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Waltham Forst Low Vision Forum


									                         Waltham Forest Low Vision Forum
                              Bi-monthly newsletter
                                  January 2012

Hello and welcome to the 8th bi-monthly newsletter from the Waltham Forest Low Vision
Forum (the Forum). Yes, it really is 2012, which means the year of the Olympic and
Paralympic Games has now arrived. Being one of the “host boroughs”, both events will have
a huge impact on us all, hopefully most of it being positive. A full list of our own planned
activities, along with contact details, will appear at the end of this newsletter. If you are
interested in taking part in any of these events, it would greatly help us if you would let us
know as soon as possible and definitely by the specified closing date, since after that time, we
unfortunately cannot take bookings. So, as always, the advice is book early to avoid

Job advert

Trainee Development Worker
Waltham Forest Low Vision Forum
Sessional post
7 hours per week for 35 weeks
£10 per hour

Disability Action is a user led organisation of disabled people in Waltham Forest. Thanks to a
grant from the Greater London Fund for the Blind, there is an exciting training opportunity for
an enthusiastic person to work with the Low Vision Forum. You will assist the Development
Worker to organise a range of activities and communicate effectively with members and other
organisations, whilst gaining a wide range of work experience.

You will need to have personal experience of disability, preferably of visual impairment, have
good communication skills, be well organised and be willing to work hard, occasionally during
evenings and weekends. This is a personal training opportunity aimed at people with very
limited, or no, full time work experience and intended to increase the chances of the post
holder finding permanent employment at the end of the contract period.

For an electronic application pack, please contact
Roger Clifton, Low Vision Forum Development Worker,, or visit the
Website at
Please advise us if you require an application pack in an alternative format.

Deadline for applications – 12 noon, Friday 27 January 2012.

Next Forum meeting

The Forum’s next bi-monthly meeting will be held on Wednesday 8 February at Joseph
Clarke School, Vincent Road, Highams Park, London E4 9PP. It will start at 6.30 pm and will
finish by 9 pm. The main speaker will be David Kent, a representative from the Guide Dogs
for the Blind Association, who will explain what is involved in applying for a Guide Dog and
what you can expect if you are successful in getting a dog. The full meeting agenda is:

   1. Introductions
   2. Apologies for absence
   3. Minutes of the 7 December meeting and matters arising
   4. Talk by David Kent from the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
   5. Profiling of population project
   6. 15 minute break
   7. Development Worker report
   8. Ideas for campaigns
   9. Plans for the Forum’s 2012 AGM and election of Management Committee
   10. Any Other Business.

Transport to and from the meeting can be provided for anyone that needs it. All those
attending are asked to make a £1 donation towards tea/coffee, biscuits and entry into a raffle.
If you would like to attend, then please let us know as soon as possible, but certainly by
1 February , along with whether you would like transport. Please note that more information
about the Forum’s 2012 AGM and the election process for the Management Committee
appears later in this newsletter.

Activities update

What’s been happening?

Since the production of the last newsletter, the following events have taken place: the
December bi-monthly Forum meeting and Christmas social, monthly meetings of the cultural
group and monthly meetings of the sports club for young visually impaired people.

Cultural group

As indicated in the last edition of this newsletter, we have moved the meeting day for this
group to avoid clashing with activities arranged by other organisations. The Forum’s cultural
group will now meet on a Monday, between 2 and 4 pm, and the next 3 sessions have been
scheduled for 16 January, 13 February and 12 March. Meetings will continue to be held at
Walthamstow Library, High Street E17 7JN. Transport to and from the meeting can be
provided for anyone that needs it. All those attending will be asked to make a £1 donation
towards tea/coffee, biscuits and transport costs. If you would like to attend, then please let us
know as soon as possible. Due to the short notice before the next meeting, we will be
contacting people that have either attended one of the earlier meetings, or previously
expressed an interest in the group.

We’re in a spin!

Don’t panic, not the sort favoured by some politicians, but a spin of the cycling type. As part of
the Forum obtaining money from the Council’s “Fit Club” funding stream, the Saturday
Aerobike, or spin bike, classes are resuming, but for those of you that like your bed at the
weekend, we’re afraid they will be at the slightly earlier time of 10 until 10.45am. As before,
they will be held at the Plum Tree Centre, 787 High Road, Leyton E10 7AA. There is a £2
charge per class and transport to and from the venue can be arranged. These classes will run
on every Saturday, until 31 March, apart from 10 March. You don’t have to attend all of the
classes, so please get in touch if you need to know more or if you are interested in coming
along for a safe and fun bit of pedaling. And yes, for fans of Franco the tutor, he will be
running the classes again.

