Croydon Vision News September 2018

Fay Chegwidden
Volunteer Coordinator

Hello Everyone, my name is Fay Chegwidden and I am the new Volunteer Coordinator at Croydon Vision. I have spent a lot of my past years working in the retail sector, nearly 3 years of that was spent working with a charity organisation called trinity hospice managing one of their London retail stores. I then had a break from working which I spent travelling; one of my passions. Whilst I was abroad I spent a few months volunteering, supporting with childcare projects in Asia. Most recently I spent 4 months in Africa leading a team of volunteers on a water and sanitation project.

I have always had a huge drive and passion for volunteering, working with volunteers and giving back to the community. I love meeting new people and listening to everyone’s stories. I believe volunteers are so important for a charity organisation and that their willingness, enthusiasm and commitment is something to celebrate and nourish. As Volunteer Coordinator I am here to support and assist with the development of our volunteers, ensuring they have a safe and enjoyable working experience. I am the person to come to with any enquires regarding volunteering and my door is always open.

I am so humbled to get to work with such an amazing organisation and join the Croydon Vision family. I’d like to thank everyone that I have met so far for making me feel so welcome and I look forward to meeting and getting to know everyone in the coming weeks.


Understanding Visual Impairment

At the beginning of August, Staffs and some Volunteers attended Visual Awareness training to help us understand and better support people who are Visually Impaired. Some of the comments from the day were:
“Very Informative, I enjoyed the day and got a lot out of it”
“Very Interactive and Eye Opening”
“I now know how to communicate better to someone with a
Visual Impairment.”
“I found it very useful and it will really help my work”

Resource CentreKatherine Turner

Over August we have been busy modifying one of our rooms into a space for a Resource Centre. The Centre will stock a wide range of equipment and useful aids which will allow anyone with visual impairment to cope with everyday tasks.

The most exciting part is that I have been appointed as the Resource Centre Manager. Our staffs will be on hand to offer a personalized service when members or individuals visit. We are going to have lots of things to try from liquid level indicators to desktop cameras that read text out to you.

As of September there will be a new process in place, on Monday and Wednesday you can book to see me in the Resource Centre, and I will be able to help you try any equipment out. I shall still be teaching and that will be on Tuesday and Thursdays. I will be training all members of staff with basic knowledge of how the equipment works so on the days when I am teaching you can still use the Resource Centre and try the equipment with their help.

Our New Telephone System

We have a new telephone system, which gives you the option to select who you may wish to speak to directly. If you are unable to get through; please leave a brief message and we will return your call. Our telephone options are as follows:

Option 1 – Reception and Transport Enquiries
Option 2 – Information and Advice Officer
Option 3 – Children and Young People’s Service
Option 4 – Working Age Officer
Option 5 – Volunteer Coordinator
Option 6 – Resource Centre Manager and IT
Option 7 – Facilities Officer and Hall Enquiries
Option 8 – Finance Officer
Option 9 – Office Manager

Please ask Reception to forward your call to Susanette


Update from Susanette

Dear Members,

I do hope you had a lovely summer break – a warm welcome back! August has been an eventful month; to further improve the services we offer you at Croydon Vision.

Bedford Hall
We’ve installed partitions in the hall, this has given us an opportunity to further utilise space. As well as the partition, a new hearing loop system has been installed, new microphones and a
PA system for events or daily use.

Lunch Service:
We now have a new Cook and Member Support Worker
(Isatu Koroma), she was in the kitchen a few days in August, organising both kitchen and store area with Shaun, making it fit for purpose, setting standards in place to better meet your needs.

Transport Service:
Many of you know him, Michael Jones is coming back as a Driver and Member Support Worker, he starts 4th September,
Mike will be working 3 days (Tuesday to Thursday).
David Woodin (Tuesdays & Thursdays). John will be driving on Mondays as well as responsible for transport administration.

It was lovely to meet so many of you at Bognor Regis, weather was amazing but most importantly; spending time with you all, seeing so many smiles and laughter was a blessing to me.

Going Forward:
I do hope you find the Resource Centre interesting as well as the improvements at Bedford Hall. The new environment has been designed with you in mind, making sure it is safe and accessible.


