A Christmas Poem
The Christ In Christmas
Poet: Catherine Pulsifer, © 2017
How can you take Christ out of Christmas
What meaning would there be
For truly it is Jesus who is the reason
for this special season you see.
Those who want to say happy holiday
should be reminded this I say,
you can find Holy there
and that should be our prayer.
And further still you say, Santa Claus,
well, he was a Christian leader too
by the name of Saint Nicholas
who helped others all year through.
So as hard as you may try
There is no reason why
we would have Christmas time
without Jesus in our mind.
From Everyone here at Bedford Hall and New Addington we want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and hope you have one that is filled with joy and happiness.
Christmas Opening and Closing Dates
We will be breaking up for Christmas on Thursday 20th December;
Children and Young People
October and November were filled full of new activities for the children and young people. On Wednesday 24th October, we visited Future Gymnastics at Stanley Park High School in Carshalton where members had the chance to try out the beam, parallel bars, and trampoline and learnt key gymnastic skills such as forward rolls and cartwheels for the ambitious. The children had a wonderful time, and it was a dream come true for a blind girl who had never had the chance to take part in gymnastics before. They all left feeling energised, inspired and confident knowing they can take part in activities just like their friends in school.
On Friday 26th October, the rain and cold weather certainly did not hamper the spirit of our members who attended Wheels for Well-Being at Croydon Sports Arena. The children were able to try out a range of bikes including trikes, go-karts, 2-seater and adapted bikes. They biked for 2 hours and raced against their parents – everyone had so much fun and it was great exercise with lots of space for them all to bike in a safe and confident manner
On Saturday, the 17th November, we got to go out and play goalball. This was a new experience for myself and all the children that attended but one that was thoroughly enjoyable. We had 12 children take part including 2 new children who have just joined Croydon Vision. The children loved the new game and they got a lot out of it including teamwork skills and for some it has even become a new hobby!
This month we have a scheduled trip to see the Wind and the Willows on Saturday the 8th of December at the Polka Theatre in Wimbledon, which we are very much looking forward to.
Nicola Peake – Children and Young People Officer
Greetings newsletter readers, this month on the 7th November, the Working Age Group went to Sight Village where we took in the delights they had to offer. My personal favourite device was the talking keyboard it had all the element’s to compose your own music. I wish they had that when I was producing music. There were some new members who have never visited Sight Village before and it was a revelation. There was much to do and learn from the latest technology, talks, information and activities. I have to say a special thanks to John for driving us down there and Nicola for assisting. It was good to have a mix of staff, members and volunteers. Furthermore, it increased understanding of sight loss and was a great place to network
On the 14th November we went to Pocklington Hub, we were invited for a spot of lunch and a discussion about the journey of VI people back into employment. The Group felt empowered by the stories they were told and gained great confidence from it. In life, we are all on our own journey but it feels so good when we reach our goal. Talking about destinations I had Fay and Mike helping me guide, and for Fay she got so much out of it learning about VI people commuting on London transport and what it is like, thanks to Mike for being such a good guide as always.
As we approach December our Christmas Party for the Working Age Group is coming up on the 19th this year we are going to Coombe Lodge. Thank you and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Trevor Azis – Working Age Officer
Information and Advice
Like being a defender of injustice
Croydon disability forum are looking for new members:
Their vision is for a transformed society where disabled people, regardless of gender, religious or other beliefs, sexual orientation or different ethnicity, can live a fully independent life.
Our mission statement is to lobby for and promote independent living principles and to bring awareness facing disabled people on a day-to-day basis in the London borough of Croydon.
Objectives include promoting an open forum for all people living in Croydon who have a disability or sensory impairment, to provide information on disability issues – services, products, benefits and legislation
Meetings take place at Bedford hall from 1pm to 3pm; you will receive a correspondence to let you know the dates in advance. The next meeting will be held on Friday 14th December at Bedford Hall from 1pm – 3pm. For more information and application form please see John
Need help with daily living?
Croydon Council have worked closely with the Disabled Living Foundation to introduce Ask SARA.
Ask SARA is a free and easy to use online service, which enables and supports older people, adults with disabilities and children and young people with disabilities to lead independent lives.
John Ebubedike – Information and Advice Officer
For those with an interest in playing tennis and sport, Sutton Tennis club are currently offering 2 VI sessions per week.
