Banner advertising the Cream Tea

Cream Tea was served

On June 11th an Open Garden and Cream Tea was held in aid of Insight Gloucestershire by The Powell Family.

Thank you to all who helped to organise the event, made the delicious cakes and those who came along to enjoy the day.   The final total was £730 which will help fund our Helpline for a week.

Bev advising a lady at our table.

Summer Exhibition -15th August 2017

 

We are nearly ready for our biggest exhibition to date in Gloucester!

The event will take place on Tuesday 15th of August between 10am and 3pm at  The Brunswick Baptist Church, Southgate Street, Gloucester GL1 2DR

All of the main suppliers of low vision equipment will be attending and you will also have a chance to speak with representatives from other local organisations. These will include Gloucestershire Deaf Association, Village Agents, Gloucester Macular Society Support Group and Gloucester Talking News.

Exhibitors will include Enhanced Vision, Optima, Humanware, Vision Aid and Optelec. You will be able to try out the latest range of high tech and optical magnifiers, braille products and text to speech readers.

Dolphin will be demonstrating their range of accessible IT solutions and British Wireless for the Blind Fund will also be present with the most accessible audio equipment available to people living with sight loss.

You will be able to speak with one of Insight Gloucestershire’s Sight Loss Advisors about daily living aids, eye conditions and any other concerns you may have regarding your vision.

Refreshments will be available on the day and there is parking nearby for your convenience. For further information please call the Insight  Helpline on 01242 22 11 70.

We do hope you can attend and we look forward to seeing you on the day.

Jump for Insight raised over £4,000!

Jump for Insight has now finished, between all 11 Jumpers they raised £4,030!!!   Thank you to everyone that sponsored, supported and took part.

 

After a few postponements due to bad weather everyone was able to jump over the course of 3 sessions.

 

To have a look at some of the photos taken over the 3 days follow the link below.

 

 

http://insight-glos.org.uk/portfolio-item/jump-for-insight/

 

Thank you once again to everyone involved.

Thank you written in various typefaces on different cardss

Thank you to our Supporters

It is that time of year, when most of us reflect on what has happened over the last year.  But every year some things always remain the same:

  1. Sight loss is still happening to people at different stages of their lives and it’s impact is life changing.
  2. Insight remains a source of support, advice and information for people in Gloucestershire.
  3. Insight cannot provide the support, advice and information without our Supporters continued donations.

This is a heartfelt thank you, to everyone who has donated to Insight in 2016.

  • To the family members how have respected a loved ones wishes and in lieu of flowers have donated to us.
  • To the people who have nominated Insight as a charity to receive the proceeds from their supermarkets green or blue token.
  • To the people who have set up a standing order.
  • To the people who have joined our 200 Club and, a special mention to those of you have then gone on to donate your winnings back.
  • To the people that are no longer with us but have left a gift in their will.
  • To the people that have taken the time to write a thank you letter and included a donation.
  • To the people that have kindly given Insight a one off donation.
  • To the people that have taken on a challenge to raise funds for us.
  • To the members of organisations that have nominated Insight to be beneficiaries of their fundraising efforts.

Thank you for giving Insight the means to carry on providing the  vital services that we do.  One day there may be a cure for all forms of sight loss, until then we want to make sure that we are still here for people living with sight loss.

Moreton-in-marsh, Council Offices Tourist Information Centre High Street GL56 0LW

Low Vision Day in Moreton a success

Insight Gloucestershire hosted a low vision drop in day on 31st October 2016 in the Moreton Area Centre.

British Wireless for the Blind, Dolphin Computer Access, Village Agents and Cotswold Listener were all in attendance along with our Sight Loss Advisors. Thank you to those of you that came along. We hope you found it useful.

 

Don’t forget we have a Outreach service  in Moreton every Monday

 

bwbf-stand cotswold-listener dolphin-stand moreton-low-vsion-2 moreton-low-vsion village-agents

 

 

 

 

Insight’s latest magazine is out!

 

Issue 16 is now available.  In this issue we showcase some new products that are available in the Low Vision Centre, we are pleased to say that we have been able to expand our Outreach service and we have made our Low Vision Service (magnifiers)  more flexible  to better meet the needs of our clients.

Happy reading and if there is anything that you would like to have included or be added to our mailing list to receive your own copy, just let Monica know by dropping her an email monica.farthing@insight-glos.org.uk or give her a ring on 01242 22 11 70.

 

Issue 16 Text only

 

Insight Magazine Issue 16 PDF

 

Remember A Charity in your Will

This week is an annual awareness week to promote leaving charities a gift in your will.  Insight has benefited from these legacies during our short 150 year history.  It has meant that we were able to purchase our current premises in 1994 and complete a further refurbishment later on in 2002 as Insight services continued to evolve to meet the changing needs of our clients.

