May 2013 News
Donation received in Lieu of Flowers
Sight Cymru has received a very generous donation of £228 from the family and friends of the late Mrs Elsie Elizabeth James. In accordance with Elsie’s wishes a collection was made at the funeral in lieu of flowers and has been donated to us by Cherrie Withers (Elsie’s daughter) and Daryl James (Elsie’s son). Even though the support Elsie received from Sight Cymru was some considerable time ago Elsie still wished to make a donation as she very much appreciated the support given to her by our charity when she needed it most, and wished to help others suffering sight loss. Elsie still lived independently, although she was 98 years old when she died.
Huge thanks go to all who donated and of course to Elsie!
Michael Raises over £1000 for Sight Cymru
Remember our news item Go for it Michael! lin March about Michael Harris running the Marathon to raise funds for our charity? Well! He did it! He has actually raised £1193 so far and donations are still coming in - and - he did it in an amazing 3 hours 56mins.
What a star! Thank you so much Michael.
Abergavenny Round Table Donate £600 to Sight Cymru
Members of Abergavenny Round Table presented a cheque of £600 to our CEO Sharon Beckett recently. See our Facebook page. The monies are to be used to provide training for medical staff at Neville Hall Hospital. Round Table raises funds through various activities and their main aim is ensure that local people benefit. Sight Cymru approached members to ask for support and Sight Cymru are so grateful to receive this donation. Sharon Beckett said "Now we can provide awareness training to staff at Neville Hall" Having limited or no sight is difficult enough but when visiting a hospital it is vital that staff have the necessary skills and are aware of the difficulties of sight impaired people. Well done Guys!
April 2013 News
Sight Cymru awarded a grant from: The Millennium Stadium Charitable Trust
Sight Cymru has been awarded a grant of £2500 from the trust. The monies will be used to support the children's club "Goggles" which runs in Torfaen.
The Millennium Stadium Charitable Trust was established through an agreement between the Millennium Stadium and the Millennium Commission and its income is generated through a levy on every ticket purchased by people attending public events at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
The Trust strives to enrich the quality of life in Welsh communities by investing in inspirational sporting, arts, environmental and community-based projects that will have a lasting impression on the people who will benefit.
What is Goggles?
‘’Goggles’’ is an activity club for children and their siblings, age four to sixteen years, who have a visual impairment. The club meets every fortnight on a Saturday afternoon to try out new activities, have fun and create friendships. Members of the club take part in a range of activities, including a Chocolate Making Workshop, Swimming, Arts and Crafts session, and new events are being planned for the summer. All new members are more than welcome to participate in any session and if your child would like to come along, please contact: Lucy Payne on 07706 728134 or Jason Grubb on 07951 733063. Alternatively you can contact Sight Cymru on 01495 763650 for futher information.
March 2013 News
Partially sighted and profoundly deaf. It doesn't stop Kevan Bean from living a full life!
Kevan Bean has only 6% sight and is also profoundly deaf yet it hasn't stopped him from living a full life AND partaking in sport. Kevan enjoys bowling and represented Wales in the World Outdoor Championships for Vision Impaired Bowlers in Kuala Lumpur in 2004. On that occasion Kevan brought home a silver medal. At that time Sight Cymru (known then as Gwent Association for the Blind) acted as an intermediatry for an anonomous donor who donated an amazing £2000 which allowed Kevan to attend the event.
Kevan has again been selected to represent Wales. The event this year is being held in the UK. Kevan is employed but he is unable to fund the trip to Worthing this summer. He would love to attend and bring back more medals for Wales. He needs to raise £500 this time - Do you know anyone who could help?
For more information please contact us at Sight Cymru 01495 763650 or email email@example.com
Go for it Michael!
Over the last 2 years Michael Harris has been a keen runner and has been running with Caerleon Running Club for the past 18 months. He has recently been selected, by his club, to take part in the London Marathon which this year will take place on 21st April.
Michael loves a challenge and is training hard for the event over the coming months. To prepare, he will take part in both the Newport half marathon and the Gloustershire 20.
Michael has decided that he will raise funds, through sponsorship, which will be donated to Sight Cymru. He is very aware of the good work that staff and volunteers do in supporting blind and partially sighted people as, his wife, who we all know as Becs, is registered visually impaired. Becs does a fabulous job in running our resource centre at our offices in Pontypool with the support of Gavin and John who also have sight impairments.
