Croydon Vision News June 2018

Natasha Thompson-Campbell – Office Manager

Hello everyone my name is Natasha and I am the new Office Manager at Croydon Vision.

I graduated from Middlesex University 3 years ago and studied International Business with Spanish. During my studies, I worked alongside local charities such as Oxfam and Age UK which I found very rewarding. After studying, I lived in the south of France in a small town called Apt, whereby I taught English in a few primary schools. I am almost trilingual but would like to enhance my French.

Furthermore, my work experiences vary from administration, mentoring and business management. Before joining Croydon Vision I worked in the business travel sector, assisting clients with their travel needs and requests. However, the corporate sector was not where I wanted to be so I decided to revert into working with charities.

Additionally, I wanted to do something which allowed me to support my local community and that’s when I came across Croydon Vision. I want to be a part of Croydon Vision’s mission and promote the quality of life to those who are Visually Impaired or Blind. Working in diverse environments, I believe change and growth promotes a greater development and independence. I aim to support your needs and requirements and respond efficiently to any enquiries you may have.

I am happy to be a part of Croydon Vison’s future and thank you for welcoming me.


Nicola Peake – Development Officer

Hello, I’m Nicola the new Development Officer at Croydon Vision. I’ll be busy working on the children; young people and working age initiative which I can already see has so much potential for growth.

In the past, I have worked for small to medium size charities mainly in the fundraising departments raising income for those most in need. I have experience in a variety of fundraising methods from preparing funding bids to charitable trusts and foundations, hosting events at the House of Commons through to cheering on runners in the London Marathon. As a runner myself I was thrilled to take part in this year’s London Marathon raising money for a charity close to my heart.

More recently I worked for the National Childbirth Trust as a Parent Services Administrator working with first time parents. As a Mum I also enjoy helping my children’s school raise vital funds for new sports equipment and anything else that will keep kids entertained and inspired!
I’m really looking forward to getting to know everyone at Croydon Vision and hoping to meet as many of you over the next few weeks.


Fish and Chips

Hello everyone it’s Natasha again sharing my experiences on the Fish and Chips quiz night. I hope those who attended really enjoyed themselves!

Friday 11th May was quite fun and interesting. I don’t think that I have been to a Fish and Chips quiz night. In addition, I don’t think that I have ever come second to last in a quiz. Nonetheless, I had a great time and well done to everyone for participating in the quiz. This night was not just about fun but I saw what it really means to be a part of Croydon Vision. Through my observations I felt as if you were all one big family. Everyone knew each other and was very warm and welcoming.

I did manage to walk around the hall and introduce myself so hopefully some of you have heard my voice. I look forward to meeting more of you. What did you think of the Fish and Chips? I must say it was quite tasty. I mean you can’t go wrong with Fish and Chips on a Friday.

We will be looking to plan more events like this!

Open Day Event – 22nd June

On Friday 22nd June 2018, we are holding an open day. The aim is to create further awareness of Croydon Vision. We hope to give an insight into Croydon Vision and help more people with sight loss.

The event will take place between 12:30 and 4pm. There will be an introduction to Croydon Vision followed by an Oriental Style Buffet and BBQ (£5.50) and then the afternoon will be over to taster activities.

The activities will include Art, a Quiz, Bowls, Keep fit, Dance and
IT Technology and equipment.

From Sketches to Sculptures

Croydon Vision’s Visually Impaired Artists present:
Multimedia Artwork In Mathews Yard – 2nd June 2018

The Croydon Visions Artists group has an array of very talented artists with varying eye conditions, ranging from glaucoma to Retinitis Pigmentosa, where peripheral vision is greatly affected. However, the artists have conquered their visual disadvantages to produce greatly accomplished pieces of art, from vibrant self-portraits and bold landscapes to colourful abstract collages and 3D paper sculptures.

The Grand opening is Saturday 2nd 4pm-7pm, in the bar area of Mathews Yard where you’ll be able to meet and talk to some of the artists about their work.

The exhibition continues on Saturday, 2nd of June to Monday 11th June.

Tactile tours of the Houses
of Parliament.

The next tours are as follows:-

  • 22 June 2018
  • 13 July 2018

The tours start at 5pm and last two hours.