Children & Young People

The Children and Young people project has really kicked off this Summer with a range of activities taking place. Towards the end of July, a group of children took part in our ‘Mystery Shopping’ event at the Whitgift Shopping Centre, West Croydon. Each child chose their favourite shop to visit and to critique the shop design, layout, staff uniform even judging how polite the staff were! It really was a
fun-packed morning, thereafter, the children made their own delicious and healthy lunch of wraps followed by fresh fruit salad.

Our Art and Craft session proved to be just as popular with the children painting a wonderful array of pictures following the theme ‘Summer Days’. Beaches, oceans and even dolphins were designed using a range of tactile beads and tissue paper. One of the younger children made a number of pretty bracelets and necklaces using a selection of ribbons and beads. This event really showed off the children’s creative and artistic talents. The children and parents all enjoyed a BBQ lunch together.

Our Pizza Day was lots of fun, with the children working so hard; learning how to make a pizza base and sauce from scratch. Garlic bulbs were crushed and fresh basil was added to a delicious tomato sauce. They really did earn their lunch that day and the pizzas smelt and tasted divine. Lots of new skills, talents and friendships have emerged already during the Summer and there are still lots more new activities to treat the children.

Sunday 9th September –
 Rock Climbing (Age 8 and above)
Age 8 upwards10.30am – 12.30pm Craggy Island, Moorfield Road, Guildford GU1 1RU

Please contact Nicola Peake – Development Officer

Telephone 0208 684 2486 Ext 3


My Croydon Vision Experience

In July, I had the pleasure of spending a week at Croydon Vision as part of my work experience for school. Initially, I was not certain of what to expect as it was a new and unfamiliar setting; however, looking back on the experience, my expectations were superseded.

Throughout the week, I was given opportunities to step out of my comfort zone and take on different roles, such as assisting with the morning pick-up (Transport), conducting research for the Children and Young Peoples’ summer activities and helping to bake and serve lunch.

These showed me the work and different aspects that collectively summarise what Croydon Vision focuses on, which is providing individuals with sight-loss a safe space and community.

Furthermore, I loved the various groups that I was able to observe and was welcomed into with open arms, such as Music Appreciation, where I even put forward a song request (London Calling by The Clash), the Dance Class, where I learned how to Waltz, and various socials throughout the week, from crosswords to general discussions and quizzes, all of which I found brilliant and engaging. The experience enabled me to witness, not just the way in which Croydon Vision works as a unified charity, but also the individuals behind this.

To conclude, I would like to thank all of the Staff, Volunteers and Members for making me feel welcome and patiently teaching me new things. I will never forget my experience at Croydon Vision.

By Jennifer



Working Age Group

The working age group organised a trip on the London Eye and a River Cruise. Trevor, Maxine and Jennifer worked hard together to meticulously plan a memorable trip, which in turn helped build Maxine’s confidence and organisational skills. The day was such a great success that the members still laugh and reminisce about the trip.  Maxine has since gained employment which is even better news! Congratulations from us all here at Croydon Vision and we wish you all the very best in your new post.

During August, the group certainly made the most of the glorious weather, visiting Wandle Park to see the natural wildlife and treating themselves to a tasty lunch afterwards. Children were more than welcome with the adults releasing their inner child by having a go on the numerous rides in the playground. A recent visit to Lloyds Park saw them face their fear by having a go on the zip wire!
This really has been a wonderful Summer for all our members of all ages. We experienced something different, had fun, developed new friends.

RNIB is 150 

The RNIB was founded by Thomas Armitage, born in 1824,     Thom as Rhodes Armitage, a physician who had lost his sight, founded what would become the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to improve the availability of literature for people with sight loss.

At that time, some literature for blind people was available through embossed type (raised shapes that could be felt by fingertips), but the situation was complicated by the fact that there was no single standard of type. On 16 October 1868, Armitage formed the British and Foreign Society for Improving the Embossed Literature of the Blind to champion the adoption of Louis Braille’s system as the main standard of embossed type. The Society would later expand its work to improving education and employment prospects for blind people, and eventually became the RNIB of today.

Music in the Dark

Claire White – Member

Music came to me later in my life which proved to be a lasting blessing because it coincided with the loss of sight. I had always been inspired by, and loved my church music but I had no appreciation or knowledge of classical works. This new discovery helped me fill some of the empty places left by the flight of visual pleasures.

