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


Our Voice – December 2021


“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy
not on fighting the old but on building the new.” Socrates

As the year draws to a close we bid a fond farewell to Katherine and Ola, to usher in a new age of tech and accessibility here. We’ve recently welcomed Sarah Grand, our new fundraiser, to the team. Plus, we’re preparing for the lift-related renovations and adapted services for the beginning of the year.

We’ve also taken time to reflect on the past year at our ‘Walking with Purpose’ AGM. One of the key take-always was “What is something you could do today for one, that you wish you could do for everyone? Imagine what would happen at Croydon Vision, if more people began approaching situations with this mindset?” As an organization that’s here to empower our members, we rely on you to contribute to our community; after all you only get out what you put in.

Finally, we’d like to wish all our members and volunteers a very happy Christmas, which is why we made a festive video for you all. Feel free to watch / listen to it via this link:



Sat 11th Dec 12-3pm

Merton Vision are hosting our children’s Christmas party this year. It will be more festive than a turkey wrapped in tinsel and include games, food, a DJ and a Santa’s Grotto too! To book your ticket email mickella.hosannah@croydonvision.org.uk by 4th Dec.

Thurs 16th Dec

Hopefully you’ve now booked your ticket for our festive lunch (payment due by 2nd Dec). Tickets are £10 and include lunch, entertainment and Christmas gift stalls (please do bring cash).

Meat option: Roast turkey, roast potatoes, pigs in blankets, brussel sprouts, cranberry sauce, roasted vegetables and gravy.
Vegetarian: Plant based roast with roast potatoes, roasted vegetables, brussel sprouts, cranberry sauce and gravy.
Fish: Pan-fried seabass served with roast potatoes, roasted vegetables, cranberry sauce, brussel sprouts and gravy.
Dessert: Christmas pudding served with custard or clotted cream OR fruit salad with ice cream or mince pies with clotted cream.
Drinks: Mulled wine, Prosecco, Tea and Coffee

Tues 7th Dec from 10am – 12pm

After chatting with members who found they had to throw away clothes that needed repairing, we thought we’d do something about it. So our lovely volunteer Bharat, his wife and a few friends have offered to come to Croydon Vision to do small repairs, such as replacing buttons and fixing small holes. They’ll be doing on-the-spot repairs, so do remember to bring your garments in and we’ll save the planet one shirt at a time!

for January and February 2022

Tech role interviews were held on 25th and 26th November, and we’re hoping to have new starters in Jan 2022. The interim plan involves basic tech support from Odette / Glen (phone or home visits). In the meantime a waiting list will be compiled for once the new Tech Trainer starts. Thanks for your understanding as we re-shape this service.

Mondays & Wednesdays: Excursions – including theatres, restaurants, museums etc.

Tuesdays & Thursdays: Lunch deliveries, please call Reception 0208 688 2486 to book a delivery at least 24 hours in advance.

One-to-one appointments: with Glen (advice and advocacy) and Odette (working age and personal development) will be taking place in the community and at the BME Forum on Thursday mornings. Directions will be shared when you book your meeting.

Social groups will be taking place virtually, to find out more please call Reception on 0208 688 2486

Chiropodist appointments can take place in your home, to book a visit from Joy please call Reception on 0208 688 2486

Working age group meetings and French classes will be taking place both virtually and in person. For more information please email Odette: odette.battarel@croydonvision.org.uk

Monday 13th December (1-3.30pm): The Macular Eye Support Group will be meeting at Bedford Hall, followed by a Living with Sight Loss Workshop.

Monday 6th December (2-3.30pm), Friday 10th December (10.30-1pm): Living with Sight Loss workshops



Nigel & Susanette

The pandemic has been a game changer, with opportunities and challenges intertwined. Together, we’ve weathered some storms and had to think fast to make sure that Croydon Vision remains a vibrant community. We’re grateful to serve and journey this road with you all.

Building a Sustainable Future

Many organisations, like ours, have faced significant challenges, particularly in securing income to support the valuable services we provide. In light of this, we need to be flexible and diversify our income streams, so we can build a long-term future. One way we hope to do this is by generating extra income through improving our buildings and creating space for hire, whilst
enhancing facilities for our members. The lift project is an important part of this next phase in our development, and we’ve secured funding to make it happen.

Culture of Collaboration

We want to strengthen the way we all work together as we build for the future. It is important to note that the Board of Trustees are responsible for the overall administration, financial oversight and support on strategic planning. The new ‘Members Representative’ role will be important as we collectively develop our thinking and strategic plans, to help ensure that there is effective engagement between the board, staff, members and volunteers on important issues. Questions
and feedback relating to operational matters should continue to be directed to group leaders, staff or managers.