If you wish to attend one of the tours, please contact Tracey West at

Dear Members and Volunteers,

A quick update on matters at Croydon Vision, furthermore, I wanted to express my thanks for the continued work and support from you.

Change Management:

Someone quoted this; “Without change there would be no butterflies” There have been a number of changes over the last few years and some more the past few months, thank you for your patience and support through this transition. Please be assured that the team at Croydon Vision is working with one mission in mind, “supporting you” With all the changes going on, we will ensure that service provision is maintained and further improved where required.

Thank you messages:

Reception Duty
It has been a great help to see volunteers and staffs working together to keep the front desk afloat. I am exceptionally grateful to Rachel (Volunteer Coordinator) for organising the troop. Special thanks to Katherine, Janet, Patrick, Jenny, Lucy and Nataliya for your support.

From now on, Natasha will manage reception; this will maintain consistency and further improve our service provision. Please be patient and support her over the next few months.

Thank you to our members, especially Jim for galvanising a fundraising event to raise funds for the improvement of the hall system. Please send in your suggestion on how you think the money should be best spent.

Trevor’s meal – 30th April
Numbers are increasing each month for this special lunch, this is great and a testament to good food, great company and member support. Thanks Trevor for your continued support to Croydon Vision. Please join us 25th June for the next meal – Indian cuisine.
Swimathon 2018

A special thanks to the Swimathon team of Croydon Vision, we recently received a cheque of £1,000 from Rotary Club; we were selected as one of its three major beneficiaries of the Swimathon. Further information will follow as to full amount raised by the team.

Quiz Night (11th May 2018) – I was so proud to see so many members (here and from New Addington). The ambience and togetherness was great. Huge thanks to our volunteers and staffs that supported the event. Special thanks to our organiser, Frances, she did a great job.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Thank you to all our members, volunteers who have opted in by consenting to remain contactable on our database. If you haven’t done so to date, please call reception and Natasha will be happy to help.

Survey – your participation is required

We are looking to conduct a survey, to get your view on the following:

  • Excursion ideas for the summer holiday – suggestions of places to visit.
  • Shopping experience in Croydon – which shop would you consider accommodating of VI people and those that are not. The reason for this is to contact businesses and support their staff with knowledge and insight of sight loss.
  • Where would you consider best social place for VI/not in Croydon
  • What services would you like to see monthly or fortnightly: manicure, pedicure, hair and style/any other suggestion – Please note a fee will apply

Natasha (Office Manager) will be putting together a survey and sending out to everyone soon. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Virgin Atlantic `help Visually Impaired Passengers pass the time


Virgin Atlantic enlists help from Guide Dogs to become first airline to offer accessible entertainment for customers with sight loss – 30 November 2017

Virgin Atlantic has announced a global airline first as it launches a fully accessible inflight entertainment system for customers with sight loss, with help from the charity Guide Dogs. The technology will be offered throughout Virgin Atlantic’s fleet serving destinations across North America, the Caribbean, Africa, China, India and the Middle East.

Televisions in the sky have come a long way since the days of a single TV at the front of the cabin – with seat back touch screen entertainment now commonplace across the industry. However, while this is a benefit for many, touch screens can create a barrier for passengers who are blind or partially sighted due to the challenges of navigating the system.

Now, Virgin Atlantic is pioneering new technology, which will enable customers with vision impairments to enjoy the full range of onboard entertainment via specially adapted iPads. Working with UK tech company Bluebox Aviation Systems, the innovative iPad-based platform was tested by representatives from the charity Guide Dogs and includes audio descriptions, large type, and consistent layout and controls.

Virgin Atlantic and Bluebox worked closely with guide dog owners to assist with the development of the special kit and considered different types of sight loss it could benefit, including total blindness, partial vision and sensitivity to brightness. Representatives from the charity provided recommendations for the initial design and undertook a year of extensive system testing to ensure the technology met their needs.

John Welsman, Policy Business Partner for Travel and Transport for Guide Dogs, said: “We know that something as simple as an in-flight entertainment system with voice overs and audio descriptions will help passengers with vision impairments to enjoy flights just like anyone else on board. As someone with sight loss who flies quite often myself, I think it’ll be wonderful to access entertainment and information on Virgin planes without needing to ask for help. Not having to call for cabin crew, or disturb fellow passengers around me who might be sleeping, will be great.

