Tuesday 17th March

Laura and Kerry will be at the Our Place Community Drop-In session at the West Wight Community Centre in Moa Place, Freshwater. Come along to say hello between 10.15am and 12 noon, and enjoy a free cup of tea or coffee.

The Swimming Group are swimming at the Waterside Pool in Ryde from 8.00pm till 8.45pm. The pool is closed to the public whilst the group swims. There are male and female volunteers to help you get in and out of the pool as well as Lifeguards to ensure your safety. To join the Swimming Group, please call Sight for Wight first to notify us of your swimming ability. You need to register with the office at Millbrooke House first to be able to swim with the group.

Wednesday 18th March

The weekly coffee morning will be held at Millbrooke House from 10.00am till 11.30am.
There will also be our Low Vision drop in between 10.00 am and 11.30am. This is a weekly event to allow you to view and try the Low Vision equipment we have at Sight for Wight without the need for an appointment.

We will be swimming at the Special Care Session held at West Wight Sports Centre in Freshwater. The session runs from 12 noon till 1.00pm. The cost to swim is £4.20. Minibus transport may be available depending on location for as suggested donation of £2.00. If you are interested in joining the group then please contact the charity as we will need to ask some questions about your swimming ability, general health, and mobility and next of kin details.

Thursday 19th March

There will be a coffee morning at The Old Smithy Coffee Shop in Godshill between 10.30am and 11.45am. Our coffee mornings are run by staff and volunteers from Sight for Wight and are open to all. Refreshments including delicious fresh cakes are available to purchase direct from the coffee shop.

The Thursday Social Group are meeting at Millbrooke House. The group meets from 10.30am till 2.00pm. Most Thursdays with the help of volunteers, the group enjoy a number of activities, crosswords, catching up on news and trivia, knitting and crochet. They are currently making pompoms for a rug and will be starting on easter decoration. This very friendly, mixed group also love to chat and enjoy lunch together. Later in the afternoon volunteers come in and read to the group on different topics. If you would like to join the group then please contact us on 522205

Saturday 21st March

Sight for Wight is holding a Low Vision Exhibition at Newclose Cricket Ground, Blackwater Road, Newport. There will be more details later in the programme.
Any Other News

Accessible Activities and Services Day hosted by and at West Wight Sports and Community Centre on Saturday March 14th, has been postponed due to the current Coronavirus situation. A new day will be announced in due course.

Dress for Less Assistant Manager Vacancy

Dress For Less is looking for an Assistant Manager, Saturdays Only (6.5 hours/week) £8.72 per hour at our Dress Agency Boutique, St James Street, Newport
Dress for Less is a 50/50 Dress Agency & Boutique specialising in high-end ladies fashion and occasion wear.
Do you have the passion and personality to lead our team of Saturday volunteers? Your hard work and dedication will directly help the people Sight for Wight (Isle of Wight Society for the Blind) was established to support every day.
For an informal chat prior to applying please contact Retail Manager Debbie at Dress for Less, St James Street, Newport – 01983 523197.
Job Description and application forms are available from our website www.iwsb.org.uk or from the boutique. Please note CV’s will not be accepted.
Post applications to Miriam Tong, CEO, Sight for Wight, Millbrooke House, 137 Carisbrooke Road, Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 1DD or email ceo@iwsb.org.uk.
Closing date: 16th March 2020. Interviews the afternoon of Saturday 21st March 2020

Low Vision Exhibition

Sight for Wight is holding a Low Vision Exhibition at Newclose Cricket Ground, Blackwater Road, Newport, on Saturday 21st March, 10.30am till 2.30pm. This is a free event, with a large car park, disabled access and facilities, and refreshments available to purchase from the bar. Join us to meet with exhibitors and support services including Laura Gooljar St Marys ECLO, Associated Optical, Dolphin Speech Software, Humanware, the Macular Society, Optelec, Professional Vision Services, Sight and Sound Technology, The Sensory Support team, and the Windemere Manor Hotels. We will also be joined by Terry from the RNIB Tech Squad. He will be able to answer your tech related questions, help set up your own devices and will be demonstrating the Amazon ‘Alexa’ speech recognition devices. Southern Vectis routes 2 and 3 stop just outside the venue. However, as the road is a busy main road, we are offering a shuttle minibus service to and from Newport bus station. This will run at set times throughout the day. Please ring 522205 for more information and to book a space.