Thriving Through Collaboration

It is crucial that we blend the ideas of collaboration and cooperation into the fabric of Croydon Vision, to ensure the organisation thrives. Members and volunteers demonstrated this so well recently, their feedback on the lift for 2022, making sure it is legally complaint as per Equality Act 2010 (DDA). As we edge into 2022, we are encouraging each person to commit by asking; “What can I do to help CV?” Looking for ways to lend your time, resources, and expertise to the colleagues that need it.

We Listen & Act – Plans for 2022:

> Coaching for Board Readiness Programme
Meeting once a month, next meeting date; 18th January 2022.
> Monthly Progress Report by Natasha
Pertaining to Health & Safety, Funding etc.
> Service Enablers meetings will now split into two groups:
1. ‘Let’s Talk and Improve’, facilitated by Managers.
This group will focus on day to day operations. To reflect on service provision, discuss problems and find solutions together.
2. ‘Looking Forward’, chaired by Susanette, with support from Member’s Representative. The focus will be on bright ideas we can develop together, over a 6-12months.

Both meetings will be hosted quarterly, please contact Natalie or Natasha to sign up – you can join one or both groups.

We’re hoping to see many of you at the Christmas party and to everyone else, wishing you a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year ahead.



Sharing our views at the AGM and going forward…

This year’s AGM was focused on the theme of Walking with Purpose; it was a great afternoon full of good food, inspirational speakers and – perhaps most importantly of all – member voices. A lively Q&A, shared stories and pre-recorded feedback from younger members made it really memorable. To continue the theme of member feedback, below you’ll find a short questionnaire about the Our Voice newsletter, which was mentioned at the AGM.

We’ll be actively collecting feedback at the start of 2022 based on the questions below, so please do think about how Our Voice can serve you best and feel free to send your thoughts to josie.robson@croydonvision.org.uk

1. Do you enjoy receiving your Croydon Vision newsletter?

2. What do you read the newsletter for?
a. To feel informed about news at Croydon Vision
b. To learn new things / get new perspectives
c. To feel part of the community
d. Other

3. What percentage of the newsletter do you tend to read?

4. Is there anything the newsletter doesn’t contain that you’d
like to see in there?

5. Which of the following do you want to know about but find
difficult to find out about?
a. News about Croydon Vision
b. News about Croydon
c. National news to do with blindness / visual impairment
d. What your fellow members are up to
e. Advice about health and personal growth
f. Other

To view the survey in full please visit:


In other news the team have been working hard to reach new members, and so our vibrant community is growing. The annual review reported 92 new members, plus since April there have been 65 new additions – welcome one and all!



Music and Mingling with Jim Smith

Member and Volunteer, Jim popped into the studio at Bedford Hall a few weeks ago to record an episode of the Our Voice Podcast. We chatted about the Music Appreciation Group and the Talking News, which he helps to produce. Below is a small except of the interview, you can hear the full version, along with the other episodes via the link at the bottom of the page:

Josie: Before we say anything else, has anyone ever told you that you have a voice twin Jim? I think you sound a bit like Ken Bruce from Radio 2, and there’s a connection because you run the Music Appreciation Group here at Croydon Vision.

Jim: That’s right. It’s pretty new but the idea is, whoever is interested in any type of music can bring along a CD of their choice and we play one track from as many as we can. The atmosphere is very good, silent cups of tea – no slurping! – the two hours goes very quickly as we chat away in between music. 

Josie: I gather you’re not keen on rap music…!

Jim: We cover all genres! It’s good fun; jazz, musicals, classical, pop occasionally, country and western. All are welcome to come along with their CDs and meet people they might not otherwise meet. It’s all about mingling.

Use the following link to listen to the full episode:



Odette and Glen have been saving locals’ sight at the Whitgift Centre

Croydon Vision is here to support and empower people who are living with sight loss. But we also put energy into raising awareness of visual impairment and good eye health too.

With the mission of catching certain eye conditions while they’re still treatable, Glen, Odette, Fiona (our resident optometrist), members and volunteers from Croydon Vision ran a pop-up stall at The Whitgift Centre. We were offering free eye health checks and advice, and the uptake from local people was huge. 

More than 40 free eye health tests were conducted on local residents, as people came together to share eye health tips with the Croydon Vision team. Our testing resulted in a number of eye pressure results that indicated people were in need of an eye hospital referral for preventative treatment.  We were able to catch several suspected cases of early Glaucoma plus our team assisted people who had questions about dry eyes, cataracts, macular degeneration, retinopathy and much more.  

People were asking not just on behalf of themselves, but family members as well. If you know someone who could benefit from being part of our vibrant, empowering community please do tell them about us. And please keep an eye out for upcoming community events and how you can get involved.



Isha wants to teach you to cook!