These weekly sessions are held on:
Wednesdays from 2pm to 5pm
Thursdays from 11am to 12.30pm
The sessions are £4.10 each and are bookable and payable at reception by card only
November is always an exciting time for me, it is the month in which Sight Village London is held.
Sight Village is a big exhibition where all the latest, and not so new, technology is showcased. It is a chance for me to have a look at what is new and to get my hands on equipment to see what the potential downsides are.
This year Amazon had a stand and were giving away Amazon Echo Dots to a selected few. No one from Croydon Vision was chosen, however, it is nice to see a mainstream company recognising that the technology they have is very useful to the VI Community.
Another mainstream company is Barclays, they’ve had a stall for the last couple of years. Barclays have a number of things to make life easier; such as a talking pin card reader for internet banking. My favourite item on their table though was the bPay devices. These mimic a contactless credit card; they come in a variety of forms; stickers, keyrings, wristbands and loops to put on a watch strap.
I had the opportunity to see an emerging technology called the Sunu Band. This is an aid to augment current mobility skills. It uses echolocation to detect objects and when used in conjunction with a smartphone can; give you the time through vibrations, count your steps and tell you when you should be moving, giving you discreet instructions on when to turn left or right when using GPS navigation.
I have also been busy in the Resource Centre, and those of you who come into Bedford Hall and New Addington will have noticed that I have been bringing some of the Resource Centre into your sessions, I hope to continue this in the New Year.
Katherine Turner – Resource Centre Manager
From the 1st November to the 15th November, we were given the opportunity to spread awareness of our services and to talk to the general public at Moorfield’s eye unit at CUH. We had a space from where we could display our leaflets and our banner; the waiting area of the eye unit.
Many of our volunteers and staff took part in raising awareness of our organisation, we have received lots of positive feedback, and the outreach has been very successful. We have been given the opportunity to go back to Moorfield’s twice a month on a regular basis. Good work team.
A massive thank you to all those volunteers that helped out;
Jane Bashford, Anna Smith, Sue Ardley, Claire White, Pat Tebbutt, Karen Leathwood, Jennifer Smith, Jan Broughton and Jenny Wellington
The next dates we will be at Moorfields are – Wednesday 12th December and Wednesday 9th January
British Wireless for the Blind Funds 90th Birthday
On the 1st of November, myself and Katherine had the pleasure of attending British Wireless for the blind funds 90th birthday (BWBF).
BWBF is a charity organisation providing adapted radios to those who are blind or have visual impairments. This service is free to receive for those on the register and in receipt of a means-tested benefit.
The staff and volunteers at the event where very welcoming and I learnt a lot about their history. BWBF was founded by Sir Ernest Beachcroft Beckwith Towse, a blinded Boer War veteran in 1928. He recognised the isolation that often accompanies sight loss and how radios can help ease the sense of loneliness.Fun fact, Sir Winston Churchill got behind the campaign himself!
We enjoyed a lovely day of conversation, food and playing with technology. Katherine was delighted that she was given a new gadget for the Resource Centre.
Fay Chegwidden – Volunteer Coordinator
Croydon Vision held an Away Day 2nd November, to influence the development of the charity with the aim of developing a Strategic Plan for 2019/20. We had representation from various stakeholders including members, volunteers and staff. The away day captured contributions, thoughts and comments from those present. Making recommendations about what to do with the information gathered as a means of taking the charity forward for the future.
Key Objectives for the day
- A Review of our Mission, Vision and the creation of Values
- SWOT analysis of service provision and external engagement
- Our Vision statement to be future focussed and ambitious, it should be more aspirational and compliment the Mission statement.
- To review our Mission statement with a view to changing it; reflecting the strategic direction of Croydon Vision
- Bringing the Values to life and making people aware of them.
To deliver the highest possible quality services to many more blind and partially sighted people in Croydon.
Our Mission is to promote quality of life to those who are blind or visually impaired and their families by encouraging greater independence, confidence and personal development.
Awareness, Compassion, Teamwork, Integrity, Diversity
And of course, we wouldn’t be Croydon Vision without a lot of Creativity!
The day was wonderful with lots of active participation from everyone. As a team, conducted a SWOT analysis on service provision and external engagement.
Programme for the Annual General Meeting 11th December 2018
12.00 – Lunch and Networking. Lunch will be Buffett style.
