“Croydon Vision will have to start charging me rent soon, as I want to move in!” R Johnson

Let’s talk & improve

Aims and Objective

We believe in co-production by encouraging active participation.

People who use our services should have greater involvement in how they are designed and delivered. Our committee; Let’s Talk & Improve influence decision making.

The group focuses on maintaining or secure effective change by brainstorming on the Why, How and What. Together, they recommend the course of action for management and act as a sounding board. 
We work in partnership; volunteers, member representatives and staff – sharing ideas to expand on; developing a big thinking approach.

Structure of the Committee

We meet quarterly and from these meetings we note action points to help improve and develop Croydon Vision (CV). These points are followed through and reported before the next meeting. Below gives an annual synopsis of our discussions. 

Please see below summary of meeting from February 2024
(Let’s Talk & Improve):

  • A warm welcome to 2024 and reflection on 2023, the highs, lows and in-between.  Big thanks to our great team of Volunteers!
  • Actions from last meeting – review and discuss for accountability. Investing in volunteers. A key one noted was our give back campaign, there are now 43% of volunteers with sight loss, looking to have over 50% to spread awareness and empowerment for others.

  • A full discussion on impact of loosing core grant from the council, the effect of service provision at Croydon Vision and ways we can all support. Below are suggestions by the team to explore:

    Adjustments to be made to the pricing for group activities. A minimum cost for social groups, both led by volunteers/paid tutors.

    Reach out to local supermarkets, to see whether they are willing to donate groceries to Croydon Vision which will cut cost for lunch. 

    Some further rehabilitation training for members who could travel independently from home to Croydon Vision base – by sensory team. 

  •  Feedback from Volunteers: Christmas Party

    Pantomime was something that many members loved, as well as the Brit School performance. Our Christmas Market was a great success, to further improve, we need a larger space for the Christmas stalls.

  • Coming soon: new service development:
    Ideas for new services was explored, looking at cinema  and drama classes, based on members feedback.

    Tech Trainer is running a survey for our working age members, to understand their needs and how to address them. 

  • Next Meeting Dates: Upcoming meetings on May 9th, August 8th, and November 7th from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM.

Please see below summary of meeting from November 2023
(Let’s Talk & Improve):

  • We won the King’s Award 2023 for Voluntary Service.
  • Excursion Feedback: Incorporating accessibility options in excursion schedules for inclusivity. Volunteers recommend involving family or friends to support members, aiming to reduce last-minutes cancellations of volunteers and ensure a well-supported experience. Planning enhancements include organising advance ticketing for streamlined logistics.
  • CV Activities and Services: Seeking member input on preferred games for CV activities, pairing new members with experienced members for smoother integration, and informing group leaders about new members for proactive integration. Prioritising member awareness of available activities for a personalized experience.
  • Christmas Party: The Christmas party schedule will be published in the members’ bulletin for informed participation. Volunteers are encouraged to engage with groups for Christmas stalls, reaching out to small businesses to enhance event offerings. The CV stall will focus on CV merchandise for a unique touch.
  • Relationship Building: Unanimous agreement to host quarterly pizza parties to foster camaraderie among staff and volunteers.
    Specific dates will be promptly communicated once finalised.
  • Next Meeting Dates: Upcoming meetings on February 8th, May 9th, August 8th, and November 7th from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM.
  • Updates on Ongoing Action Points from August Meeting:
    CV staff is spending more time with members and volunteers at BH and BL. Acting as a liaison for fish and chips quiz night fundraising.
    Detailed volunteering steps provided to group leaders.
    Feedback collection after excursions.
    Weekly volunteering schedule updates in the reception.

Please see below summary of meeting from August 2023
(Let’s Talk & Improve):

  • Volunteer Availability: A timetable for volunteers is now available at the reception.
  • Health and Safety Updates: First aiders’ information has been added to the bulletin. Group capacity is being reviewed, with additional volunteers allocated to specific groups. Feedback on this allocation is being provided to Joyshree (VLO) and Sarah (MLO).
  • Resource Center: New gadgets have been added, and Daniel (IT Tech) is conducting drop-in sessions for members.
  • Recruitment Progress: We welcomed 18 new volunteers to CV, and 20 more are currently in the process of joining.
  • Member’s Induction: New members are being paired with experienced members, and Sarah (MLO) is actively involved in this on boarding process.
  • Buses: The installation of trackers in buses is completed.

 Next Steps

  • Suggestions for the next events include encouraging active involvement from all members, better work allocation based on volunteer skills, and spending more time with members and volunteers at Bedford hall and Bedford lounge.
  • Proposed placement of printed quizzes on tables for interactive activities in future events.
  • Fundraising initiatives, including a fish and chips quiz night.
  • Need for a feedback mechanism after excursions.

