KAB Eye Opener
10th May 2023
Images show a recent KAB yoga session within a relaxing Quaker Centre room. Members are either seated on a chair or bring their own mat for the session.
May 10th - May 23rd
Swimming session for accomplished swimmers
Please phone the office to book and discuss any needs you have. New Malden Leisure Centre, Main Pool, New Malden, KT3 4TA.
Thursdays 7:00pm – 8:00pm
May 11th, 18th, 25th
Yoga for the visually impaired
Sessions are chair-based or on a mat, you can choose. Please bring your own mat if required. Sessions are free and must be pre-booked. To book: ourparks.org.uk/borough/kingston-quaker-meeting. If the website is inaccessible please phone or email our office. Kingston Quaker Centre, Fairfield East, Kingston, KT1 2PT.
Fridays 12:00 noon – 1:00pm
May 12th, 19th (Final session, we hope to announce more dates soon)
Two sessions run for children and adults. To book visit: tinyurl.com/2p8u796u. If the website is inaccessible, please call or email our office. Fulham FC Training Ground, Motspur Park, KT3 6PT.
Saturdays, term time 10:30am – 11:30am
May 13th, 20th, 27th (Spring term ends)
Absolute Beginners swimming lessons
For beginners, or swimmers who have lost their confidence. Places are limited, so please phone the office to pre-book and discuss any needs you may have. New Malden Leisure Centre, Training Pool, New Malden, KT3 4TA.
Saturdays 6:00pm – 6:30pm, we hope to restart in early May.
Digital Drop In session
Zoom, Magnification and Voiceover for iPad and iPhone, with Ina and Monique
The session will begin with a short introduction discussing the tools available on your Apple device. You will then have the opportunity to ask any questions and we can demonstrate how to use Zoom, Magnification and Voiceover on your own device. Kingston Quaker Centre, Fairfield East, Kingston, KT1 2PT.
Every third Monday of the month 10:00am - 12 noon
Hollywood Bowl, Charrington Bowl, Kingston Rd, Surbiton KT5 9PB.
Currently once a month on Mondays 11:00am - 1:00pm.
Please phone the office to pre-book. Sessions are weather dependent.In partnership with Wheels for all Kingston. Weir Archer Athletics Centre, Jack Goodchild Way, 422a Kingston Road, KT1 3PB.
Mondays 2:00pm – 2:45pm
May 15th, 22nd
We offer lunch plus a chair-based exercise session* for those who would like to participate.
Kingston Quaker Centre, Fairfield East, Kingston, KT1 2PT.
Alternate Tuesdays 1:00pm – 3:00pm
May 16th, 30th
* Note: more chair-based exercise coming soon
A light lunch is offered and members have the opportunity to socialise with one another. Phone the office to book your space. At the Kingston Quaker Centre, Fairfield East, KT1 2PT.
Every last Thursday of each month 12:30am – 3:00pm
We will announce future dates as soon as we can.
KAB Concession Policy
In recognition of the high cost-of-living currently experienced by many members of the Kingston Association for the Blind, the Board of Trustees of KAB has instituted a concessions policy. Members of KAB who are in financial distress can apply for a concession which will exempt them from paying the £5 fee normally paid at all KAB activities.
For more details phone 0208 605 0060 or email email@example.com
Sight Loss and your Mental Well Being
Mental Health issues of all kinds are prevalent amongst people with sight loss. As next week (May 15th - 21st) is Mental Health Awareness Week, this Eye Opener has a special section on managing your mental well being.
Boost your Mental Well Being with KAB activities
Exercise (even gentle exercise) boosts mental health. Exercise makes the body release Endorphins, a hormone that helps decrease stress.
At KAB we have different activities such as tandem cycling, ten-pin bowling, football, yoga, swimming and many more (see activities section for dates).
We invite our members to give them a go - after all, it is never too late to take up a new healthy hobby!
These activities include:
• Swimming for absolute beginners
These beginner lessons are very gentle and participants are not forced to go beyond their limits. The aim of the sessions is to become confident in water.
