cheesecake was a little expensive for my liking…!”   

Conversation Starters: 

  1. What skill do you have that you’re proud of? 
  2. What’s your favourite thing about autumn?
  3. The theme of this year’s AGM is ‘walking with purpose’, which parts of your life give you a real sense of purpose?  

Activity of the Month: 

Visit wordsmith.org to learn a wonderful and impressive new word each day. If you’re on email you can even sign up to have a word a day emailed to you. There are already nearly 400,000 subscribers in 170 countries enjoying this free service, so why not broaden your vocabulary by joining them?Page Break 


  1. What L. is the main ingredient of Dahl? 
  2. What C.M. is used in South Asian dishes such as curries? 
  3. What S is served in squares in Scotland and spirals in Cumberland? 
  4. What T is a fruit but often thought of as a vegetable, used in salads? 
  5. What P has a base of bread, covered with tomatoes and cheese, topped with a variety of toppings? 
  6. Bourbons, Gingers and Digestives, are examples of what, starting with B? 
  7. What E can be fried, poached or scrambled? 
  8. What B surrounds the filling in a sandwich? 
  9. What L can be found as Iceberg, Cos and Little Gem varieties? 
  10. What N is the main ingredient in Chop Suey? 
  11. During Wimbledon tennis tournament, what S is served with cream? 
  12. There are many ways to serve what P, such as mashed, boiled and roast? 
  13. What R accompanies savoury dishes and makes milk puddings? 
  14. What D can be ringed, jam, custard and many other things? 
  15. Cod, Haddock and Salmon are collectively called what F? 


  1. Lentils 2. Coconut Milk  3. Sausage  4. Tomato  5. Pizza  
  2. Biscuits 7. Eggs 8. Bread  9. Lettuce  10. Noodles   
  3. Strawberries  12. Potatoes  13. Rice  14. Doughnut  15. Fish


By Appointment Only  

Monday – Thursday  

Resource Centre, IT Sessions, 
Advice & 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 phone. 
To find out more or book an appointment, please speak to Reception.  

Date 19th October 

9am – 12:30pm 

Chiropodist (Joy Dell), please call Reception to book an appointment.  
Thursday 2nd September 1pm   Our monthly Facebook Live event will be looking at gardening with Odette. ww.facebook.com/CroydonVision/videos 
Monday 13th September 10:30am – 12:30pm (and every other Monday)  Music Appreciation, come along and listen to a wide range of music and bring your own CDs along to share. Please book at Reception. 

Thursday 16th September and 21st October 

9:30am – 12pm  

Croydon Vision Low Vision Clinic 
(Fiona Hazell), please call Reception to book an appointment.  

Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd September 


Service Enablers Quarterly Meeting, we are recruiting Members and Volunteers to join the group. For more info, please email: Natasha.t.Campbell@croydonvision.org.uk 
Monday 20th September – Friday 24th September  National Eye Health Week, please stay tuned to find out more. 

Friday 15th October 

3pm – 6pm 

AGM – the theme is Walking with Purpose. Please book your place at reception. 
Thursday 28th – Friday 29th October 
11am – 1:30pm 
Living with Sight Loss Workshops, call Reception for more details or to book. 

Friday 12th November 

 2pm – 4pm 

Dual Sensory Session, sharing support available for those who have both hearing and sight loss. Please speak to reception for more information or to book.  

Every Wednesday 

10am – 5pm 

Moorfields Low Vision Clinic, please call Moorfields to make an appointment. 

Every Friday 

9am – 4pm 

Aromatherapy (Sarah Parry), please call Reception to book an appointment. 


We welcome your submissions for the next quarterly edition of Our Voice, the theme of which is putting the past behind us! Please submit via: Newsletter@croydonvision.org.uk 

Contact us – Croydon Vision (Charity Number: 1165086):
Bedford Hall , 72-74 Wellesley Road, Croydon CR0 2AR
Our telephone opening times are: 
Monday – 8.30am – 1pm Tuesday to Thursday – 8.30am – 4pm 

020 8688 2486 



You help us to keep doing what we do… 

A huge thank you to everyone who has made donations to Croydon Vision over the summer months, including J Smith, Mary Reddick, Mrs E D Schweitzer, Stephanie Cope at the Mayor’s Office, Jean Mathie, Kanti Patel, Champa Parmar, Bob Horn, Elphina, M. Barbour, Evelyn Wilson, Pauline, Sareet Shah, Lynette Richards Lords, Cris Rose, Graham Piper, Joyce Dodgson, Anna Clements, Kim Brown, and George Simpson, who included a note with his donation: 

“This is for all the good work and service you provide, it is all very much appreciated”. 

Thank you for supporting the work we do here. One-off donations, standing orders and legacy donations are what keep us running Croydon Vision. If you’d like to donate you can call reception on 020 8688 2486 (we accept cash, card and cheques) or visit: 


Aug 26, 2021

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“A life saver & a life change”