Please see below summary of meeting from April 2023
(Let’s Talk & Improve):

  • Bowls session – to stop end of May – replacement activities will be planned.
  • Talking News – to stop end of May- A quarterly edition will be available, to coincide with Our Voice newsletter.
  • Bekele briefed volunteers about the volunteer week, June 1-7, and asked for active volunteer participation during the volunteer week and also in the run up and during the centenary. Planning volunteer led actions in the first week of June.
  • From the meeting, there was a better understanding of the situation and what it takes to organise a memorable event.  
    Anca and team were able to share the idea behind the price and the options available. A full discussion followed.


    Next steps

  • Set a date for the next ‘Let us Talk & Improve meeting’. To be done injunction with team and communicated to volunteers ASAP.
  • Group leaders concern about capacity within groups – We have started taking action. Resource centre – actions being taken. Members induction – actions being taken – underway
  • Excursions – There have been excursions since Friday 12th May 2023.

Please see below summary of meeting from December 2022
(Let’s Talk & Improve):

  • Good news, Motability grant award, replacement of old fleet *3
    In addition, recruitment of a Transport Manager, scaling up service for Croydon Vision and the community at large.
  • Brainstorm on ideas for upcoming centenary, countdown celebrations
  • Strengthening each social group – what does that look like for you? Also, new members survey commencing, focused on delivery and development
  • Queens Awards assessment, a date in diary
  • Cost of living – the impact, resources available, to support team and members.

Please see below summary of meeting from September 2022
(Let’s Talk & Improve):

  • Brilliant suggestions from members – services such as: Choir, breakfast club, commencing October 2022.
  • Discussed the Queens award for voluntary service (QAV) – application
  • Reviewed the project Lost 500, feedback on delivery and opportunities to further develop.
  • Annual General Meeting including commemorating the Queen
  • Discussed development of a service charter, especially with current Croydon Council predicament and implication on service demands.

Please see below summary of meeting from February 2022
(New – Let’s Talk & Improve):

  • CV secured funding for the ‘Lost 500’ project, enabling us to reach more visually impaired people in the community.
  • The team discussed upcoming lift unveiling and the possibilities to shout out about achievement.
  • Explored opportunities to connect with local colleges/ schools; to carry out visual awareness workshops, skilling up future volunteers.

Please see below summary of meeting from December 2021:

 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.

  1. ‘Build to Sustain, chaired by Susanette, with support from Member’s Representative. The focus will be on bright ideas we can develop together, over  6-12months.
  • Discussed and agreed next steps for adapted services during lift installation.
  • Reflected on how to further embrace and combine the skills of new volunteers with organisational needs.

Please see below summary of meeting from September 2021:

  • Discussed and agreed next steps for coaching; Board readiness for members and team (starting Oct 2021).
  • Further develop the transport services, to recruit for a volunteer driver and route mapping
  • Reflect on recent actions of Covid cases and further improvement; response and communication
  • Inclusion of lunch menu on the website for easy access and promote independence

Please see below summary of meeting from May 2021:

  • A review of adapted services and upcoming return to Bedford Hall – bricks & clicks model.
  • Formed a Task & Finish group to support the project: Lift installation and Refurb.
  • Further developed our Communication Pathway for Members & Team:
    Quick wins, processes and ideas – Speak to Staff or Volunteers
    Operational development – Speak to Service Enablers
    Building for the long term – Speak to Susanette or Trustees

Please see below summary of meeting from January 2021:

  • Review and learnings on current adapted services: Doorstep, Home visits and Virtual services
  • The meeting delved into referral pathway and the need for systematic change:
    Why?  Only 27% of people with sight loss in employment.
    How? – Driving political, structural and social change at a local level.
    What  – Steps to improve quality, reach and inclusion of sight loss services locally.

Please see below summary of meeting from September 2020:

  • Reflection on current H&S practises and next steps to further improve.
  • Annual review – service enablers involvement (discussed & agreed).
  • Upcoming annual general meeting – logistics for our first bricks & clicks event.
  • Fundraising; a big thanks for participation (Boxhill) – funds surpassed for electric gate
  • Volunteering (Phase 2) – mutual expectations as well as creation of flexi volunteering.

Please see below a summary of our meetings from May 2020:

  • Shared a draft service plan for an open discussion.
  • An overview of health & safety risk assessment; return to base. 
  • Discussed concerns around referral pathway and possible disparity of data between CV and the council – to explore further.
  • Discussed next steps – rep of service enablers to assess site 19th June, prior to reopening.

Please see below a summary of our meetings from January 2020:

  • Discussed a number of initiatives for 2020 and strategy to fundraise from minor to major items.
  • Events calendar 2020 was shared and discussed at length – final version will feature in newsletter February 2020.
  • Explored ideas of new activities; to open up CV much more.
  • Discussed Health & Safety development and key points for our Facilities Officer and Volunteer.

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