Swimming lessons run every Saturday evening at (time). If you would like to join please call the office on 0208 605 0060 and we will be happy to tell you more information about it.
• Swimming for accomplished swimmers
If you can already swim, we also run sessions for experienced swimmers who have their own lane and can swim at their own pace. Sessions are every Thursday evening at 7.00pm-8.00pm.
• Yoga, a life changing experience
Yoga is also a very gentle form of exercise that consists of breathing, stretching and all you must do is go with the flow.
Our members have expressed that it is a new way of life that allows you to slow down, and it is amazing how relaxing it can be but at the same time, how energising it is. Taking part in yoga really proves that moving is medicine for the body.
We invite you to join on Fridays May 12th and 19th, 12:00pm to 1:00pm, at the Kingston Quaker Centre. We hope to provide further sessions subject to finding further funding.
Lunchtime Get Togethers at KAB
If even Yoga is too much to contemplate, why not boost your wellbeing by meeting like-minded people over lunch at KAB?
We have two lunchtime regular sessions:
• Social Eyes
Social Eyes is a wonderful place to make friends and have a lovely time to enjoy various entertaining activities: from a gentle chair-based exercise programme, quizzes, craft and the occasional outing. Alternate Tuesdays 1:00pm – 3:00pm. Upcoming dates for your diary: May 16th, 30th, June 13th, June 27th. Please phone the office on 0208 605 0060 to confirm your attendance.
• Lunch Club
Our KAB Lunch Club offers a warm space for people to have a light lunch and socialise with one another. After lunch, there is usually a fun quiz in which members form teams and a sighted volunteer writes the answers down on their behalf. Lunch Club is very popular among our members, they say it's very welcoming. Every last Thursday of each month 12:30am – 3:00pm. Upcoming dates for your diary: May 25th and June 29th. Please phone the office on 0208 605 0060 to confirm your attendance.
Mental Health and Well Being Support
Mental Health Foundation
The Mental Health Foundation provides guidance on how to support someone who is suffering from any mental health issue and build awareness in the community of mental health conditions in all their variety.
Based on the evidence and lived experiences of real people, their aim is help you look after your mental health and help prevent mental ill health from developing further.
Next week (May 15th to May 21st) is Mental Health Awareness Week. This year's theme is Anxiety.
Anxiety is a natural response to uncertainty. For example, in the current cost-of-living crisis, more than a third of adults feel anxious about their financial situation. It's important to recognise and respond appropriately when we feel anxious, so that our anxiety doesn’t become overwhelming.
The Mental Health Foundation has chosen Anxiety as the theme for We’ve chosen anxiety as the Mental Health Awareness Week theme this year to kickstart a nationwide conversation, encouraging people to share their own experiences and any helpful ideas on how to manage
anxiety. They invite, therefore, for everyone to see their website and learn how to prevent anxiety before it happens.
If you would like to access this amazing organization visit tinyurl.com/3xdynp46.
Mind in Kingston
Mind is another national organisation providing support for people struggling with mental health issues.
The services they provide are:
• Café evenings
Get togethers where members can chat and get to know each other. There are often activities such as art therapy, and they offer meals for members with low incomes. Café meetings are free, but attendees are expected to buy their own drink unless they have a low income.
• Buddy Scheme
An online and phone scheme providing weekly company for people who feel lonely.
• Housing help
Support for people with mental health issues to obtain housing benefits and their application process.
This is a free online and phone service where you can talk to a qualified counsellor.
To access these services, call 0208 255 3939.
NHS urgent mental health access point:
Use if you have a crisis, feel very low or have extreme anxiety. You can call the Crisis Point on 0800 328 4444.
Can't attend the AGM? Don't forget to vote
Our Annual General Meeting is on Tuesday June 6th from 11.00 am to 2.30pm.
Even if you can't make it please do exercise your member's rights by voting on the AGM resolutions by proxy - when someone else votes on your behalf.
