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


Our Voice – March 2022


What does it mean to you?

The phrase ‘stepping out’ triggers different things for different people, from dancing to simply getting out and about. Whatever it means to you, we hope you’ll be stepping out in our direction! We reopen Croydon Vision 21st March, so come along to make the most of the improvements we’ve made here and get stuck in.

Perhaps you’ll come with your dancing shoes on, an ear for music appreciation, a zeal for French or a refreshed drive to find employment. Because stepping out can mean stepping out of yourself and beyond what you thought you could do…

We’re here to help you step out of yourself in whatever way you need. Hopefully ‘Cultivating a Can-Do Mindset (page 10) can help with that too.

In the meantime, we have an upcoming Gala Dinner (page 11) we’d love you to attend, and a newly accessible Croydon Vision and we can’t wait to see you here. Trustee Frances put it best when she said recently “We’ve missed getting together for activities in the hall. People have been saying they come as much for the company as the classes, so here’s to being together again!


Thanks to everyone for embracing our adapted services for January and February. During that time we said good bye to Sarah and Natalie and wish them the very best and thank them for their contribution to Croydon Vision.

Now the building work is almost complete; we will resume activities, meals and services from 21st March as follows:

Monday:      Bowls (fortnightly) 10:30am-12:30pm
       Music Appreciation (fortnightly) 10:30am–12:30pm

Tuesday:         Quiz Group 10:30pm-12:30pm
        Touch Group 11am-12:30pm
       Mental Aerobics 1:30pm-3pm

Wednesday:    Art & Crafts 10:30am-12:30pm (from 23rd March)
                         French (fortnightly) – 1:30pm-2:30pm
                         Keep Fit 10:30am-12:30pm
                         Moorfields Low Vision Clinic (Appointment Only)

Thursday:        Morning Social Group 11am-12:30pm
                        Dance 10:30am-12:30pm
                         Afternoon Social Group 1:30pm-3pm

Lunch and transport are available from Monday to Thursday and can be booked via reception on 020 8688 2486

Other services and activities you can book via reception:

Ad hoc activities for Children & Young People
Essential Home Visits
Croydon Vision’s Low Vision Clinic
Advice & Advocacy, Personal Development and IT sessions are available Monday to Thursday via appointment only.
Living With Sight Loss Workshops 18th or 25th March 10.30am – 1pm (please book via reception)

Lunch News
Thanks to everyone who took part in our lunch survey, it’s helped us understand and hopefully improve the level of service and value for money that we offer. As you’ll know the cost of food and utilities are increasing globally, so thanks to your feedback we feel it is fitting to increase the cost of lunch in line with that to £6. This will take effect from April 1st.  

Tech Update
We are going back to the drawing board, to recruit for tech roles. In the interim, IT sessions will be on pause. Further updates will be provided for April’s newsletter. Thank you for your patience.

Thursday 24th March
Book in for Isha’s special Mother’s Day Lunch. Mother’s Day itself is on Sunday 27th March, but Isha will be cooking something suitably delicious to celebrate mothers everywhere on the Thursday beforehand.

4th April, Unveiling the Lift – a week’s celebration!
We’d like to invite members to Croydon Vision to be a part of the unveiling of our new lift. We’ll be looking for members to cut the ribbon and then of course you’re welcome to join staff, volunteersand trustees in giving the lift a try! It would be great to see you there. Please contact reception for further information on 020 8688 2486.



Anna has been collecting your newsletter feedback…

Anna Smith and her wonderful guide dog Gemma have been busy since the start of this year, calling up fellow members to see what they think of the newsletter. Here’s how she’s found it and what people have been sharing:

“It’s been really good to call people and connect with them over the phone, that can be so important when a lot of us feel isolated at this time of year. Some members were busy and unable to chatbut many were willing and able to share their time and give some really useful feedback. Along with Debbie, another volunteer, we’ve managed to speak with more than 50 members.

Overall people do enjoy receiving the Our Voice newsletter, which was nice to hear. There was a good spread of people who get paper copies, listen to it via the talking news and those who access it via the Croydon Vision website (www.croydonvision.org.uk/newsletter/) and people think the length is ideal on average and enjoy the variety of the content.

One issue that came up a few times was having pictures amongst the text, which can be challenging or distracting for people with some eye conditions. That said lots of people did like the photos, which make them feel connected to our community. My idea was to put pictures in one place, so hopefully that will improve theaccessibility of the newsletter without saying goodbye to pictures all together. Take a look at ‘Croydon Vision in Pictures (page 14)to see my idea in action!”


Say “Hello” to Debbie, she loves chatting with members.