“The charity Guide Dogs works hard to make sure that people who are blind or partially sighted are not left out of life, and so we’re delighted that Virgin Atlantic is helping passengers with sight loss to be more independent on board their planes by providing accessible in-flight entertainment.”

David Brown, Business Development Director at Bluebox, said: “Bluebox’s accessible inflight entertainment platform – aIFE – offers Virgin Atlantic the means to give passengers with different types of sight loss access the latest IFE content, and the independence and navigational ease-of-use they told us they wanted and needed from an IFE system. For such a complex development, we’re incredibly grateful to have had such willing and committed partners in both Virgin Atlantic and our testing group from Guide Dogs.”

Mark Anderson, Executive Vice President – Customer at Virgin Atlantic, said: “Nearly thirty years ago, Virgin Atlantic was the first airline to offer seat back entertainment in all cabins, so it’s apt that we should be the first to ensure our entertainment is fully accessible across all flights. Working with Bluebox and Guide Dogs we’ve been able to create a world first that ensures customers with sight loss can experience the full range of onboard entertainment including the latest blockbusters, TV shows and albums.”

Be My Eyes – update

The app for both iPhone and android that connects you with a sighted volunteer to assist with reading things has gone into partnership with Microsoft.

When you open the app you now have the option of specialised help which takes you to a list of specialised services, the first is Be My Eyes Technical Support, but it’s the second which is the interesting one. Microsoft connects you with the Disability Answer desk who should have the knowledge to answer technical questions about Microsoft problems.

Just a note the Disability Answer desk is situated in America so for us the times we can contact them are 4:30pm to 1:00am and only during the week.


Thank you to all who contributed for this where we achieved a total of £184.00 (£164 in raffle tickets & £20.00 by auction). Anyone who gave towards this should make their suggestions as to how the money is spent at Croydon Vision using the “suggestion boxes” already placed in Croydon Vision.
Jim Smith

Your Voice Matters

The NHS eye care system is currently failing patients. Demand for ophthalmology has increased significantly in recent years, due to our aging population and the availability of new treatments. Service provision is not keeping pace with demand, meaning that hospitals are delaying and canceling appointments, resulting in people losing sight.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Eye Health and Visual Impairment (a cross-party group of MPs and Peers) held an England-only inquiry during 2017 into the issue of capacity problems in National Health Service (NHS) eye care services in England.

On June 6, the APPG will release its inquiry report. Ask your MP to attend the APPG event to learn about the challenges their constituents are facing and how they can help to implement the APPG’s recommendations and ensure no one loses sight unnecessarily. The easiest way to join your voices to the cause is by visiting and filling in the web form at the bottom of the page.

The Sound of silence

A couple of months ago we mentioned a campaign by guide dogs about the silent menace of hybrid and electric cars.

As of July next year all new electric and hybrid vehicles will have to emit a noise when travelling at low speeds. Existing vehicles are expected to be gradually retrofitted with devices.

The sound that will be made has been almost as much of a debate as whether or not to have a sound. It has been agreed that the
standard will be a mix of tonal sounds and white noise, and all this will stop once the car is moving above 20kph (about 12mph).
In Japan they already have this technology and there was an outcry when a guide dog and owner were hit by a car whose driver had used technology to turn the noise off.

Quiz Time

Can you name the book from its description? E.g. Features a Tea Party where a mad man wears a hat ……… Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

  1. Four women growing up.
  2. The origin of Room 101.
  3. All about Hal.
  4. A small creature in a Blue Jacket is terrified by a man.
  5. A story about a girl and her grandfather set in the Swiss Alps.
  6. The first book about the boy who lived.
  7. A boy and a bird of prey.
  8. A massacre of rabbits.
  9. The first book in a series about a Yorkshire vet.
  10. A young boy in Corfu.
  11. Pirates, Treasure and
  12. A magic portal, in a wardrobe, leads to another world.
  13. A Shipwrecked family.
  14. A hunt for a White Whale.
  15. A man stranded in a land of diminutive people


1 Little Women 2 1984 3 2001: A Space Odyssey 4 The Tail of Peter Rabbit 5 Heidi 6 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 7 Kez 8 Watership Down 9 All Creatures Great and Small 10 My Family and other Animals 11 Treasure Island 12 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe 13 Swiss Family Robinson 14 Moby Dick 15 Gulliver’s Travels

That’s Entertainment

A selection of Audio Described performances in London next month.