Michael knows “first hand“ the difference the organisation makes to people who are having difficulty with their sight.
We are with you all the way!!!
We still have 2013 calendars and diaries in stock!
Calendars (A3) size £3.50
Pocket Diary (hand sized) £5.90
Midi Diary (A5) £7.05
Large Desk Diary (A4) £9.40
If you would like one you can telephone Becs Gavin or John on 01495 763650 and order by card over the phone or we can send out with an invoice, to be paid by cheque.
Of course you can always pop in !. We would love to see you!
Centenarian raises over £500 for Sight Cymru!
Elthel Woodward who lives in Swyffryd recently celebrated her 100th birthday. Congratulations Ethel!
Always thinking of others Ethel asked friends and relatives not to bring presents to her celebrations - instead she wished to make a donation to Sight Cymru as she knows that the monies will be spent locally to help other people suffering with sight loss. A total of £577.15 was raised and Ethel’s son Steve brought the donation into our offices in Pontypool recently.
Ethel lives with, and is cared for by her son and daughter-in-law and Ethel’s daughter Pamela.
She has been totally blind for the last 20 years, her condition was caused by Glaucoma. Ethel could have chosen any number of charities but chose Sight Cymru as she knows how difficult it is to cope with sight loss.
What an inspirational lady!
DID YOU KNOW ABOUT Sight Cymru's Welfare Rights Service?
Sight Cymru can provide practical support to help people with a visual impairment to claim their Welfare Rights
We provide help in your own home for people with sight loss.
We can help with advice on what you are entitled to, and assist you with any claims. We can even represent you at Tribunal if you have received an unfavourable decision.
Why not give us a ring on 01495 763650 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help you.
How we can help you…
• Benefit Checks - Making sure you are receiving your full Welfare Rights entitlement
• Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance - Helping people with problems with mobility, washing, eating, bathing, taking medication etc to claim their disability benefit entitlement.
• Employment & Support Allowance - Help claiming if you are unable to work due to sickness
• Housing Benefit & Council Tax Benefit - Help claiming for help with your rent and/or Council Tax
• Social Fund - Help applying for a grant to help you through an emergency, or to help you leave hospital or other institution
• Carers Allowance - Help with claiming your entitlements if you care for 30 hrs or more a week for someone who receives Attendance Allowance, or middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance
• Pension Credit - Help for people over retirement age to top up your income if you are on a low income
• Income Support - Help for working age people on a low income because you are caring for a child or disabled person
• Tax Credits - Help to claim Working and Child Tax Credits
• Tax Allowance - Help claiming the Blind Person’s Tax Allowance
• Better off calculations - Help to identify how a change of circumstances such as a new job, new baby or a partner moving in will affect your benefits.
Not sure if you are entitled to extra help? Ask us - we can advise you!
December 2012 News
Goggles Get Active and Creative!
‘’Goggles’’ is an activity club for children and their siblings, age four to sixteen years, who have a visual impairment. The club meets every fortnight on a Saturday afternoon to try out new activities, have fun and create friendships. Recently members of the club have taken part in a range of activities, including a Chocolate Making Workshop, Swimming, Arts and Crafts session, organised a Christmas Party and new activities have been arranged for the spring. All new members are more than welcome to participate in any session and if your child would like to come along, please contact: Lucy Payne on 07706 728134 or Jason Grubb on 07951 733063. Alternatively you can contact Sight Cymru on 01495 763650 for futher information.
The Welsh Government Eye Care Policy was published on 19th December; this is the document that will steer how the Welsh Government delivers excellent care for those with sight loss over the next five years so it is important that people feel they can contribute to it. In order to help people take part, we are running a Consultation Event on 27th February at Bradbury House, starting at 12 midday - including lunch. The event will include a presentation about the Government’s Policy and people will be able to discuss whether they feel there is anything missing from the policy or whether there should be amendments.
People will be encouraged to make their own responses to the government if they wish to do so, but we will also make a group submission. If anyone would like to come along, please email email@example.com as we need to arrange refreshments.
