Worthing Society for the Blind Newsletter - August 2009
1 Index / A Big Thank You
2 Chief Executive’s Report
3 Chief Executive’s Report
4 CE’s Report contd / The Royal Pavilion,
5 Exhibition morning / Wellbeing / Guide to
6 Resource Room / Items of interest
7 Clubs and Classes
8 Useful telephone numbers
9 World Sight Day / Theatre Trips /
10 Handyman Service / Handicrafts / Staff
11 Low Vision Aid Assessments / Did you
12 Contributions Towards Transport
13 Another side to Frances
14 Dates for your Diary / Diaries / WSB
A Big Thank You
On Saturday 4th July Victor Munro, who many of you know from
Socials, was kind enough to hold a ‘musical event’ for us at the
clock tower in Worthing.
He was joined by our members – some of whom belong to the line
dancing class – and our volunteers.
The line dancing teacher, Fay led the group in two demonstrations;
they were joined by members of the public and a good time was had
Once again the weather was very kind to us and the generosity of
the good people of Worthing meant we collected a whopping
On behalf of everyone in the office, thank you to Victor and our
members and volunteers who gave up their time to make the day so
Chief Executive’s Report – Summer 2009
The world, and in particular the UK, is coming out of recession if I am
to believe recent reports in the Press. I am not sure whether to believe
them or not. In last six months we have been bombarded with editorial
stating that the end of the world is nigh – instead of in boom, we are
into bust! Maybe it is coincidental but, as soon as the spotlight focuses
on MPs and their alleged wayward activities, spin seems to move us
away from their “comedy of errors” and into the feel-good environment
of an economic upturn. I am of the opinion that four weeks of
sporadic good news does not an economic recovery make! However,
our erstwhile elected members have been sailing close to the wind for
many years, without the level of regulation required to ensure public
money is spent wisely. The level of regulation that governs the Third
Sector, as we are affectionately known, continues to increase year-on-
year, wasting time, effort and money. Maybe they should apply some
of this regulation to themselves! However, the signs are positive for
some degree of economic recovery and although rather flimsy at
present have helped to change perspectives. People are looking up
rather than down and that is always better.
At the Society we have worked hard to weather the storm and there is
a general feeling that the worst is over. Unfortunately we must remain
prudent because it could be many months before the public feel
confident enough to start giving again. Regardless of the current
situation we have enjoyed positive help from many local businesses.
Nothing can be better than strawberries and cream. Tesco donated all
the goodies for our summer fair last month and Members ate their way
through a very large pile of strawberries, dripping with cream and
sugar. I am positive that your GP would not have approved. The
event was like Wimbledon without the tennis but with plenty of
unhelpful weather. Waitrose supported us under their Local Charity
Scheme where they donate £1000 per month, split amongst three
nominated local charities. Those who shopped at the store in
Worthing placed their little green tokens in our bin in their hundreds.
During the month of June 479 Waitrose shoppers showed their support
for the Society and we received a cheque in the sum of £479 from
Waitrose - a tremendous help, and an indirect display of appreciation
by the general public. It is always good to know that our efforts are
well received by those who live and work in the Borough. The funds
have been used towards providing a new computer with speaking
software and internet access.
Chief Executive’s Report – Summer 2009, continued
The Government has hit the target again by indicating their wish to
alter the Attendance and Disability Living Allowances. Only recently,
we reported a rare success story when, following much lobbying, the
Government agreed to a higher rate of benefit for those with sight loss.
Now it appears that they want to move the goal posts. Please write to
your local MP and ask him “what he is doing about the Green Paper
that plans to abolish some disability benefits”? I would be interested to
know his response because the Society will vigorously fight these
plans but we need your help.
Bogus street collections, I would like to bring to your attention a
potential problem with bogus street collections happening in the area
at the moment. There are various companies that are collecting your
old clothes, shoes and toys etc. The plastic bags they leave on your
door step or through your letterbox mimic bona fide charities asking for
help: please be wary of them. They are commercial outfits selling the
second hand clothes to other countries and not helping those in need
at all! These operators are very crafty and are doing nothing illegal
according to Trading Standards – misdirection is not a crime. If you
suspect any activity of this type please report it to Trading Standards
and maybe we can stop or deter the rogue traders. Today, the second
hand clothes market is worth about £700 per tonne hence the large
number of bags put through your letterbox each month.
