Croydon Vision News August 2018

Nataliya Lavitskaya
Finance and Database Officer

Hello everyone, my name is Nataliya Lavitskaya and I am the new Finance and Database Officer.

Originally, I am from Belarus. I came to the UK in 2001. Initially, I worked as a store manager, then decided to obtain a UK Accounting qualification based on my University degree from Belarus. From 2011 I worked in the private sector, then later joined Merton Community Transport as Accountant Administrator.

Finance was always my passion. On top of this, I had such a great experience with my first community job, which helped me to understand what I wanted to do in the future.

Since joining Croydon Vision, I have worked both in finance and Reception, giving me an opportunity to meet members, volunteers and trustees. It enabled me to understand that Croydon Vision is not just an organisation that helps and support people, but is more like a big family where everyone is caring and supportive of each other.

Last month we had our first big event: An Open Day. We had such a lovely time with members, guests and volunteers. It was a great opportunity for everyone to get to know more about the services and each other.

Thank you to everyone for your help and support during my first few months at Croydon Vision, I am happy to be part of your Team.


How blind filmmaker Adam Morse made his debut feature ‘Lucid’

The psychological thriller that premiered at the Edinburgh Film Festival on June 23.

Ahead of the world premiere of his debut feature Lucid at the Edinburgh Film Festival on June 23, Adam Morse publicly revealed that he was visually impaired – a fact that he had also initially concealed from the film’s lead actor, Billy Zane (Titanic, Back to the Future). Lucid is a psychological thriller centred on a therapist (Zane) who advises a shy patient (Laurie Calver) to experiment with a little-known dream therapy to win over a woman (Felicity Gilbert). The movie also stars Sadie Frost.

After his eyesight suddenly deteriorated in 2009, Morse was diagnosed with Leber hereditary optic neuropathy, a neurodegenerative disorder, he told The Guardian in an interview published on June 16. He now only has peripheral vision.

Morse told Variety that he informed Zane and some of his crew about his condition after production on the film began. “Billy didn’t know, and I only told him two days after we started filming. He didn’t believe me,” Morse said. The director also did not tell at least one financier of his visual impairment. “I didn’t want [the investors] to find out and then pull the plug on us,” he said. “I had that anxiety of being found out every time I went to a meeting with one of them. I would bump into something or they would point to something across the room or on the screen of their phone and I would have to fake it – pretend that I knew what they were looking at…None of them were any the wiser about my condition thankfully.”

Describing his condition, Morse told The Guardian, “I started noticing, in the centre of my vision, there were some dots. Over that spring-summer of 2009, the dots in the middle of my vision began to get bigger and multiplied. Imagine microscopic dots and they’re flashing. I can see them right now.”

Morse cannot read text and relies on screen-reader software. He said that his filmmaking was partially enabled by cinematographer Michel Dierickx. “We have this great working relationship,” Morse told The Guardian. “But when it comes to framing a shot, I’m actually able to do that myself…I have enough peripheral vision to get around, but also to appreciate an image on screen.”

Morse added that he hopes his film will inspire people to make their dreams real. “I’m not just talking about disabled people. I want everyone to believe in themselves and to realise that almost anything is possible,” he said.

Morse previously made a short film, The Window (2013). He is now about to wrap up the script of a dark comedy titled China Blue, which will go into production next year, he told The Guardian.

Thank you, Thank You, Thank You

Brothers in Law – a whopping £2,000 was raised for Croydon Vision, this was a combination of the quiz night in May and other events.


Croydon Welsh Society – huge thanks to the society and support from Roy Topp, a total of £626.37 was raised for Croydon Vision

Thanks to All our members who attended the Wimbledon Tea party; in celebration of Janet’s life – we visited her 13th July in the hospital with cards and decorated cake. Your love and support was very much appreciated.



Following a rejection of a P.I.P application of one of our members at Croydon Vision.  Our Information and advice officer John Ebubedike was put forward as a representative in the appeal case on 3rd July 2018.

John went along with the member to the high court and the appeal was successful and the member’s P.I.P was reinstated and backdated.  Advocacy is one of the services offered by Information and advice.

‘Have a Go’ Sports Day – Leatherhead Leisure Centre

On Sunday 15th July 3 of our members and 3 siblings took part in the ‘Have a Go’ sports day. Despite the heat, we all managed to stay cool with our first dance taster session in the sports hall. Our next sport was goalball and we learnt how to block the ball and score goals!