Change to April Stroll

There has been a change to the April stroll. Due to the intended route being unsuitable underfoot, there will be a new route in a nearby area which will be much safer.

Dining in the Dark Challenge

Newport based Vectis Sunrise Rotary Club are hosting this event to raise money for Sight for Wight on Friday 24th April 2020 at the restaurant at the Isle of Wight College from 6.30pm -9.00pm. Tickets are available from Eventbrite at £42.00

New £20 note – The new £20 note entered circulation on the 20th February. The new note is the same size and has similar colours to the paper note. It also has the tactile feature which is created by a series of raised dots, as do the new £10 and £5 notes. The tactile dots are in the top left hand corner. The £20 note has 3 dots, the £10 note has 2 dots and the £5 note doesn’t have any dots.

Coronavirus Update 11 March 2020

With the steady spread of the coronavirus infection across Europe and in the UK we must now prepare contingency plans should it become necessary to temporarily close or cease any of our activities and events. Please regularly check our website which we can update remotely or contact us by phone on 01983 522205 where we will have a pre-recorded message operating, should the need arise.

Whilst we continue to operate as usual, on the homepage of our website you will see a banner that reads: Coronavirus Update – All events and activities running as planned. Should we need to suspend our activities, on the homepage of our website you will see a banner that reads: Coronavirus Update – All events and activities temporarily suspended. We will endeavour to operate as usual and will only implement these measures if absolutely necessary to prevent the possible further spread of the virus. In the meantime we continue to promote and observe NHS guidance on infection prevention. Like the common cold and flu, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with an infected person via coughs and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands. Since our earlier advice, the risk of being in close contact with a person with coronavirus or contaminated surfaces has increased, with its continuing spread. To protect yourself and others from infection you are advised to:

Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.

Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

Please follow current guidelines on self-isolation as appropriate.
At Millbrooke House, at Dress for Less, on our minibus and at outreach events we are attending, as a matter of routine hygienic practice, sanitisers and hand gel will be readily available for use. You can find the latest information and advice from Public Health England at www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Pre-owned equipment for sale

We have been asked to advertise on behalf of a member a pre-loved BraillePen 12 Touch. This is a Bluetooth Braille keyboard with Braille display designed for use by individuals who are blind or have low vision. This keyboard connects to a phone, netbook, PC or tablet. It allows the user to navigate an external device with a joystick, write SMS, browse the Internet, complete 6-key entry into a Braille translator or simply type. The user can also switch between 6-dot and 8-dot Braille entries. The asking price is £100. If you are interested in purchasing this item or require more information, please call 522205 and ask for Laura.

Chris Cane, Marketing, Communications & Fundraising Manager, along with Ruth Hollingshead, Trustee, Volunteer and Member were recent guests on Vectis Radio with Maggie & Kelvin Currie for the monthly ‘Insight for Wight’ feature. You can listen to them later in the programme.

This weeks In Touch:

Schizophrenia and blindness, Hester Poole, and Nicholas Saunderson

It’s a globe trotting episode with research from Australia, humanitarian work in Ethiopia back to Barnsley for No Horizon – a musical about the life of Nicholas Saunderson.

The view persists that blindness can lead to other senses being somehow more acute – but are they just better trained?

The notion of “neuroplasticity” comes up in consideration of the work of our first guest, Professor Vera Morgan Head of the Neuropsychiatric Epidemiology Research Unit in the University of Western Australia. Her studies support the idea that the congenitally blind, or those who become blind in their early years are somehow protected from schizophrenia. If this is the case – could the cause of the phenomenon be harnessed to combat mental illness?

We hear again from 12-year-old Hester Poole, who visited a blind school in Africa and interviewed the lawyer and disability activist Yetnebersh Nigussie, who calls going blind “winning the lottery”.

And there are plenty of fascinating blind characters in history. But have you heard of Nicholas Saunderson? Born in Penistone in the 17th Century and blinded by smallpox as a baby, he went on to become Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge – a seat held by Sir Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking. This fascinating character is now the subject of a musical, No Horizon. Director Andrew Loretto and leading man Adam Martin tell us about bringing a figure who may have been forgotten back into the limelight.

You can listen to this week’s In Touch by clicking HERE.