Despite our efforts to kerb expenditure across the Society’s operations,
the cost of providing transportation continues to climb with fuel prices,
insurance and vehicle maintenance rising rapidly. Unfortunately, this
means that there will be an increase in donations for Members using
the service in the New Year. We will continue to subsidise the
vehicles but a more realistic figure is needed if we are to maintain the
Finally, I am pleased report that our new Directors were ratified at the
EGM in June. They are now working hard and are very keen to move
the Society forward. It was disappointing that, for the first time in the
history of the Society, we failed to have sufficient attendance at the
first EGM in June and it was re-convened to 30 June. This is your
Society and it is important that you play a part in key decisions such as
the appointment of Directors. I hope that more of you will attend the
AGM in October.
Chief Executive’s Report – Summer 2009, continued
I have asked the new Directors to write for the bulletin, so you get to
know a little more about them. Their articles will appear in future
editions and should make interesting reading.
John Baker, Chief Executive Officer
The Royal Pavilion, Brighton
On Friday 19th June we went on our annual
Summer Outing, this year to the Royal Pavilion,
Brighton. Once again we were very lucky with
the weather, it was dry and warm but not too
hot – perfect! Even the dreaded roadworks
didn’t cause us too many problems, at least not
on the way there!!
On arrival at the Pavilion, our group of vision impaired
members, escorts and staff were greeted by two guides who
would be taking us on our tactile tour. They were excellent,
they took us into the room which is used for civil ceremonies
and provided us with a really amusing and informative history
of the Pavillion and its past owners! We then had a tour of
the dowstairs accommodation; the banqueting room with its
incredible chandalier, the kitchen, drawing room and music
room to name a few. They were all amazing and surprisingly
enough, almost everything in the Pavilion is/was British made
even though it looks Asian.
After the tour concluded we all retired to the café for cream
tea… mmmm!! The scones were beautiful, made on the
premises that day especially for us and perfect with
strawberry jam and thick cream!
Once tea was finished we took a short stroll back to meet the
coach for a slightly slower drive home due to roadworks but
having had a good afternoon and a gorgeous tea I don’t think
many people noticed the delay!
And now we move on to planning next year’s trip – we always
welcome suggestions so if there’s somewhere not too far
away you think would make a perfect destination, please
contact Tracy in the office on 01903 235782.
Thank you to everyone who attended our recent open
morning in July, we hope that you found your visit useful.
Nearly 40 people came along on the morning and we
apologise to those who had to wait a while before being
seen by the exhibitors. They were kept very busy!
Our next exhibition morning will include demonstrations of
hand held magnifiers, and will be held later in the year.
Well being afternoons
We will shortly be starting fortnightly afternoons
concentrating on aids to relaxation. The afternoons will be
on alternate Thursdays from 2.00-3.30pm and will include
tea and biscuits, transport can be provided for a small
The afternoons will include regular relaxation/meditation
sessions, guides to positive thinking and general well-
being, plus uplifting music and words. We also hope to
cover subjects such as healing and alternative
approaches to well being.
If you are interested in coming along on a regular basis
please contact Jayne (01903 210737) who will be running
the afternoons. Jayne would also welcome your ideas
about things you might like included in these afternoon
Rough Guide to Accessible Britain 2009
The popular new “Rough Guide to Accessible
Britain” (Edition 2) is out now. Even better than
last year, the 2009 Guide contains: over 175
inspiring ideas for great days out across the
UK, a wide range of reviews all by disabled
visitors, something for everyone from parks and
museums to scenic journeys and more. It’s not available in
the shops, so for your copy call 0800 953 7070.
The resource room is open during our normal office hours.
Please feel free to pop in during these times with your queries
and to purchase items. If however you would like to view a
number of items or discuss various issues or problems relating
to your eyesight, an appointment is a good idea, and ensures
that the appropriate time is set aside for your visit. To find out
more about what the resource room can offer and help you with
please contact Jayne on 01903 210737.
We are now taking orders for next year’s RNIB,
VIP, and Partially Sighted Society diaries.
RNIB and VIP diaries are available in pocket and
larger sizes. Prices range from approximately
£3.50 to £10 depending on size and type.
Please contact Jayne in the Resource Room, for
details of the different options available and to
pre-order your diaries.
SECOND HAND EQUIPMENT
Quality Second hand items such as electronic video and
pocket magnifiers and reading machines are available
from Humanware Europe.
All their second hand products are inspected and tested
by their technicians and include a 6 month warranty.
For availability, telephone the Humanware Sales Office
on 01933 415600.
RNIB 2009/2010 catalogues are now available.
The Everyday Living and Mobility, Braille and audio
catalogues contain many new items and are a good source
of information on the large range of equipment available to
the blind and partially sighted.