I have spent some lovely Sunday afternoons listening to the South East London Orchestra at St Barnabas Church in Beckenham. The performances have been greatly enhanced for me by receiving in advance the programme notes and having them read to me. This gives me background and information and raises my expectation.

It is a strange sensation, when out of my world of nothingness, the music swells, rises and swirls all around me, seemingly from nowhere and no-one. I find it very hard to imagine all those busy musicians working to produce all those wonderful sounds. Perhaps because I have no visual distractions I can become totally immersed in the music, jumping at an unexpected increase in volume – this is not a shock but a thrill.

 The images and settings conjure up half forgotten pictures, scenes of woodland walks, stormy seas, waterfalls, frosty winter days and lazy hot afternoons. I want so much to retain these pictures in my mind. The music helps to keep form and colour in my imagination as well, as is does for all of us, laying bare the joys and sorrows of humanity.

Thanks you all for bringing musical treasures to me and I hope for many more to come

When service resume in September, you will notice a new Yellow Box in the Hall, this is where you can put youryellow wallets for the Talking News


Feedback – Excursions 2018

This summer’s Excursion was my first at Croydon Vision, the weather has been really nice and warm. I drove members to Hastings, Southend on sea, Eastbourne to name a few. One of the highlights is getting to know members away from Bedford hall and in a more relaxed environment.

New friendships were developed by members, the trips enabled me to get to know so many more members. I do think there is great value in these excursions; in that it is real opportunity to bond, try out local fish and chips and to really raise awareness – John

Wisely Gardens

On our first excursion in August we went to the stunning Wisely garden. The sun was shining down on us to make our stroll around the gardens even better.

There were lots of different flowers and plants including a vegetable section where we saw teeny weeny strawberry’s beginning to grow. We had a wonderful day walking around the gardens and having a spot of lunch, followed by a trip to the gift shop before heading back home – Fay

Southend on Sea and Eastbourne

The sun was hot, the air was sweet and the sea was cold. Southend on Sea was a great visit with a very long pier. Seeing the members enjoy themselves in the sea was a pleasant view. Lauren had a good swim and I tipped my feet in but was not brave enough to immerse myself into the water.

Eastbourne was fun too, as soon as we arrived, it was Fish and Chips time. Christine introduced us to the best restaurant in town. Both trips were great! If anyone goes to Eastbourne, I suggest you visit Qualisea Fish and Chips! – Natasha


Celebrating Volunteers Event

We want to Celebrate Volunteers with style this year.
Our wonderful volunteers do amazing work at Croydon Vision.
This year our event will held on Tuesday, 16th October at Bedford Halls. Invites will be circulated via your groups or posted.

Fay Chegwidden (Volunteer Coordinator) will be handing out awards in different categories to recognise our exceptional volunteers. Some of the winners of these awards will be chosen by our members, whilst others by staff. A voting form will be sent to your email or alternatively forms will be available to collect from reception. Lunch will be served for Everyone and the Mayor of Croydon will be joining us for our event.

The awards categories are:

  • Volunteer of the Year
  • Best Support Leader
  • Service with a Smile
  • Community Service
  • Outstanding Volunteer
  • Biggest heart
  • Above and Beyond


Schedule for the day

12:30 -13:00pm – Welcome
13:00 – 14:00pm – Lunch
14:00 – Ceremony and Awards

Please RSVP to our email address
see reception or call to book your place.


 Seeking Research Participants:
Developing enjoyable and engaging Audio Description (AD) for Museums and Galleries

Are you a blind or partially sighted person who would like to help make museums and galleries more accessible? If so, we would love to hear from you!

What is the study about?

An Audio-descriptive (AD) guide combines a description of an art work or objects with factual background information. Although it is offered in many museums and galleries, very little research has looked at what makes an engaging and enjoyable audio description. Researchers from the University of Westminster are exploring the ways in which people experience and enjoy audio for a series of photos, taken from the collections of the Museum of London. We are looking for people with a visual impairment to take part. We are interested in all perspectives – whether you visit museums often or never; whether or not you frequently experience AD or have never heard the AD. This research will provide important information about what makes a successful AD, and about its potential for use more widely across the museum sector.

What will I need to do?