After a spot of lunch, we were paired up with a runner to experience guided running. We even took part in a relay running race and the Croydon Vision team won!

Our final taster session was VI cricket which is played with a larger ball with bells so the players can hear and sense the location of the ball. A few mums and dads also played and the children took turns to bowl, field and bat. It really was a fantastic day out for all children and parents and it was a wonderful opportunity to experience all of these different sports

Children and Young People

Summer 2018

During August we are going to have an exciting array of activities for Children and Young people.


  • Thursday 2ndAugust 2018 – Let’s cook – make your own pizza! 10:30am – 1pm Croydon Vision
  • Wednesday 15th August 2018 Film and popcorn! 11am – 1pm Croydon Vision
  • Wednesday 22nd August ‘Let’s get arty’ art/craft session  10:30am – 1pm includes BBQ lunch at Croydon Vision
  • Thursday 23rd August 2018 Let’s cook make your own pizza! 10:30am – 1pm Croydon Vision
  • Wednesday 29th August 2018 Day at the Farm– Godstone Farm
  • Thursday 30th August 2018 Horse riding Age 5 upwards – (3 spaces left) 30pm – 4pm Kingsmead Stables, Warlingham CR6 9AB
  • Friday 31stAugust ‘Let’s get arty’ art/craft session 1pm – 3pm Croydon Vision
  • Sunday 9th September 2018 Rock Climbing – Age 8 upwards 10.30am – 12.30pm Craggy Island, Moorfield Road, Guildford GU1 1RU


Please phone the office and select the Children and Young People service to speak with Nicola.
Alternatively, you can email her on


If you are interested in any of the activities, don’t forget to book a place with Nicola


Croydon Vision is on Board

Croydon Voluntary Action has a The Croydon Children and Families Partnership, to set the overreaching vision and strategy for children, young people and families in the borough.

The fantastic news about this is that our Director, Susanette Mansour has been elected as a Board Member for the Children & Families Partnership & Sub Groups for 2018-20. Her subcategory is for those with Special Educational Needs.

The board is responsible for setting the overarching vision and strategy for children, young people and families in the borough, working with stakeholders from the public, private and third sector to improve the physical, mental, emotional, social and economic well-being of children, young people and families living in Croydon.

It aims to enable all children and young people in Croydon to be aspirational in their achievement of the 5 Every Child Matters outcomes:

  • Be healthy
  • Stay safe
  • Enjoy and achieve
  • Make a positive contribution
  • Achieve economic well-being.

The Children and Families Partnership Board is not a decision-making body but recommends for approval to statutory authorities any jointly agreed plans or strategies relating to children and young people; taking into account national policies, existing local service provision and likely available resources.

 Lunch Service


A huge thanks to our Members, your feedback throughout the recent lunch trial has been great! Please be assured that our aim is to further improve your lunch experience, if the menu doesn’t suit you on a specific day, please discuss earlier with reception and we will do our very best to meet your requirement. We will take on board All your feedback when designing an improved menu for September 2018. Thank you All once again.

Members Excursions

We’re going out! There are many exciting trips planned for August:

  • Thursday 2nd Wisley                            £12
  • Monday 6th –Hastings                           £12
  • Wednesday 8th – Southend on Sea  £12
  • Tuesday 14th – Eastbourne                 £12
  • Friday 17th – Garden Centre (London)    £8
  • Tuesday 21st – Bognor Regis                       £12
  • Friday 24th – Chiswick House                    £8
  • Wednesday 29th – Polhill Garden             £8
  • Friday 31st – Boat Ride (London)              £8

The costs are for travel and parking only. It does not include entry tickets or refreshments. These you would have to pay yourselves on the day. All venues must be paid for 7 days in advance of the excursion date. Each passenger will be required to pay either £12 for the seaside trip or £8 for the London trip, per seat for each trip.


We are restricted to carrying 1 scooter or two wheelchairs per bus. This service will be on a first come first served basis. Pickup starts from 9:15am. Please contact reception for more information and a booking form.

Apple Vis

In smartphones, Apple has become the market leader with visually impaired people because they got it right (mostly) first. Although Apple are hot on trying to keep things accessible it doesn’t always work.