Isha is on her A-game! Having recently been awarded a 5 Star Food Hygiene Rating she has big plans for 2022…

During lockdown Isha’s online cookery classes were so popular that members started to request for her to teach them how to cook some of her famous dishes in person:

“Heart of a Charity, Mindset of a Business means using the skills we already have to make sure Croydon Vision can still be here for our members for years to come. My skill is cooking, so I want to share that with members, so they can cook some of my dishes.”

Shalini, who also helps out in the kitchen at Bedford Hall, encourages visually impaired people to have confidence in the kitchen. “It can be scary,” she says “but there are tricks we can share with you to help things feel more doable.”

Isha will take requests for things you’d like to learn to cook. We’ll start simple and build confidence as we go. The cost, which will be determined depending on the dish, will also include a pack of ingredients, so participants can try what they’ve learned at home.

Interested? Have a word with Isha or call Reception on
0208 688 2486


Audio Described Bathroom

We want to make Croydon Vision a shining example of accessibility, so when our members requested for our bathrooms to be improved, we started fundraising to make it happen. Odette
and Natasha have now smashed their fundraising target for a device called a Roommate, which registers when someone enters a toilet and describes the layout of the bathroom.

The description is pre-recorded and varies depending on the layout of each bathroom. Roommates should be installed in both disabled toilets by the time our building renovations are complete. Our very own Odette took the Roommate for a test drive at the RNIB Head Office in Judd Street and was seriously impressed.

We hope you’ll find them helpful and that other organizations in Croydon will follow our lead in making toilets more accessible for blind and partially sighted people in the community.



G’s Joke of the season… What happens if you eat too many Christmas decorations? You get tinsel-itis.

 Overheard at Bedford Hall

“The most fun and happy AGM to date, thanks for inviting me – the energy in the room was contagious”
“A very successful event and well pleased to have attended, CV feels like a family.”
“CV is going places, the annual review was clear and impactful, that video was smashing!”

All comments came from guests attending this year’s Croydon Vision AGM. The video mentioned was set to a poem written specifically for Croydon Vision – see link at the foot of this page.

Conversation Starters:

  1. Christmas is nearly here, what smell makes you feel festive?
  2. As mentioned on page 10, Isha is keen to share her cookery skills with members – if you could acquire a new skill with the click of your fingers, what would it be?
  3. As the New Year approaches, what three things do you want to do more and what three things do you want to do less?

Activity of the Month:

Take a look at the poem and accompanying video we created about Walking with Purpose for the AGM via the link below:




  1. How many musketeers were there in Alexander Dumas novel’s title?
  1. What do you call an ice cream served in a cone with a chocolate flake in it?
  1. Complete the film title, ‘The Magnificent ______’
  1. How many children featured in Enid Blyton’s Famous Five?
  1. A cat is thought to have how many lives?
  1. Complete the phrase “Twos company,______ a crowd”.
  1. How many Dalmatians were in the Disney cartoon?


  2. Which decade was known as the decade of Flower Power?
  1. The Music Man, sang about how many trombones?
  2. Which number has a reputation as being unlucky?
  3. How many houses are there at Hogwarts?
  4. How any sides does a cube have?


Answers:  1) 3     2) 99     3) 7     4) 4     5) 9     6) 3  

7) 101     8) 60s     9) 76     10) 13     11) 4     12) 6




We’re delighted to have met our targets for a new cooker (£2,500), in one year our old cooker produced 3,359 meals, and two audio toilet devices (£3,000) see Tech for Wellness.

We’re still fundraising…
We’re working to improve the accessibility of Croydon Vision, including audible notice boards and tactile ground lights to ensure our members feel welcome and part of the community. Anything you can donate as part of our Christmas appeal would be hugely appreciated. One-off donations, standing orders and legacy donations are what keep us running. To donate please visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/croydon-vision

We’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who has made donations to Croydon Vision over the last three months including Jim Smith, Christine Rose, Jean M, Mrs Barbour, Sue Ardley, Barat, Mark K, S Shah and a big thank you to David Elvy.

Shop with Co-Op to fundraise for Croydon Vision!
For every £1 spent on the Co-Op website, Croydon Vision can now receive a 1p donation. Simply select Croydon Vision as your charity of choice at the checkout and help to support the important work we’re doing here. We’re delighted to have built this partnership with Co-Op, who looked really closely at our community and purpose before selecting us, so it means a lot.



Fancy being featured in the next quarterly edition of Our Voice, the theme of which is ‘Stepping Out’? Please submit via: Newsletter@croydonvision.org.uk

Croydon Vision  – Charity Number: 1165086
Bedford Hall , 72-74 Wellesley Road, Croydon CR0 2AR


020 8688 2486

Monday – 8.30am – 1pm Tuesday to Thursday 8.30am – 4pm

Nov 25, 2021

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“A life saver & a life change”