13.30 – Music by St Marys School Choir followed by a welcome from the Mayor of Croydon.
13:45 – AGM Business
|Welcome from the Chair||Frances Cullen|
|Apologies for Absence|
|Minutes of the AGM||27th July 2017
|A copy is included on the Talking news – please ask at reception if you require a print copy|
|Chair’s Summary Report||Frances Cullen|
|A Year in Review, Looking Ahead||Susanette Mansour|
|Report from the Treasurer||Colin Coates|
|Trustee Report & Accounts||2017/18|
|Trustees Re-election||Members vote|
|Questions from the Floor||Frances & Susanette
14.15 – AGM Presentation
|A Year in Review from Staff||Katherine Turner
|Contribution from Members||From 4 Members|
|Guest Speaker||Andy Barrow|
|Vote of Thanks – Vice Chair||Richard Wragg|
Christmas is approaching and it would not be so without a Christmas celebration. On Thursday 20th December, we invite you to join in the festivities at Croydon Vision.
We will be serving a complimentary scrumptious Christmas dinner to all our members and volunteers. You will get to indulge in a traditional roast dinner with either Turkey, Quorn Roast or Roast Salmon followed by a good old Christmas Pud! Full details of the dinner will be shown in the menu pages later on.
Classes and Services will be cancelled on this day however we have a day full of fun and surprises. From 10 – 12 we will have a variety of different games and treats available; including varies of beauty treatments. More information about the morning activities will be made available closer to the time.
After lunch we have a special performance from the South East London Orchestra (SELO) along with Christmas songs and cheer.
If you wish to attend, please inform Reception to confirm.
Transport will be available; £3 one way and £6 return
Crisis at Christmas 2018
Running from 22rd – 30th December in 10 centres across London. The project is a lifeline for thousands of homeless people. They offer support, companionship, activities and vital services, during the holiday period and help people to take their first steps out of homelessness.
Crisis at Christmas has a new centre this year in Croydon, and are looking for enthusiastic volunteers who can spare some time and get involved in helping provide a warm welcome to our guests from the this Christmas. They have a variety of volunteering roles available. For more information, please go to their website.
Spreading the Christmas Joy
Every year millions of people around the world celebrate Christmas, one tradition that many people take part in is the giving of Christmas cards. Christmas cards are a wonderful way of spreading love and thanks, however for those with sight loss the gesture is somewhat lost.
This year at Croydon Vision like many in the past, we will be having a Christmas card collection for St Christopher’s Hospice as an alternative to sending each other Christmas cards. Buckets will be available through reception or through your group leaders and can choose to give as little or as much as you would like.
For more information, please see Irene Davey or Reception for more information.
For those who would like to send Christmas cards to other friends and family, we are selling packs of 8-10 cards for £1 a pack. Some of the cards have been designed by our very own members and volunteers. Cards will be available to buy from reception.
SELO Upcoming Concert
Sunday 9th December
SELO will be giving a programme of music relating to Christmas in which Sue Ardley plays the cello
Venue: St Barnabas’s Church in Beckenham
Time: 4 pm – 6 pm.
Ticket: £8, free for Volunteers supporting Members on the day.
There will be transport provision on the day and Mike as your driver. The cost of transport is funded by SELO. Programme notes in large print will be available from the office nearer the time.
‘Tis the season to be jolly’ this month we have put together a Christmas quiz to have a go at.
- What is the best-selling Christmas movie of all time?
- In Which year did Queen Elizabeth II deliver her first ‘ televised Christmas message to the nation?
- Who composed the music for the festive season ballet ‘The Nutcracker’
- Why were Joseph and the expectant Mary on the road to Bethlehem in the first place?
- Which Christmas tradition, said to have originated in Germany, was banned in the Soviet Union until 1935?
- What are the names of the Three Wise Men or The Three Kings? (in western folklore)
- Decipher these 3 anagrams, all are Christmas movies
- Which popular poem did Clement Clark Moore write for his six children in 1822?
- Name as many of Santa’s 9 reindeer as you can
- What was was Christmas number one in the year 1991
1 Home Alone 2 1957 3 Tchaikovsky 4 To pay their taxes (take part in a census) 5 Christmas trees 6 Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar 7a A Christmas Carol b How the Grinch Stole Christmas c it’s a Wonderful Life 8 a visit from st nick (the night before Christmas) 9 Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph 10 Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
A selection of Audio described performances in London next month.