There is a forum to find out what the current known bugs are and to find out apps that are known to be accessible and work well. It is called Apple Vis

There is a monthly e-newsletter which tells you the latest accessible apps, and podcasts to help you get up and running with an iPhone for the first time, or to find out about the new features before you take the plunge and upgrade to the latest version of software on your phone.

Easy Reader Goes Free

Dolphin Computer Access are celebrating their 30th Anniversary by launching a free accessible reading app.

The EasyReader app for iPhone and iPad aims to empower blind, partially sighted and dyslexic readers to browse and read accessible talking books and newspapers from across the globe. It is fully compatible with iOS Voiceover and iOS supported braille displays.

The app brings together the world’s largest collection of accessible books and newspaper services. It offers access to 21 digital libraries serving print impaired people worldwide, including Bookshare, NFB Newsline, RNIB Bookshare, Legimus, NLB and Vision Australia. Just a note you have to have logins for the libraries.


Google Home

After spending a lot of time talking about the Amazon Alexa series of devices, and my review in January saying I would choose Alexa over google home for the fact it makes a sound to indicate it has heard you, I have to say I was wrong.

On a recent trip I mentioned that I liked my Google home, but I couldn’t get on with it as I never knew it had heard me, I was told that there was a setting deep in Accessibility that allowed it to make tonal noises to announce it was listening or finished listening.

I have since turned on this feature and I can say I now know when Google is listening, and she listens far more when you are not talking to her then Alexa does.

Let’s support each other

We are thinking of having a smartphone support group that would meet once a month.

The aim of the group would be that members could support each other, sharing useful apps and solutions to things that they found difficult at first.

IT Coordinator Katherine will be there to lend a hand as well.

We are hoping to meet on a Wednesday afternoon and will let you know through the newsbrief and talking news when the first support group would happen.


     Working Age Group

On Wednesday July 18th some of the Working Age members travelled to the London eye and the river boat cruise. We travelled from West Croydon station and we were lucky enough that the train was empty so we could sit as a group.

Those who went on the London Eye were given priority in the queue. There was an opportunity to sit down on the long bench or stand up and look at the view. Although the Eye was moving, you couldn’t feel it.

Those that went on the boat had a guided tour and were told what the sites were. These included bridges and palaces. We were given detailed information about each landmark we passed. It was a lovely summer’s day with fun and laughter!

Maxine and Trevor

Members Suggestions

We received a comment from a member about the change in content in the Talking news in the last couple of months, specifically menus and not knowing when the chiropodist, hairdresser and low vision were going to be.

I am sorry that these things have been missing from the talking news, thank you for letting us know. I have reminded presenters to ensure the following are included:

  • Menus
  • Professional Visits – such as Fiona (Low Vision)
    Joy (Chiropodist) and Joseph (Hairdresser)
  • Katherine’s Drop-in Sessions
  • Information and Advice Drop-in Sessions
  • Glaucoma/Macular Group meetings.


An Alternative to the cane?

One of our members has designed an alternative to a symbol cane so that she can have both hands free when travelling around.

The Story So far:

Following searches on the Internet which found only white reflective Sam Brown belts, which look grey in daylight not white, and that sight-related organisations seemed to only sell yellow reflective belts, which give the impression you’ve left a bike somewhere, attempts were made to address this perceived discrepancy.

Having had a white shoulder belt (WSB) made by hand in June 2011 from webbing and Velcro, this has proved very effective. Despite not wearing dark glasses which might have given a clue to partial sight, assistance is forth-coming in cafes, shops, at cash tills; in hotels and theatres and at meetings; crossing roads, asking directions (Sometimes even being escorted to there), and on bus, train and underground journeys, on rail stations etc. given a wide berth on pavements, dogs on leads pulled away, children told to take care, forms filled in; lots of apologies for getting in the way, doors held open etc. etc. This happens where and whenever worn through the country.

People expressed an interest when the WSB was displayed at the Ken Association for the Blind Exhibition in Canterbury in October 2011, and staff at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital Low Vision Clinic felt it would be a popular additional aid. A quantity of white webbing and Velcro was purchased but it became apparent that the operator of an industrial sewing machine was needed to produce more samples for more users to assess and make comments.

For more information, please ask at reception for contact details.