Young persons sports club

Another Saturday activity continuing in the New Year is our Young persons sports club. The
first of these will be on 21 January, combining with the Aerobike class for the first hour, and
then remaining at the Plum Tree Centre to do some other activities until 12 noon. Other dates
set for the club are: 18 February, 17 March, 21 April and 19 May, with all sessions being
between 10 and 12 noon. These sessions will then culminate on 16 June with entry into the
junior section of the Metro games for anyone interested in taking part. More information about
that event will be given to those attending club sessions. The venues for club sessions held
between February and May will vary to provide a wide range of opportunities for those
participating. There is a £1 charge per person per session and anyone wishing to attend
should let us know as soon as possible.

Visit to the Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge

A guided tour of the Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge in North Chingford has been arranged
for the Forum at 11 am on Friday 24 February. The official tour will last half an hour, but there
will then be an opportunity for everyone to explore the building further. Volunteers will be
present to assist. We will then be going for lunch, either at the Royal Forest Hotel, or at
Butler’s Retreat. Both venues are very close to the Hunting Lodge. The cost for this trip will be
£10, payable on the day. Transport to and from the venue can be arranged. If you are
interested in coming along, please let us know by 8 February at the latest. If, after having this
introductory tour, anyone is interested in learning more about the Hunting Lodge, then we will
arrange a longer tour at a future date.

The Forum’s 2012 AGM

As mentioned in November’s edition of this newsletter, this will take place on Saturday 10
March and will replace the strategic planning day held last year. We are hoping that the venue
will be Joseph Clarke School, but we are just waiting for confirmation that we can use the
facility at a weekend. Full details of the day will be sent out towards the end of February,
including details of people that have been nominated for the Forum’s Management
Committee. However, as well as formal AGM matters, there will be a chance to suggest future
activities for the Forum. Lunch will then be provided and a quiz will be held in the afternoon,
with the event concluding around 3 pm. All those attending are asked to make a £3 donation
towards the cost of tea/coffee, lunch, quiz prizes and transport. If you would like to attend,
then please let us know by 29 February, along with whether you would like transport.
Other activities
Other activities still being planned are:

      ice skating during week commencing 19 March at the Lee Valley Ice Centre in Leyton
      a visit to either the Yew Tree Centre in Romford or the RNIB in Judd Street in week
       commencing 23 April
      ten-pin bowling on Saturday 12 May in Romford
      an evening meal out on Thursday 17 May
      Sight Awareness Information Day on Saturday 9 or 16 June
      a BBQ one evening in late June or early July.

More information about all of these will appear in future newsletters, but if you are interested
in taking part, particularly for the ice skating, please let us know as soon as possible.

Process to elect the Forum’s Management Committee

The Forum is looking for enthusiastic, hard working and trustworthy people to volunteer to be
part of the Management Committee and help lead and direct the Forum as it aims to improve
services for, and the representation of, all people living with some form of sight loss in
Waltham Forest. Experience and knowledge of the current issues and potential solutions
would be beneficial, but is by no means essential and there are plenty of opportunities to
learn and gain skills.

Anyone wishing to stand for the Management Committee and/or Chair must be nominated by
someone else and the person making the nomination must inform Roger, the Forum’s
Development Worker, either verbally or in writing, by 21 February. All those nominated to
stand must send a written explanation (no more than 200 words) to Roger by 21 February,
explaining what they can contribute to the Management Committee, with a separate
explanation if they are also being nominated as Chair. Please note that it is very important
that these explanations are received on time and that it is not sufficient just to be nominated
by the closing date.

To keep the Forum a user led organisation, at least 50% of Management Committee
members must be visually impaired, as must the Chair. The Management Committee will be
elected by those present at the Forum’s AGM on 10 March. The newly elected Management
Committee will take over from the existing Committee following conclusion of the AGM.
Members of the Management Committee will remain in post until the 2013 AGM, or unless the
Forum changes its structure, rules or regulations before that date.

If you require any further information about the above process, how the Management
Committee will function, or the future plans for the Forum, please contact Roger.