An Ideal Husband – Wed 4th July 7:30pm

Vaudeville Theatre, The Strand

T: 0330 333 4815 E: £19.50 – £75

Machinal – Sat 7th July 2:30pm (Touch Tour 12:45pm)

Almeida Theatre, Highbury & Islington

T: 020 7288 4999 E:

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Sat 14th July 2pm

Palace Theatre, Shaftsbury Ave

T: 0330 333 4410 E: £35

Genesis Inc – Sat 21st July 3pm (Touch Tour 1:30pm)

Hampstead Theatre, Eaton Ave

T: 020 7722 9301 E: £10 – £37

Disney’s the Lion King – Sun 22nd July 2:30pm
(Touch Tour 12:30pm) £20 – £49.50 Lyceum Theatre, Covent Garden

T: 0800 912 6972 E:

Fun Home – Fri 27th July 7:30pm (Touch Tour 6pm)

Young Vic Theatre, Waterloo

T: 020 7922 2922 E: £10 – £38


Telephone numbers for local theatres

New Wimbledon Theatre 0844 871 7646

Bromley Theatre 0203 285 6000


  • ­ Fiona Hazell, optometrist with Low Vision Clinic, will be at Bedford Hall on Thursday 14th June between 9.30am and 12.30pm. She gives expert advice. This is a free consultation, but please book first.
  • ­ If you need the services of Croydon Hearing, you can always contact them at 020 8686 0049.
  • ­ Please phone the office to find out when Joseph the Hairdresser is next in.
  • ­ The chiropodist Joy Dell will here on Wednesday 13th June. Please book with Reception.
  • ­ The IT Coordinator Katherine Turner has two drop-in sessions to help with any IT problems you may have. They are on Tuesday 19th June, and Thursday 21st June, between 1.30pm – 2pm. Her regular Teaching sessions are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
  • ­ The next meeting of Croydon Macular Support Group is on Monday, 11th June from 1- 3pm.
  • ­ The Glaucoma Group will meet here next on Monday,
    4th June, at 1.30pm
  • ­ John Ebubedike, our new Information, Advice and Guidance, is in every day of the week from 21st May, please book appointments through the office.
  • ­ Trevor’s next food event will take place on Monday 25th June. This time it is A Taste of India with Samosa, Onion Bhaji, Vegeterian Curry


We were sad to hear of the death of Mr Makham Bamrah.

Menus for June

Tues 5th Boiled Bacon, New Potatoes, Beans and Peas

Cheesecake & Cream

Wed 6th Cafe Style Lunch


Thurs 7th Sausage Pasta

Apple Pie & Ice Cream


Tues 12th Cottage Pie, Cauliflower and Peas

Banana & Ice Cream

Wed 13th No hot meal. Sandwiches only.

Thurs 14th Roast Pork, Stuffing, New Potatoes, Carrots and Broccoli

Pears & Instant Whip


Tues 19th Meatballs, Mash, Peas and Carrots


Wed 20th Cafe Style Lunch

Apricots & Cream

Thurs 21st Roast Turkey, Stuffing, Green Beans and Parsnips

Fruit Jelly & Dream Topping


Tues 26th Roast Pork, Roast Potatoes and Mixed Vegetables

Meringue Nests with Fruit and Dream Topping

Wed 27th Cafe Style Lunch

Cake and Custard

Thurs 28th Sausages, Onions, Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Mash

Peaches and Ice Cream

New Addington menus

Thurs 7th Sausage Pasta

Apple Pie & Ice Cream

Thurs 14th Roast Pork, Stuffing, New Potatoes, Carrots and Broccoli

Pears & Instant Whip

Thurs 21st Roast Turkey, Stuffing, Green Beans and Parsnips

Fruit Jelly & Dream Topping

Thurs 28th Sausages, Onions, Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Mash

Peaches and Ice Cream

Contact Croydon Vision

020 8688 2486

Charity Number: 1165086

We would love to have your input!

Submissions for the July’s Newsletter are due in by
Thursday 14th June.