Legacy income is a vital part of Insight’s funding mix.  These sums of money allow Insight to keep providing advice and information to local people living with sight loss.   We want to ensure that Insight’s Helpline, Low Vision Resource Center and Outreach services are still around in the future for when people want and need their questions answered.

To find out more about how a gift in your will can help someone living with sight loss have a look at our webpage.    http://insight-glos.org.uk/donate-or-raise-for-us/leaving-a-gift-in-your-will/

 

Monica Farthing

Communications Officer

 

 

 

Preparation is Everything! – Part 2

The Bailey travel journal – Contd.

Marc holding a miniature replica of a warrior.

Marc holding a miniature replica of a warrior.

This is the second part of my travel tips for the visually impaired. As a lifelong traveller who is registered Severely Sight Impaired, I thought I might share some hints and tips; as I had so many, it has taken two editions of the Insight Blog to share my knowledge. Remember the tips might not all work for you, and please contact us with your own ideas.

Once you have arrived at your destination you may find it helpful to have a copy of the exact address of where you are going / staying (even if you can’t read them). A driver may not know where a specific hotel is, especially if there are several with the same name in the area. Keep your necessities with you at all times. Carry some money, keys, tickets and bus pass in a money belt or a secure pocket. If you happen to misplace your purse or wallet or someone takes it, you won’t have lost everything and still can reach your destination. I also find it useful to arrange my money in my wallet, so that I know what note is what before I have to pay for anything or give a tip. It also means that I do not have to display it to everyone.

Notify others about your needs. Inform your travel agency or companies such as airlines that you are using that you are visually impaired. Tell your companion or those around you about your visual limitations. It is also important to carry your cane, as it helps to notify others that you are visually impaired.

When you have reached your final destination, before unpacking, get acquainted with the concierge. They are a wonderful source of local knowledge and can make restaurant and show reservations and often can get you into something that’s otherwise booked up. Once out and about, take advantage of local tours.

Many cities now have double-decker buses that let you hop on and off. I try to do this on my first day in a new city, to get an overview, so I know where to spend more time later. Websites about your destination will tell you what to expect, such as festivals and special events. At certain times, reservations and reasonable, hotel rates may be difficult to find; or you may simply prefer not to deal with large crowds. Don’t give up; adjust your travel dates instead. If you’re travelling abroad, also check the currency conversion rates before you leave home.

Don’t forget, when travelling both at home and overseas, many attractions and events offer discounted prices to the visually impaired. Usually all it takes is a glimpse of a white cane, a guide dog or a registration card, but don’t be shy about asking. Some places even extend the discount to a sighted guide or driver. For example, in the UK, the National Trust offers free entry to sighted guides, most Royal palaces will offer the same discounts and also concessionary rates for the disabled person as well. In Wales, CADDW (Welsh Government’s historic environment service working for an accessible and well protected historic environment for Wales) offers free entry to both sight impaired people and their guides to historic attractions.

A good way to enhance your sensory experience is by going on tours and visiting gift shops. Always use the information headsets when available. In addition, some tour groups will allow travellers who are visually impaired to experience an exhibit by touching objects otherwise off-limits.

Visit the local gift shops as they will often sell small-scale replicas of monuments you can touch to give you some idea of an historic site you may have visited.

As I have said before, there’s an entire world out there waiting for you to explore. So, Bon Voyage! Don’t forget to send us a postcard of your travels.

Mark Bailey

 

 

 

Preparation is Everything!

The Bailey travel journal – Part 1.

Preparation is everything! I have been lucky enough to have had the chance to experience many types of holiday to many destinations, home and away… I have not let my sight impairment limit my horizons. Travel is one of the most fun and rewarding things that I am lucky enough to be able to do. It allows me to experience foreign cities and local cultures. The fact I can’t see the sights properly only heightens my curiosity. I ask my wife to describe the details and vista. Then I add the scents, sounds and tastes… your imagination can run riot. I can walk away from a view with a better picture of it than a sighted person who has just stopped for a glance.

Over the years I have become a seasoned traveller, developing many skills and tricks for navigating through airports and other unfamiliar areas. Travel can be daunting if you have a visual impairment, but there are many opportunities for the taking.

Mark holding a souvenir replica of a sphinx.

Mark holding a souvenir replica of a sphinx.

The number of companies which operate specific programmes for VIP’s has reduced but one such company that is still operating is called Traveleyes. They organise group holidays for VIP’s that are “liberating, fun, and yes, eyeopening, too”.