All members will have received the proxy voting form showing this year's AGM resolutions. If you need another copy of the form please call our office on 0208 8605 0060 or visit the KAB website
- Give your voting preferences directly over the phone to our staff (call 0208 8605 0060)
- Email your voting preferences to our office (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Nominate someone to attend on your behalf, with you either instructing the proxy how to vote or leaving it to their judgement
- Nominate the Chair to vote on your behalf following your instructions or allowing him to exervise his judgement
Exercise your member's rights!
Descriptive Zooms from Royal Collection Trust
These Zoom talks are audio described for blind and partially-sighted people. Talks take place on the first Tuesday of the month, from 2pm. Hear about different works in the Royal Collection, the Royal Residencies and the history of the Monarchy.
Talks are free and informal, and you can participate with your camera on or off, however you prefer.
Meeting ID: 904 476 9010
Join by phone by calling: 0208 080 6591
The dates and subjects of each talk are:
Tuesday 6 June The Coronation of King Charles III
Tuesday 4 July Object focus - Coronations
Tuesday 1 August The Coronation portrait of Queen Victoria
Tuesday 5 September Fashion trends in Victorian England
Tuesday 3 October James VI & witchcraft
Tuesday 7 November Object focus – clocks in the Royal Collection
Tuesday 5 December Hans Holbein
Inspirational KAB Members:
Sheila Austin was fully sighted until the age of 50 when she suffered a stroke that damaged her optic nerve that resulted in her losing her left field of vision in both eyes and tunnel vision to her right. At first, she found it hard to become partially sighted, especially because she could not be as independent as she used to be.
Sheila used to work as a personal assistant; however, she could not do this any longer because at the time, screen readers were not very well known. Fortunately, one day she got in touch with the Kingston Association for the Blind and attended its Eye Contact Club, a meeting. The club was where the visually impaired could meet, have a cup of coffee, and discuss new ideas to be more independent in their daily lives, such as putting an elastic band around a bottle to distinguish it from another.
As a person with a visual impairment, Sheila has achieved remarkable things such as winning several competitions about creating slogans for different brands and even fundraising £2000 for the RNIB by bravely abseiling down the 150ft tower of Kingston University.
These days, Sheila enjoys tandem riding, quiz nights and socialising with other members of KAB. “When you are partially sighted, people tend to judge you if you can’t be as independent as sighted people expect,” she says. “The good thing about KAB is that nobody judges you because everyone has their own sight condition, so everybody understands what you are going through,” she explains.
Sheila has had a difficult journey being blind, but her secret to happiness is pushing through more and more and not letting her sight loss limit what she can do. Her story is very inspiring and, undoubtedly, there is much to learn from her.
Be our new secretary
We are looking to recruit a secretary and other new volunteer trustees to help KAB remain sustainable, relevant and effective in a rapidly changing landscape of economic, societal and technological change, so that KAB can continue to serve, and be the voice of, local people with sight loss.
Our new secretary will be someone methodical and able to ensure the smooth running of our trustee meetings, including producing agendas, minute taking, and ensuring that trustee meetings and decisions comply with the constitution and relevant legal frameworks.
We have six 3-hour trustee meetings per year. In addition we anticipate that that trustees will contribute another 4-8 days in preparation, guidance and advice. Trustee indemnity insurance is in place.
This is a unique role in which you will gain valuable experience in a charity adapting for change to support vulnerable people.
If you are interested in becoming our new Secretary then please email your CV to email@example.com.
If you have friends or family who could step up to the role, tell them about this exciting opportunity.
For an initial discussion about the role please contact Roy Smith MBE on 07803 288083 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds to ensure that our trustee board reflects the diversity of our community.
For further details see our website: kingstonassociationforblind.org/current-vacancies
Closing date: Monday May 22nd
Welfare Benefits Advisor
Contract: 2-year contract, part time
Hours: 20 per week
Location: Greater London
Salary: £15,390 plus 5% pension.
Closing Date: Monday 29th May 10am
Expected Date of Interviews June 7-9th
About the role
Do you want to use your extensive experience to help local people with sight loss realise their welfare rights and entitlements?