The policy document is available on the Welsh Government website or by electronic copy from ourselves and others. Alternatively if you want a Braille or large print copy please contact Sarah.O’Sullivan-Adams@Wales.GSI.Gov.uk
Keep Warm & Well this winter - key tips:
- please have a flu jab (contrary to popular belief it will NOT give you the flu!) as for most at risk groups it is free – check with your GP
- if you are struggling with your heating bills, keep at least one room in the house warm and well insulated and spend your time there
- try to get out for some exercise – a brisk walk every day is as good as formal exercise
- visit your optometrist to have your eyes checked. Good eye health is essential to avoiding trips and falls. Phone 01495 763650 if you don’t know your nearest optometrist or need help getting there.
- if you are struggling with finances let us check you are claiming all that you are entitled to.
If you have asthma or other respiratory problems don’t dry clothes on radiators and open a window a crack when you are cooking or bathing as too much moisture in the air will enable house-mites to multiply.
- make sure you eat a healthy diet including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as a good mix of proteins.
Now that we are in the grips of winter we thought that it would be useful to locate some easy winter warmer recipes in anticipation of colder weather. Below are some useful links:
- Visit the BBC Good Food page for some really good recipes.
- We also found this really useful site Great Little Ideas - that not only gives you simple recipes it also provides links to online shopping outlets Tesco and Asda which will automatically add the ingredients to your shopping basket!
If you would like more help to do this please contact our resource centre. We have staff who can help you to set up online shopping.
Working with Minority and Ethnic Communities
Training the Trainer course on prevention of needless sight loss in minority ethnic communities in Wrexham
The course was organised by Sight Cymru and delivered by Nirmala Pisavadia on 22nd and 23rd November 2012 at AVOW (Association of Voluntary Organisations in Wrexham). It was a huge success and was attended by participants from diverse ethnic communities. The course will enable participants to go into their communities and spread the message (in their own language) about taking care of eyes and how sight loss from eye conditions predominant in BAME communities such as Glaucoma and Diabetic Retinopathy can be prevented through better diet, lifestyle changes and regular eye examinations.
IT’S ALL A LOAD OF BALLS!
Recently, laughter echoed around the alleys of Cwmbran Bowlplex as 8 teams of 4 people took up the challenge of Ten Pin Blindfold Bowling
This charity event had two purposes, to raise much needed money for local charity Sight Support (formerly the Gwent Association of the Blind), and also to challenge fully sighted people to experience the daily difficulties of many thousands of people who have lost all or some of their sight.
Spectators and bowlers alike enjoyed the hilarity of kamikaze bowling along with errant balls on neighbouring lanes, as all bowlers took their turn in bowling with a blindfold on. Some were amazed to find out that with a little help from a sighted guide they scored a respectable total, in some cases better than if they did when the blindfold off!
Teams were made up from members of Sight Support (who were either blind or partially sighted) as well as volunteers and staff. There were two teams from Specsavers who eventually came out with the highest score – ‘Should have gone to Specsavers’ as the saying goes! We hope that a total of over £600 will be raised, which Barclays Bank have indicated they will match fund.
We have already had a donation towards the cost of putting on the event by Bowlplex, and would like to thank them for all their help on the night. Not only were the staff friendly and professional, they had their work cut out putting the rails up and down throughout the evening!
Sight Support provides help and assistance to almost 5000 people who are blind or partially sighted and are Wales’ biggest wholly Welsh sight loss agency. If you would like any further information please either telephone 01495 763650, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Research Project Report
Growing Up and Moving On (Service Provision for Children and Young People in Wales)
We have long been concerned that sight loss is too often seen as exclusively something that affects older people, and excludes the very real needs of children and young people. We are delighted to have been able to sponsor an excellent piece of research by Elaine Kelleher.
To view the full report click here for Word Format
After running successful “Training the Trainer’ Courses for Prevention of Needless Sight Loss in Minority Ethnic Communities in Cardiff, Swansea and Newport, Sight Cymru is now planning the next one in Wrexham. We are delighted that Lesley Griffiths, AM for Wrexham has very kindly agreed to present the certificates to the Trainers on 23rd November. The training course will be held at AVOW, 21 Egerton Street, Wrexham. LL11 1ND.
We are also delighted to announce that Sight Cymru by working closely with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board will be running Structured Diabetes Education courses in Gujarati in Cardiff on 11th January, 8th February, 8th March and 12th April 2013. The courses will be delivered by Kath Shiels, Dietitian, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board in English with a Gujarati translator. This is a pilot project as this is the first time it is being done in Cardiff and if it is successful further courses will be run in other ethnic languages which are widely spoken in Cardiff.