Any items may be ordered on your behalf via the Resource
Room, which also holds a limited stock of the catalogues.
Clubs and classes
Don’t forget, we have quite a lot of clubs and classes running –
a full list is given below. Some of them may have a waiting list
but if you are interested in any of them, or would like more
information, please ring the office on 01903 235782.
Monday Club - weekly on a Monday for visits to garden
Centres, beauty spots etc.
Art Class - Monday afternoon’s.
Active Vision Group (AVG) - alternate Tuesdays for the more
active younger members.
(AV) Tuesday Group - alternate Tuesdays for visits to local
places of interest.
Classical Music - once a month on a Tuesday afternoon.
Music With Tony - once a month on a Tuesday afternoon.
Exercise Class - twice a month on a Tuesday morning.
Tai Chi - every Wednesday morning at 11.30.
Line Dancing - once a month on a Wednesday afternoon.
Card/Games - once a month on a Wednesday afternoon.
Socials - once a month on a Thursday afternoon at Heene
Craft Class - alternate Thursdays in the morning.
Wellbeing Afternoon - alternate Thursdays in the afternoon.
Lunch Club - once a month on a Thursday.
Friday Group - fortnightly, on Friday’s for trips out in the bus to
local places of interest – garden centres etc.
Christmas Party - all eligible members will be invited to attend.
Computer Class - one to one tuition.
Holidays - we can help make your holiday arrangements.
Home Visiting Service - contact Lynne for more information.
Outings - all eligible members will be invited to join us on yearly
trips to places of interest such as the Bluebell Railway.
Reading Group - once a month at Wraysbury.
Theatre Trips - regular visits to Worthing theatres.
Useful Telephone Numbers
WSB Reception 01903 235782
WSB Resource 01903 210737
WSB email firstname.lastname@example.org
Action for Blind People Freephone Helpline:
Age Concern Good Neighbours Volunteer
Community Partnership Team 268900
Macular Disease Society 0845 241
Neighbourhood Care Alliance (NCA)
RedAssure (previously 01903
RNIB Helpline (new number) 9999
Sensory Services Team 745331
Sight Care Advisors (Worthing Hospital)
Stop – Junk mail 0845 703
Stop – Nuisance calls 0700707
Voice of Progress (local talking newspaper)
West Sussex County Council 0845 758
Wiltshire Farm Foods
(Brighton) 01444 881926
Worthing Shopmobility 820980
Worthing Borough Council/Town Hall
WRVS Meals on Wheels 237790
World Sight Day,
Thursday 8th October 2009
World Sight Day is an annual event, held
on the second Thursday of October.
The day focuses attention on
the problem of global blindness, did you
know that every 5 seconds one person
goes blind or that a child goes blind
For our part to help raise
awareness, we are planning to hold a
lunch ‘Food for Sight’.
The lunch will be made of food thought to be beneficial
to the eyes and sight. There will also be a raffle and
tombola plus a few items available to view from the
Resource room. For more information on time and cost
etc or to book a place (booking is essential), please
call the office on 01903 235782.
Members on the Theatre trip list will have received their
first letter regarding forthcoming theatre events.
We are sending letters now to allow everyone to receive
the information on the same day and make the booking
system fairer. We realise some members may have
difficulty reading the information so please phone Patricia
on 235782 and she will be very happy to read the
contents to you.
The next letter will be sent out early in October.
Winners of the competitions from the May Issue of
WSB News are: “Words in a word” winner with a very
impressive 112 words was J Lawton, well done to you all
though, many of you had found 80 words and above.
And the winner of the “sudoku”, drawn at random from all
the correct entries (and there was a lot!) was J Pelham.
Prizes will be on there way to you both very shortly.
Hi everyone. Just a little reminder in
case you’ve forgotten about me! I'm
still ready, willing (and hopefully) able
to do those little jobs that may need
doing around your house. Don't go
spending out a fortune on getting that
leaking tap fixed, an awkward light bulb changed, a
sticking lock freed, a chair repaired or a loose
cupboard door tightened. We charge a minimum fee of
£15 for half an hour’s work plus any materials
necessary. Not a lot is it? And I'll try to get you sorted
within a day or two. So give me a call, David at the
society on 01903 235782. Look forward to hearing
The new handicraft class will be starting in
We would like suggestions for a new name to
describe this class.
Hopefully we will be attempting some new
activities as well the old favourites!
If anyone has unwanted or leftover wool and/or
material Patricia would be happy to hear from
Each Wednesday morning we hold a staff meeting in the office
so that we can all try and keep up to date with what’s going on.