I’m Debbie, and I’ve been volunteering at Croydon Vision since August 2021. Since then, I’ve been working on admin projects and meeting members – both in person and over the phone.

I love being useful and the thrill of talking with people from all walks of life means I really enjoy my time here. I’ve like the quiet evenings working with data, as well as the amazing trips of 2021.

Insightful conversations I’ve had with so many members herehave been valuable too. I cherish the safe space feel that all members, staff and volunteers get to enjoy at Croydon Vision.

The theme of ‘Stepping Out’ for this issue of Our Voice is a good one, considering the national lockdowns and all, it’s never been more important to get out. As an 18-year-old the last two yearshave felt very uncertain for me, it was weird to see adults, who usually seem to have everything under control, just as thrown off as we (the younger generation) were.

Though remote learning was hard, one positive thing I’ve taken from it has been being able to improve my time management skills! When I’m not volunteering, I love going to the Tate Modern art gallery to appreciate art and culture by the River Thames.

My favourite season for doing so must be the start of summer when the air isn’t too hot and the day stretches out a little longer, no longer needing to worry about dark clouds or the threat of rain. This time of year always fills me with hope.”



Five uplifting reasons to celebrate Croydon Vision’s new lift!

1. A long-term plan comes to fruition!
Members have been asking for this lift to make Croydon Vision more accessible for many years. We’ve always wanted to be able to make it happen but never been able to before now. Thanks to a number of successful grant applications and generous donations,we’ve finally done it!

2. Our community is growing!
In the last year we’ve had more than 92 new people join our vibrant community. We’re keen to offer new members – as well as existing ones – more space and opportunities to share experiences, develop independence and come together and our new lift will help to do that.

3. Our services are on the up and up!
The building work has been a bit of a disruption but it’s a means to an end. In the long run though we’re excited to have more space to develop our services and we’re asking our members to help and input to shape that. A big thanks to Bob Horne for his artistic depiction of what the updated Croydon Vision will look like, do ask him if you’d like to take a look.

4. We’re building to sustain.
At a time when it’s harder and harder to come by grants, we need to be able to stand on our own two feet financially if we want to be here in years to come. New space will help us to do that. Hiring out the hall at times we’re not using it has resulted in a significant amount of revenue this year, which is now being invested back into our community.

5. We’ll be reopening in style…

We’re all in need of some positives right now, so we’re going to make the most of our building’s accessibility makeover with a welcome back event. We’re talking ribboncutting and tours to enable our members to explore and feel confident around the new layout! We’ll be chatting with Group Leaders about ways to make this happen.

What members of our community are saying about the lift…

“I first heard about the lift in 2011, there was a plan to install but then it didn’t happen.” – Lauren

“The lift will be wonderful for our members, a lot more people will get involved in creative sessions” – Jan

“People in wheelchairs can now use the building which will be nice! I am looking forward to doing pottery.” – June

“The technology expansion (IT suit) will be great, to increase my knowledge and use of accessible equipment. Also, it will make me more independent when searching for employment.” – Shalini

“I won’t be struggling up the stairs, the lift will enable people to access more rooms which is great!” – Jim

“I’ve only ever been upstairs a couple of times, it can be a struggle for many people, having a lift will be so helpful.” – Mike

Three things you might not know about Croydon Vision’s new lift…

It’s a platform lift, which means only the bottom half is enclosed – from above the waist down.
If you were to touch or lean on the wall above the lift enclosure the lift will stop automatically.
It’s a talking lift, with audio descriptions of what the lift is up to.



Cultivating a Can-Do Mindset

Peter Crone, a mindset coach, recently explored positive or ‘can-do’ mindsets in Forbe’s Magazine; “A proposed future is just as real as the one that you’re worried about,” he explains, meaning the future isn’t set in stone. Imagining the worst-case scenario is self-destructive; it takes a lot of conscious effort to remind yourself that the future is all to play for.

What you think becomes your reality, Crone goes on. Going into anything with confidence and a positive mindset increases the likelihood that it will be a success. Channel all that nervous energy into imagining your day going really well and you’ll increase the chances that it will.

Three tricks for mastering a positive mindset:

1. Work out which time of day you are at your best. Armed with that knowledge you can tackle challenges at a time you aremost able to handle them with a can-do attitude.
2. Break a big problem down into smaller parts to make it more manageable and less daunting. The added bonus is you get a regular reward as you hit each target.

3. At the start of each month ask yourself three questions:What should I start doing? What should I stop doing?
What should I keep on doing? Then make a record of them and see how they change through the year.



Something Big, Bright and Bold

for your diary…

Having something to look forward to can really help to contribute to a positive mindset, so please do put FRIDAY THE 8TH OF APRIL into your diary.