Quiz Time

For the quiz this month we are travelling by train

  1. What crime were Ronnie Biggs and Buster involved in?
  2. Who now runs the line Virgin Trains ran until recently?
  3. Which main station would take you west of London?
  4. At what time in the morning can you first board a train with a freedom pass?
  5. On which train did Hercule Poirot solve a murder?
  6. From which station in London can you board a train to France?
  7. At which station would you try to board a train to Hogwarts?
  8. Where is the nearest steam train that regularly serves commuter traffic?
  9. What is a funicular railway?
  10. Who created Thomas the Tank Engine?
  11. What is the Von Ryan Express?
  12. Which main London station would take you North?
  13. Which station has a bear named after it?
  14. Which station shares its name with a London Underground tube line?
  15. Which Station is named after a battle?



1 The Great Train Robbery 2 London North Eastern Railway (LNER) 3 Paddington 4 9:30am 5 Orient Express 7 St Pancras International 8 Bluebell Railway (East Grinstead) 9 They are also known as an inclined plane or cliff railway, they normally solve the problem of transporting people up extremely steep slopes, one carriage goes up as the other comes down, using each other as a counterbalance. 10 Rev. Wilbert Awdry 11 A film about POWs escaping on a train starring Frank Sinatra 12 Euston or Kings Cross 13 Paddington 14 London Victoria or Manchester Piccadilly 15 Hastings, Battle or Waterloo

That’s Entertainment

A selection of Audio Described performances in London next month.

Little Shop of Horrors – Sat 8th Sept 14:15pm (Touch Tour TBC)

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

T: 0333 320 2834    E:           £25

Wicked – Sat 8th Sept 2:30pm (Touch Tour 12:30pm)

Apollo Victoria, Victoria

T: 020 7828 7074                                                                    £37.75

Sylvia – Tues 11th Sept 7:30pm (Touch Tour TBC)

The Old Vic Theatre, The Cut (Waterloo)

T: 0844 871 7628    E:         from £12

Love’s Labour’s Lost – Sat 15th Sept 7:45pm (Touch Tour 5:45pm)

Shakespeare’s Globe, New Globe Walk

T: 020 7902 1409 E: £5 – £47

Disney’s Aladdin – Fri 21st Sept 7:30pm (Touch Tour 5:30pm)

Prince Edward Theatre, Old Compton Street

T: 0344 482 5165    E:                £47.50

Dance Nation – Sat 22nd Sept 2:30pm (Touch Tour 12:45pm)

Almeida Theatre, Almeida Street

T: 020 7288 4999                                                            £25

Telephone numbers for local theatres

New Wimbledon Theatre         0844 871 7646

Bromley Theatre      0203 285 6000



  • ­     Fiona Hazell, an optometrist with Low Vision Clinic, will be at Bedford Hall on this dates this month, Thursday 9th August, between 9.30am and 12.30pm.
    She gives expert advice, this is a free consultation, but please book first.
  • ­     Please speak to reception regarding hairdressing by Joseph; he will be in from 10am – please book in advance
  • ­     The chiropodist Joy Dell will here on Wednesday 5th September. Please book with Reception.
  • ­     The IT Coordinator Katherine Turner has no specific drop in sessions in August, but is available for questions, just phone to check she is in. She will be teaching those who make their own way in on
    Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
  • ­     There is no meeting for the Macular Support Group in August. It is hoped that a lunch will be arranged. All members will be contacted with details. The next meeting will be on Monday 10th September
         at 1pm.
  • ­     The Glaucoma Group will meet here next on Monday 6th August, at 1.30pm
  • ­     John Ebubedike, Information, Advice and Guidance, is in Monday to Thursday, please book through reception.


We were sad to hear of the death of Mrs Molly Hunt and Ms Janet Andrews.


August closure


The last day for members is Thursday 26th July and we will be restarting activities on Monday 3rd September.

The next meeting of the Music Appreciation group is the
Monday 10th September.


Unlock Your Full Potential

Action Disability Kensington & Chelsea are holding 2 free taster days with Merton Vision. The aim of these days is for those who:

  • Are interested in peer support, leadership and confidence building
  • Grab the chance to meet new people, learn new skills and gain a healthy confidence boost.

These days are Friday 17th August 12pm – 3pm and Friday 24th August 12pm – 3pm. At Merton Vision, The Guardian Centre, 67 Clarendon Road London, SW19 2DX.

You need to book a space do so by calling Delayna or Glenda on 020 8960 8888 or emailing

We would love to have your input!

Submissions for the September Newsletter are due in by Wednesday 15st August.