These meetings usually start at 9.30am and finish by 10.30am.
Could we politely request that you try to avoid phoning us
during these times unless you need to cancel transport for that
After 10.30 it is back to business as usual and we will all be
pleased to take your calls. Thank you!
LOW VISION AID ASSESSMENTS
We have some very good news for our members, which
could be a much needed step forward for some of you in
terms of getting the most from your sight.
As we’re sure you know, all our members come within the
category of persons with low vision and are registered
either ‘partially sighted’ (6/60 distance vision) or ‘blind’
(3/60 distance vision). It seems that often our members
are not offered the opportunity to have a thorough low
vision assessment and are left with a somewhat hopeless
prospect. It is not an exaggeration to say that low vision
sufferers can often improve their sight with the correct
advice and low vision aids and that includes those
registered as ‘blind’. Optometrists and most opticians do
not offer low vision therapy, but they should refer patients
who need it to a low vision assessor. However it seems
that this service is inadequately represented in some
Worthing Society for The Blind is now in a position to offer
such a service to its members. After their successful
completion of an intensive Low Vision Aid Assessment
course, David, one of our full time members of staff and
Pat, one of the society members will be providing Low
Vision Therapy to those of you who feel it would be
Anyone interested should contact us on 01903 235782
Did you know…
There are approx 140,000 partially sighted people
of working age in the UK, 75% are unemployed.
60% of older blind and partially sighted people
never go out on their own.
20% of those over the age of 75 will not have left
their home in the last week, or even been in their
Despite great efforts to keep
running costs down, the economic
downturn is having a severe
impact on everyone in the Charity sector, including
your Society. The effect on the Society resulting
from the collapse of the financial sector is a
significant loss of donations from the general public
and reduced income from our investment portfolio.
Continued high fuel prices at the pump and
increasing insurance costs have not helped our
To address these matters before the situation
becomes critical and to maintain our services, the
Society will be raising the level of contributions paid
towards transport by members coming to activities
at HQ or Wraysbury to £3.00. This increase will
not however take effect until January 1st 2010.
Whilst the increase is unfortunate, it represent only
the second price rise within the last 4 years and all
activities remain heavily subsidised by the Society.
Groups that go out and do not come to the centre
will be charged depending on distance travelled and
the contribution may therefore be more than £3 per
person depending on the location of the activity
planned, these groups include Monday club, Active
Vision, AV Tuesday Group and Friday group.
We do regret this course of action but we feel it is a
necessary step to ensure we can continue to offer
our services to members for many years to come.
Another side to Frances, our
I don’t know if many of you are aware of the hobby that
takes over our life during the summer months. We, my
husband Steve and I are proud owners of a Goldwing 1500cc
cruising motorcycle; I call it my armchair on wheels. It is a
big gold beast with an engine size larger than my car! We
have had her since 2000 and she is over 20 years old but
looks amazing for her age. She hasn’t got a lot of ‘bling’
(shiny accessories) but she is our pride and joy. We have
done some fabulous trips over the years, touring England,
Ireland, France, Belgium & Holland to name but a few.
For our last holiday in June we took the ferry to Calais and
made the long journey down to Perpignan in the south of
France, stopping off a couple of times en route. In total we
travelled over 2000 miles and visited some amazing places.
The beauty of the bike is how comfortable the ride is, you
can cover quite a few miles
without feeling tired or
saddle sore! Even riding in
the heat is bearable; you only
notice it when you stop.
Then you can walk about
freely not having to carry
Frances aboard the
anything because the Honda Goldwing
panniers can hold all your motorbike gear. It isn’t a cheap
hobby by any means, but we do get so much enjoyment from
her and when we are out and about we certainly get a lot of
Dates for your diaries
Mystery Tours will be held on the
following dates which are both Wednesdays
26th August and 23rd September
Office closed … Bank Holiday Monday 31st August
World Sight Day (lunch) … Thursday 8th October
Annual General Meeting … Thurs 15th October
Please note the AGM will start at 11am
Christmas Fayre and
Exhibition Morning Friday 4th December
Christmas Party … Thursday 10th December
for the Blind
75 Richmond Road
Worthing BN11 4AQ
Tel. 01903 235782
Fax. 01903 212924
Resource room Tel. 01903 210737
Office hours Monday to Friday 9.30am – 12.30pm
(answer phone in operation out of hours)
www.wsftb.org.uk - email. email@example.com
Next newsletter due November 2009
Due to space and resources some items in this
newsletter may have been edited accordingly. The
information it contains was accurate to the best of our
knowledge at the time of going to print.