That’s when we will be hosting our gala dinner, which will have the theme of Big, Bright & Bold. It’s sure to be a lively, fun packed event boasting:

A sumptuous 3 course meal with meat, fish and vegetarian options and a dessert prepared by the marvelous Isha
Live entertainment including music and guest speakers
An art exhibition, courtesy of our in-house artists
A wonderful chance to be together and celebrate our vibrant community

And the dress code will be smart, with the option to go big, bright and bold if the mood takes you!

There will be 80 tickets available, and we’ll be inviting members, volunteers and people from the wider community so please do act fast to reserve your spot.

To book your ticket, which will cost £35 each for members, £40 for community tickets and £350 for a table of 10 people.
Please call reception on 020 8688 2486.


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

 Overheard at Bedford Hall

Did you know that if you are blind you can apply for free directory enquiries? Odette is a fountain of knowledge.

To sign up simply call 0800 587 0195 free and ask for an application form. Once you’re signed up you can dial 195 and speak to an operator who will find the number you require.

Conversation Starters:

1. What new thing are you going to try in

2. February saw the date 22.02.22 – what dates do you have committed to memory and how are they significant to you?
3. What song always makes you want to dance?

Activity of the Month:

Our clothes repairing session in December was a great success,so big thanks go to our lovely volunteer Bharat, his wife and friends. In advance of our next one why not give your wardrobe a spring clean sorting clothes into piles of ‘keep’, ‘donate to a charity shop’ and mend?

Croydon Vision stepping out quiz

1. Who was the famous dance partner of Ginger Rogers?

2. Which composer is credited with the introduction of the waltz?

3. Are full dresses featured in ballroom or Latin dances?

4. Which dance links Paris and Halifax?

5. Who was considered the other great male dancer at the time of Fred Astaire?

6. How are tap shoes different to dance shoes?

7. How are ballet dancers able to dance on their tip toes?

8. Which famous dance school had a class at Fairfield Halls and also in Penge?

9. Which ballerina had a meringue dessert named after her?

10. Which dance did John Travolta do a famous hand version of?

11. In which dance are bells worn around the knees and handkerchiefs waved?

12. Which waltz did Englebert Humperdinck sing about?


1. Fred Astaire  2. Johann Strauss  3. Ballroom  4. Tango
5. Gene Kelley  6. Metal tags on the toe of the shoes
7. Blocks in the end of the shoes  8. Frank & Peggy Spencer
9. Pavlova  10. Jive  11. Morris Dancing  12. The Last Waltz


An Update and a Big Thank You

In January 2021, Croydon Vision Staff and our Service Enablers (Community Champions) came together for a focus group session to continue shaping our services, part of the conversation was about the Lost 500. Discussing how we can reach more people with sight loss in Croydon, and transform more lives was both highly interactive and enjoyable.

The Croydon Vision ‘Lost 500’ project is all about reaching people who’ve fallen between the gaps in the referral system. Plans to activate this project were a key part of our Annual Review in October 2021.

And now we are pleased to announce that Croydon Vision has received a three-year funding to undertake this work. We will be recruiting for new roles, so watch out for emails and on our website for opportunities to get involved.

In the meantime, thank you so much for your support and input – working together works better!

Key outcomes from the project are:
Outcome 1: To empower people to look after their health and wellbeing; to remain independent.

Outcome 2: To improve inclusion of people with sight loss in the labour market.

Outcome 3: To help overcome technological and digital exclusion.



As the new and improved Croydon Vision opens up, we’re delighted to have met our £2,350 target for new audible notice boards and tactile ground lights.

Next up we’ll be improving the lobby, with an audio TV that can read out notices (£1,680). Simultaneously we’re looking to invest in a Braille Embosser, to enable access to Braille for our community (£12,000).

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


In the meantime, we would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who has made donations to Croydon Vision over the last couple of months, including S. Shah, Jim Smith, Christine Rose, E. Vino, Pauline Tart, Sue Ardley, Marie Shield, Mary J, M.J. Barbour and Seldon Baptists Church. We’d also like to thank SHW for making us their Charity of the Year!

CONTACT US: Fancy being featured in the next quarterly edition of Our Voice, the theme of which is ‘Leaning In…’? Please submit via: info@croydonvision.org.uk

Croydon Vision  – Charity Number: 1165086
Bedford Hall , 72-74 Wellesley Road, Croydon CR0 2AR
info@croydonvision.org.uk    020 8688 2486
Monday- Thursday: 8.30am–4pm    Friday: Appointments only



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

Mar 3, 2022

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“A life saver & a life change”