We will ask you to listen to descriptions of 8 photographs, through headphones. Afterwards, we will ask you some questions about your experience and what you thought of it. This stage should take around 1 hour.

One month later, we will ask you to complete a follow-up questionnaire, again asking about your thoughts and experiences. This questionnaire should take about 30 minutes or so.

We will offer you a range of options to complete the questionnaire, to ensure that it is fully accessible.

Where and when is the study?

The study will take place in central London. Travel expenses can be covered – please contact the researcher, Rachel Hutchinson, to discuss further. We are looking for people to take part starting in September and dates are available to reserve now.

How do I sign up?

Please contact the researcher, Rachel Hutchinson, on or on 07816244469

We are also recruiting sighted participants for this study, so if you have friends or family who may be interested then they are very welcome to get in touch too.

As a thank you for your participation, we would like to offer all participants a £15 shopping voucher.

Musical Events

On Sunday 9th December at 4pm
South East London Orchestra
, in which Sue Ardley plays the cello, will be giving a programme of music relating to Christmas at St Barnabas’ Church in Beckenham. We are going to organise a trip to this concert so if you are interested please give your name to reception, places will be on a first come first served basis.

Tickets are £8, transport cost to be announced nearer the time.

Tuesday 18th December
The Salamanda Saxophone Quartet
 are returning to Bedford Hall to give you another wonderful concert after your Christmas lunch. No need to book unless you would like lunch and are not normally in on Tuesdays. All welcome.

Quiz Time

Our Quiz this month has been written by Natasha (Office Manager), based around language

  1. What is the most spoken language in the world?
  2. Which language is taught on a global scale?
  3. How many languages are spoken in the world?
  4. How often does a language die?
  5. Where does the English language derive from?
  6. “Cómo Está?” Comes from which language?
  7. What is the most common letter and vowel in the English language?
  8. What is the second language written in British passports?
  9. How many artificial languages have been invented for books?
  10. What are the oldest known languages?
  11. How many languages are spoken in the United States?
  12. Which language has the largest alphabet?
  13. The English word “alphabet” is made up of two Greek words. What are they?
  14. What does Déjà Vu mean?
  15. What is the third most spoken language in the world?



1 Mandarin 2 English 3 2,700 4 Every two weeks 5 Germanic Language (It also has elements of Latin and Greek) 6 Spanish 7 The letter E 8 French 9 200 10 Sanskrit, Sumerian, Hebrew and Basque 11 300 12 Cambodian 13 Alpha and Beta 14 Already seen 15 English


That’s Entertainment


A selection of Audio Described performances in London next month.

Kinky Boots Tues 2nd Oct 7:30pm                                         £35

Adelphi Theatre, The Strand

T: 020 7751 1705    E:

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Sat 6th Oct 2pm             £35

Palace Theatre, Shaftsbury Ave

T: 0330 333 4410    E:

The Humans Sat 6th Oct 3pm (Touch Tour 1:30pm)

Hampstead Theatre, Eaton Ave

T: 020 7722 9301    E:   £10-£37

Eyam Sat 13th Oct 2pm (Touch Tour 12pm)

Shakespeare’s Globe, New Globe Walk

T: 020 7902 1409 E:         £5

Antony & Cleopatra Fri 19th Oct 7pm

National Theatre, Waterloo

T: 020 7452 3000    E:          £16

Othellomacbeth Fri 26th Oct 7:30 (Touch Tour 6pm)

Lyric Hammersmith

T: 020 8741 6850 E:                         £10-£42


Telephone numbers for Local Theatres

New Wimbledon theatre 0844 871 7646

Bromley Theatre      0203 285 6000


Dates for your Diary


­     Fiona Hazell, optometrist with Low Vision Clinic, will be at Bedford Hall on this date this month, Thursday 13th September 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. They have Drop-In surgeries around the borough, please ask in reception for more details.
  • ­Joseph the hairdresser is next due to be at Bedford Hall, on Thursday 6th September, from 10am. Please book first.
  • ­The chiropodist Joy Dell will here on Wednesday 5th September. Please book with Reception.
  • ­ The IT Coordinator Katherine Turner will be teaching on Tuesday and Wednesday. She will be at New Addington on Thursday 13th September.
  • ­The next meeting of Croydon Macular Support Group is on Monday 10th September from 1- 3pm.
  • ­The Glaucoma Group will meet here next on Monday 1st October, at 1.30pm
  • John Ebubedike, Information, Advice and Guidance, is in Tuesday to Thursday, please book through reception.