Kingston Association for the Blind (KAB) provides a number of services which foster the health and wellbeing of and empower people with visual impairments (VI). This particular project is funded by Trust for London.
The Welfare Benefits Advisor will work with the KAB team to deliver a comprehensive, quality and accessible welfare benefits advice service. The post holder will provide the service through a variety of channels at our office, the person’s home, and/or other venues across the Borough.
This post is subject to a Disclosure and Barring check.
For further details see our website: kingstonassociationforblind.org/current-vacancies
Closing date Monday 29th May 10am
Could you – or someone you know be our new Trustee?
Are you passionate about volunteering and want to make a difference in someone's life? Then this opportunity may be perfect for you. KAB is looking to recruit new trustees to ensure our Association remains sustainable, relevant and effective in a rapidly changing landscape in the economic, societal and technological aspects, so that we can continue to serve and be the voice of the visually impaired.
For the trustee roles we are particularly keen to hear from people whose specialisms are Equality, Diversity and inclusion, Finance, Legal, IT, Digital Communications and HR. We’re also interested in reaching out to younger people who could bring new ideas into the organization by being trustees.
If you are interested please email email@example.com attaching your CV and a completed equal opportunities form which you can find on our website www.kingstonassociationforblind.org. We will assess and interview prospective candidate on a rolling basis.
If you would like to have an informal chat about the role of a Trustee then contact the CEO Antony Bewick-Smith on 07985 283079 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.
For more information, or to request an application form, please call the office at 0208 605 0060 or email: email@example.com.
We are looking for more volunteers who can support us in the technological aspect. If you are an expert on technology or know someone who can help please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Could you be an Eye Buddy?
Sometimes visual impairment makes people feel lonely and trapped, especially if they also have limited mobility. People might know certain routes to get where they want to, but not to access other places they are interested in visiting or shopping. The fear of going out can also leave people with sight-loss feeling isolated and depressed.
That is why we have the Eye Buddy scheme. Eye Buddies are sighted volunteers who simply chat to people with sight loss in their own home, help with paperwork, take people out, for example going shopping together, describing objects at a museum, or simply having a drink together at a coffee shop.
If you are sighted and keen on helping the visually impaired, please contact us and we will introduce you to someone who needs a buddy to join them in their adventures.
Could you help people with sight-loss play Bowls?
KAB supports a group of visually impaired people to play indoor and outdoor bowls in Tolworth and Chessington. We need sighted volunteers to help run our sessions.
Familiar with bowls or not - why not give it a try?
For more information email email@example.com or call 07985 283079
Are you planning to take part in a Challenge?
Do you have a place in a marathon, cycle race, or other similar event this year? Please consider using your entry to help KAB. Challenge Fundraising can be a very rewarding way to generate income for charities. So, if you have a place in such an event, please let us know. Together we can use your place to fundraise for KAB. Please call us on 0208 605 0060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Co-Op Charity of the Year
And another reminder: KAB is one of the three Local Charities of the Year of the Co-Op. For us to get the highest benefit from this, all our members with Co-Op cards can select KAB as their favourite charity. You can do so by either calling 0800 0234 708, choosing option one and asking for help in choosing your favourite charity, or doing so through the Co-op App which can be found by following this link:
The Kingston Community Lottery is an exciting weekly lottery that raises money for 'good causes' in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, and you can now support KAB as your 'good cause', by visiting the following link: tinyurl.com/58fp3jvp.
If you find the link inaccessible, or you do not have internet access, and you would like to play, and support KAB, please contact the office for assistance by calling 0208 605 0060. Tickets cost just £1 a week. Each ticket has a 1 in 50 chance to win a prize each week, with a top prize of £25,000. That's a much better chance of winning than the National Lottery, or the Health Lottery. Each ticket has six numbers, and each number is between 0 and 9. There will be a draw every Saturday night when a six-digit winning combination will be picked. Prizes will be given to players with tickets that match the first or last 2 to 6 numbers from the winning combination. All 'good causes' supported by the lottery will benefit the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames and its residents. We hope you'll support us in making KAB even better and have some fun along the way!