Please be on your guard

We have been informed by a Forum member that somebody called at their door recently
saying that they were from the gas company and needed to look at the meter. They were
extremely convincing and so the member let them in. However, they quickly realised that the
person was not genuine. Fortunately, our member’s husband was at home and the person left
without causing any harm or stealing any property. It is very easy to think it couldn’t possibly
happen to you, but these people really can be very convincing. Utility companies, and a range
of other organisations, do have schemes that enable you to agree a password so that you
know the visitor is genuine. We recommend you get in touch with yours and set these up. If
you are at all suspicious, don’t let anyone into your property and, if you feel unsafe, call the

Disability Action AGM

Disability Action Waltham Forest (DAWF) is holding it’s 2010/11 AGM on Monday 30 January
at the Hub, 90 Crownfield Road, E15 2BG. It will be a short AGM starting at 5pm and ending
at 7pm. There will be light refreshments and a chance to meet staff and find out more about
what DAWF does. If you require any further information, or would like to attend, please
contact Pat Bhabha, DAWF’s Director, on 020 8509 0812.

Research project

Most readers will be aware that the Forum has recently carried out a research project to
establish the profile of people living with some form of sight loss in Waltham forest. We also
hope that the information obtained will provide an opportunity to enhance future service
provision. Thank you to all those who assisted with this project. The final report (88 pages) or
an executive summary (7 pages) are both now available for anyone that is interested and can
be obtained by contacting Roger. The Forum is hosting a meeting of statutory and voluntary
agencies that provide services for visually impaired people in Waltham Forest on 18 January
to establish how this wealth of information can now be used most effectively. The Forum
would like to express their thanks to Sebastian Eisenberg who carried out the bulk of the
research and work to produce the report.

Oh yes they are!

Just as you thought you were safe, here are a few of the best Christmas cracker jokes to
cheer you up!! And if these are the best, just imagine what we could have included!

Q. What do you get if you eat Christmas decorations?
A. Tinsillitis!
Q. What did the envelope say to the stamp?
A. Stick with me and we’ll go places!
Q. What do you get if you cross a cow, a sheep and a goat?
A. A milky baa kid!
Q. What did the fish, a blind one presumably, say when it swam into the wall?
A. Damn!
Calendar of events

Below is a summarised list of Forum events for which space is still available:

   16 Jan, 13 Feb and 12 Mar, 2-4, Cultural group, Walthamstow library, £1 per person
   21 Jan, 18 Feb, 17 Mar, 21 Apr and 19 May, 10-12, weekend club for young people,
    various venues, £1 per person
   21 Jan and every Saturday until 31 March (excluding 10 March),, 10-10.45, Aerobike
    class, Plum Tree Centre in Leyton, £2 per person
   8 Feb, 18 Apr and 13 Jun, 6.30-9, Forum meeting, Joseph Clarke, £1 per person
   10 Mar, 10-3, AGM, lunch and quiz, venue to be confirmed, £3 per person
   Week of 19 Mar, Ice skating, Lee Valley Ice Centre in Leyton, £5 per person
   Week of 23 Apr, visit to Yew Tree Centre or RNIB, £5 per person
   12 May, early afternoon, Ten-pin bowling, Romford, £5 per person
   17 May, 6.30-9, evening meal out, venue to be confirmed, £10 per person for food
   9 or 16 Jun, 11-3, Sight Awareness Information Day, venue to be confirmed, free
   Late June/early July, 6.30-9, evening BBQ, William IV pub Leyton, food £10 per person.

How to Get the Most Out of this Newsletter

Hopefully you have enjoyed this newsletter and found the variety of information interesting
and useful. You can contribute! Please feel free to send us some information you think will be
of use to others or tell us about the services you are providing.

The Waltham Forest Low Vision Forum is hosted by Disability Action Waltham Forest, the
Development Worker post is funded by a grant from the Greater London Fund for the Blind
and the Forum is working with: Waltham Forest Social Services, a number of other Council
departments, statutory bodies and voluntary agencies.

This newsletter is available in a variety of formats:
    In print, point size 12 or 18
    Via email
    Electronic version either on the Forum’s Website or on disk
    Audio version on Disk or on the Internet
    On tape thanks to the Waltham Forest Talking newspaper
    In Braille thanks to Joseph Clarke School for the visually impaired.

Contact details for the Forum are:
The Waltham Forest Low Vision Forum
Waltham forest Resource Hub (South), 90 Crownfield Road, London E15 2BG
Tel: 020 3326 8054
Roger Clifton, the Development Worker, or a volunteer will always be in the office on a
Wednesday between 10 am and 4 pm
Mob for Roger: 07572 359 349

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