Please note that some of the time for Touch Tours is yet to be confirmed (TBC), please use contact detail to enquire.
|Date||What’s Happening||Contact Info||Price|
|Thurs 3rd Jan
(Touch Tour TBC)7pm
|Aladdin–New Wimbledon Theatre, Wimbledon||T: 08009126971||£20|
|Tues 8th Jan
(Touch Tour 6pm)7.30pm
|A Christmas CarolThe Old Vic, Waterloo
|Sat 26th Jan
(Touch Tour at 12.45pm)2.30pm
The Tragedy of King Richard The Second-
Almeida Theatre, Highbury & Islington T: 02074523000£20Sat 2nd Feb
(Touch Tour TBC)2:30pm
Victoria Palace Theatre, Victoria
|Telephone numbers for local theatres:
New Wimbledon Theatre: 0844 871 7646
Bromley Theatre: 0203 285 6000
Dates for your Diary
|Tuesdays & Thursday
|The IT Trainer Katherine Turner will be teaching on Tuesday and Thursday.|
|Monday – Thursday
|The Resource Centre is open Monday – Thursday. Please book appointments on Monday and Wednesday, Tuesday and Thursday work on a drop-in basis|
|Tuesday to Thursday
Information & Advice
|John Ebubedike, Information, Advice
and Guidance, is in Tuesday to Thursday, please book through reception.
|Monday 3rd December
|The Glaucoma Group will meet at Bedford Hall at 1.30pm|
|Monday 10th December
|Is the next meeting of Croydon Macular Support Group from 1- 3pm.|
|Thursday, 13th December
Low Vision Clinic
|Fiona Hazell, optometrist with Low Vision Clinic, will be at Bedford Hall between 9.30am and 12.30pm. She gives expert advice. This is a free consultation, but please book first.|
|Wednesday 16th January
|The chiropodist Joy Dell will here on Please book with Reception.|
Lunch Menu – Bedford Hall
Croydon Vision – Eat well, Live well and Age well
All meals include a choice of main course and dessert
Meat: Meatball stew served with rice or potatoes and vegetables.
Vegetarian: Quorn chicken stew served with rice or potatoes and vegetables.
Fish: Cod fish stew served with rice or potatoes and vegetables.
Homemade vanilla cheesecake or Fresh Fruit salad with yogurt or Ice cream
Chicken Masala served with aromatic rice and salad
Homemade chocolate sponge cake served with custard
Thursday, 6th December
Meat: Penne pasta Bolognese served with salad (potatoes)
Vegetarian: Penne pasta Bolognese served with salad (potatoes)
Fish: Baked cod fish served with potatoes and salad
Homemade tiramisu or Fresh Fruit salad with yogurt or Ice cream
Tuesday,11th December (AGM)
Seasonal fruit with yogurt or ice cream
Wednesday, 12th December
Chicken stew served with aromatic rice or potatoes
Fruit salad served with yogurt and ice cream
Meat: Chicken and vegetables soup served with fresh rolls
Vegetarian: Vegetable soup served with fresh rolls
Homemade lemon bar pie served with ice cream
Seasonal fruit and yogurt
Meat: Beef casserole with mash and steamed vegetables
Vegetarian: Vegetable casserole with mash and salad
Fish: Baked cod with mash and steamed vegetables
Homemade plum tart served with custard
Seasonal fruit with yogurt or ice cream
Roasted butternut squash and vegetable soup served soft roll
Homemade rice pudding served berries
New Addington Menu
Eat well – Live well – Age well
Thursday 6th December
Thursday 13th December
Christmas meal with all the trimmings
Thursday 20th December
Christmas Meal at Bedford Hall
Croydon Vision – Eat well, Live well and Age well
Pigs in blankets
Roasted vegetables and gravy
Quorn roast served with roast potatoes, roasted vegetables, brussel sprouts, cranberry sauce and gravy
Roast salmon served with roast potatoes, roasted vegetables, cranberry sauce, brussel sprouts
Christmas pudding served with custard
Seasonal fruit with yogurt or ice cream
Contact Croydon Vision
020 8688 2486
Charity Number: 1165086
|We would love to have your input!
Submissions for the January Newsletter are due in by Thursday 13th December.