It’s worth reminding you that the tips and ideas that follow are merely my personal method for travelling. Your comfort level, mobility experience, and common sense may all dictate whether or not these tips are also suitable for you. Travel is not an exact science. Many situations can occur on the day of journey such as gate changes, cancellations, and unforeseen delays. Remember that these are events that affect everyone who is travelling, not just you!

De-stressing a trip begins in the planning stages. Find out about your destination, so you know what to expect and what sights you’ll want to visit. In addition, keep your sanity by building in some down time, you’ll get more value (and better memories) from a trip that proceeds at a comfortable pace. Don’t plan out every single minute of a trip. It’s better to add an activity or two once you’ve arrived at your destination and have a better sense of the possibilities. You may also not be able to do certain trips as planned, so bear this in mind and leave yourself some wiggle room.

If you can, find out about any potential journeys you may need to make. Nowadays, this can often done online in advance; you could download an “App” to your mobile phone or ask at your accommodation reception. Inform the bus driver where you want to get off so he knows to call it out, and sit near the front of the bus.

It is also important to carry your cane. Whether you choose to use it or not for mobility purposes, your cane helps to notify others that you are visually impaired. When you travel by air, always let your airline, travel agent or tour operator know if you need any extra assistance at the airport or on the plane.

An airport, you very quickly realise, is not a great place to be visually impaired. Poorly piloted baggage trolleys, non-speaking departure boards, too many people in too much of a hurry – it can seem like a nightmare. Request help at least 48 hours before you fly. This support could include: someone to meet and guide you through check-in, baggage check and customs controls; someone to tell you personally when your plane is boarding if you are in a ‘silent airport’. Take advantage of the pre-boarding service offered by planes and trains and only take carry-on luggage if possible.

Packing only carry-on luggage saves you time and trouble by eliminating a visit to the baggage claim terminal. If you must check in baggage, there are a couple of things you can do to make the retrieval of your luggage a simple process. First, you can now purchase audible luggage locators which can help you to quickly find your bag as it travels around the carousel. These allow you to press a button, which will activate a beeping locator in your bag (although I have never used one and I’m not sure about any security implications of a beeping suitcase – I know I would perhaps not feel too comfortable using this one!). Also, consider marking your bag with brightly coloured tape, a luggage strap or another distinctive element. Asking someone to locate a black suitcase will likely result in frustration!!!

Alternatively you could try using bump-on’s, not only to help you identify your luggage, but to identify your hotel room or even your floor on a lift panel; get some and give it a try. It may be worth seeking permission to do the latter from your accommodation reception.

At a security search, always explain your impairment and ask airport security staff to repack bags in a specific order for you, so that you know where essential items are located. If you have an E-Passport, then going on my experience you can ‘sail’ through security… having faced the scanners and struggled to stand in the correct position, I have learnt to simply tell the security officer of my sight impairment… they then send you to the front of the main queue or an empty desk where they will check your passport!

When on the plane, the safety demonstration given by the cabin crew to all passengers at the beginning of a flight should be available in other formats. You should request this in advance if needed. The cabin crew should also: tell you more general information about the plane including its services and facilities; if necessary describe the layout of your food tray to you; open any packaging that is awkward; and help you find your way to the toilet.

If you want to take your guide dog on the plane with you, always tell the airline about this in advance. The airline can ask the owner to produce proof that the dog has been trained by a recognised organisation and don’t forget their ID and a safety harness to secure your dog when you are asked to.

My main advice is: don’t be shy about asking for assistance. An airline or ship’s crew, hotel clerks, taxi and bus drivers – they are generally more than happy to help. Travelling through unfamiliar places can seem like a daunting experience. Remember that many people, blind or sighted, share the same challenges that you do and are also moving through an unknown space. With a little foresight, plus an open mind and willingness to ask for help, virtually all of us can travel in comfort and safety.

I hope some of these tips and ideas will help you to become a more ambitious and independent traveller. There’s an entire world out there just waiting for you to visit.

Mark Bailey

 

useful website(s) – The inclusion of a link to our website in this blog does not constitute recommendation, endorsement, approval or support of said website.

http://www.guidedogs.org.uk/services/guide-dog-services/assistance-dog-travel-guide#.V6MTaNIrKUk

 

Marc taking a well earned rest next to his bike.

Marc did the Mendip Wiggle

Marc Gulwell took part in the 100 mile bike ride on a tandem bike with his friend Dave piloting the bike.  Previous to starting his training Marc had not ridden a bike for 10 years!  The ride took place on the 2nd July 2016 and began just outside Glastonbury.  The route took  the riders through Somerset villages, the Cheddar Gorge and included a steep 850ft ascent at just 15 miles in.

Despite injury  Marc and Dave completed what they set out to do!   Between them they have raised over £1300.

Thank you to both of you for making the commitment to raise valuable funds for Insight.