We were sad to hear of the death of Mrs Rita Harper.

Lunch Menu – Bedford Hall

Eat well, Live well and Age well

Dear Members, if the menu below doesn’t suit you on a specific day, please discuss earlier with reception and we will do our very best to meet your requirement.

Tuesday,4th September

Meat: Aromatic Rice served with Chicken breast stew and salad.

Vegetarian: Aromatic Rice served with stew Vegetables & plantain.

Fish: Aromatic Rice served with Cod stew and salad.


Homemade Trifle or Fresh Fruit salad with yogurt or Ice cream

————————————————————————————– Wednesday,5th September

Freshly made sandwiches (meat and veg option)


Fresh Fruit salad with yogurt or Ice cream


Thursday,6th September

Meat: Succulent Roast Pork served with new potatoes, gravy
& steamed vegetables
Ratatouille – full of flavour and autumn vegetables
Roasted Salmon with new potatoes, gravy & steamed vegetables


Apple crumble with custard
Fresh Fruit salad with yogurt or Ice cream

Tuesday,11th September

Meat: Beef Lasagne served with mixed salad
Vegetable Lasagne served with mixed salad

Fish: Fish Pie served with gravy and mixed salad


Victoria sponge cake served with custard or ice cream

Seasonal fruit with yogurt or ice cream


Wednesday,12th September

Roast Chicken Salad with fresh rolls


Vanilla cheesecake


Thursday,13th September

Meat: Roast Lamb with new potatoes, gravy & steamed vegetables

Vegetarian:New potatoes served with seasoned Grilled vegetables & salad

Fish:Roasted Salmon with new potatoes and steamed vegetables


Baked plum tart served with custard

Seasonal fruit with yogurt or ice cream



Tuesday,18th September

Meat: Freshly made Chicken in batter, served with chips

Vegetarian: Freshly cut Cauliflower in batter, served with chips

Fish: Homemade Fish and chips

All served with Peas or Baked Beans


Homemade Rice pudding served with berries

Seasonal fruit with yogurt or ice cream



Roasted Sausages or Chicken with mash potatoes, gravy and
steamed vegetables


Homemade Tiramisu


Thursday,20th September

Meat: Roast Chicken served with new potatoes, steamed vegetables and gravy
Aromatic Rice or Potatoes served with Vegetable Curry (tofu)

Fish: Baked Cod served with new potatoes, steamed vegetables
& gravy


Banoffee pie
Seasonal fruit with yogurt or ice cream

Tuesday, 25th September

Meat: Baked Penne Bolognaise with cheese served with salad

Vegetarian: Baked Vegetable pasta with cheese served with salad

Fish: Seafood Penne Pasta with salad and roasted cherry tomatoes

(New potatoes, gluten free products available upon request)


Homemade Apple Crumble with Custard or ice cream

Seasonal fruit with yogurt or ice cream


Wednesday, 26thSeptember

Fried Rice with barbecue Chicken and mixed salad


Panna cotta served with berries


Thursday, 27th September

Meat: Homemade Jollof Rice served with succulent Meat stew
& salad

Vegetarian: Homemade Jollof rice served with vegetable stew & salad.

Fish: Homemade Jollof rice with Fish stew & salad.

(New potatoes available upon request)

Homemade Vanilla Cheesecake
Seasonal Fruit Salad with yogurt or ice cream

New Addington Menu
Eat well, Live well and Age well


Thursday,6th September

Succulent Roast Pork served with new potatoes, gravy
& steamed vegetables

Thursday,13th September

Roast Lamb with new potatoes, gravy & steamed vegetables

Thursday,20th September

Roast Chicken served with new potatoes, steamed vegetables
& gravy

Thursday ,27th September

Homemade Jollof Rice served with Meat stew & salad.
Roast Pork served with new potatoes, gravy & steamed vegetables

Desserts – same as Bedford Hall each week

Submissions for the October Newsletter are due in by We would love to have your stories and suggestions

Thursday 13th September.