For further information about either of the above events please contact Nirmala Pisavadia on : Nirmala.Pisavadia@Sightcymru.org.uk
To view the minority ethnic communities annual Health Fair held at Cardiff City Hall click the link
Resource Centre News
Our Resource Centre is now able to demonstrate many of the useful features of the Apple ipad and Macbook computers. Apple includes assistive technology in its products as standard features. For example screen magnification VoiceOver and screen-access technology, for the blind and visually impaired. Contact our resources centre to make an appointment with one of our staff: 01495 763650.
Coming soon! We will also shortly be able to offer training for ipad/iphone/smart phones and android phones.
BWFB Sonatas are digital radios which are very useful for blind or partially sighted however please note there is currently a shortage of Sonatas. Call our centre to discuss alternative options.
Audio Book Library information
Calibre Audio Book library service now charge one off joining fee of £35- this gives you unlimited access to books which are available on mp3, CD and on USB sticks.
Regular visitors to our centre may know that our resource centre recently installed large screen Panasonic TV and we will shortly be screening "Movie Afternoons" A list of movies will shortly be published.
Now in Stock!
2013 Calendars and diaries - get yours now! We stock A4/A5 and pocket diaries.
Resource Centre Visits
Every Wednesday we now have a mini bus driver who will bring service users into the resource centre free of charge. Why not call us an arrange for us to collect you. This is an opporotunity for you to see how we can help you and discover what products and services are available to you.
Professionals Development Training - what we are doing!
One of the stated objectives of the charity is to increase the skills of workers in the sector. We believe that a well trained and motivated workforce means that people with sight loss in Wales will get a better, more professional service. As part of this objective we frequently run training sessions – free of charge – to a huge variety of specialists. Sometimes this is nursing staff, but it might equally be support workers, rehabilitation officers or social workers. We run these both in South Wales and North Wales to ensure an even distribution of skills and any professional people can attend. Last session was a talk about Thyroid Eye Disease at our Cardiff meeting and Claire North came to our North Wales Meeting to talk about Prosthetic Eyes and show samples. We are hugely grateful to Mr Griffiths and his family for sponsoring the last four sessions in fond memory of his late wife.
If you are a specialist worker in the field and would like to attend please email email@example.com or phone 01495 763650.
Sight Centre Cymru Project Update
The Sight Centre Cymru signposting service is planned to start in New Year 2013. We will soon be recruiting two staff for this new service. It is anticipated that we will pilot the service through Aneurin Bevan Health Board (Royal Gwent) for those people with Sight Loss in the Newport County Council area. We also hope to pilot in Cwm Taff Health Board area too, hopefully introducing the eCVI platform (to generate electronic Certificates of Visual Impairment) as part of that work. Talks are ongoing with both pilot Health Board areas and further updates will be issued in due course. We are also monitoring developments with the new Open Eyes (OE) Electronic Patient Record system with a view to working in future with an integrated OE/eCVI platform to speed up CVI completion and distribution. For more information on the project, contact Martin Griffiths, Project Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sight Cymru commissioned extensive research into the services available for children and young people. All too often, we hear parents say that there are no services in their area, or the services are not what they are looking for.
Sight Support members voted to change the name to Sight Cymru to reflect the fact that the organisation works throughout Wales.
Members from Wales Council for the Blind voted to change their name to Vision in Wales. They voted to change their governing document to entitle Sight Cymru to nominate 5 directors.
Working with Wales Council for the Blind, Sight Support is delighted to announce that we have been awarded a major Big Lottery grant to help push forward an electronic Certificate of Visual Impairment in Wales. As part of the project, we hope to give people who lose their sight much faster and more accurate access to all the information and services that are available from all the sight loss agencies.
It is anticpated that we will commence the project with a pilot scheme in the South Wales area and gradually expand the system to the whole of the country, enabling us to prevent isolation and depression as well as assisting us to plan improved services for the future. The grant will also assist local clubs and societies to offer help to people at a local level.
More information will follow, but if you would like to read the project plan, please click on the following link to download.
Sight Cymru delivers key sight loss prevention training to BME community leaders in Wrexham. Minister for Health Lesley Griffiths in attendance.