InSight Newsletter: autumn 2023
Welcome to InSight, Visibility Scotland’s twice-yearly newsletter. Our autumn issue includes news, hints and tips, fundraising and future events. We hope you enjoy reading it.
We’d love your feedback. Get in touch and let us know what you think of InSight. You’ll find our contact details at the end of the newsletter. An audio version of this newsletter is available at the end of the newsletter.
Visibility Scotland news
Concert for Caring
We partnered with the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland at their Concert for Caring on the 10th of September to celebrate the dedication of unpaid carers and health and social care staff.
We trained Glasgow Royal Concert Hall staff in guiding techniques and VI awareness. We also provided Sighted Guides on the night and braille labelling on drinks tokens and menus. Our CEO also gave a powerful presentation on the importance of accessibility and how it should always be a consideration and not an ‘add-on’.
We were delighted to bring service users, partners and funders to the Concert. Scottish comedian and radio star Des Clarke was the event host. The night featured live music, including legendary 80s band Altered Images and album-chart topper Callum Beattie.
Photo of two Visibility Scotland staff wearing light blue ‘I’m happy to help’ t-shirts in front of our information banners.
Photo of Claire Grogan from Altered Images singing at the concert.
The Magic Hour
We run a monthly three-week Positive Outlook phone group for people new to sight loss. This group usually runs over three consecutive Tuesdays.
So why did one of the early groups run to eighteen months of calls? Quite simply, the mutual support and camaraderie amongst the group was ‘magic’. Hence, the session was renamed as ‘The Magic Hour’.
When Jeanette, Jim, Jacqui, Lynn and Lauren joined a conference call in August 2021, they got along so well that they asked if we could continue the weekly calls for a while longer. Each person was dealing with significant sight loss. They found comfort and empathy in each other’s stories and the ongoing advice from our Information Worker. The calls continued until recently when the group decided to exchange numbers and end the weekly group.
Well done to all our Magic Hour attendees. You brought the magic – we just cheered you on.
Photo of four Magic Hour attendees enjoying lunch at our office.
New team members
We’ve welcomed quite a few new staff since our last newsletter. Here’s what they had to say about joining the team.
I joined the team at Visibility Scotland in June 2023 as a part-time Administrator/Receptionist. I’m the first point of contact for people needing help or coming along to the office, so please say hello if you are visiting!
Having used the services of Visibility Scotland before becoming a staff member in June, I had an idea of their invaluable support. I love being able to build up a rapport with the people we support.
Miriam (Patient Support)
I joined the Patient Support team in August and have seen first-hand how valuable the service is to patients. People leave feeling much better informed, more confident and comforted that we are there to support them.
Adam (Training Development Worker)
I started in July. My role is to build training programmes on Visual Impairment, Sighted Guiding Techniques, and Human Rights for organisations to help them support people living with visual impairment.
Erin (Community Worker)
I’m the new community worker in Dumfries and Galloway. I create self-management strategies that help service users keep their independence. I’ve felt welcomed to the team and had great hands-on practical training experience.
I started as a part-time cleaner a few months ago. As a semi-retired chef and trainee guitar maker, I’ve been fascinated by the cooking and musical classes at Queen’s Crescent.
Charged up café
Our weekly ‘Charged Up’ café has been a roaring success. The café occurs every Tuesday between 10 AM and 3 PM at 2 Queen’s Crescent, Glasgow.
Come along and enjoy some free food, a nice cuppa, and a good blether. We hope to see you soon.
Photo of two of our café attendees enjoying some soup and bread.
What’s coming up
We’ve got several exciting groups and events coming up soon:
Offering advice, support and information for those newly diagnosed with sight loss. We run various in-person sessions and Zoom or phone sessions across multiple locations. Contact us for details of upcoming Positive Outlook groups.
Do you have a smart device but struggle to use it? Our monthly Zoom-based group might be the solution. We’ll provide support and advice to ‘Switch On’ the accessibility features on your smartphone or tablet devices. Contact us for further details.
Christmas wreath making
Fancy spending an enjoyable morning or afternoon on 7 December making some beautiful Christmas wreaths? The sessions take place at our office, 2 Queen’s Crescent, Glasgow. Spaces are limited. Contact us for more details.
A to Z of hints and tips
In our regular series, Colin, one of our sensory inspirers from Dumfries, shares his top tips for living with sight loss.
Family and Friends
Let your family and friends know how your visual and/or hearing impairment affects you.
Glare in the home
Point lamps at your reading material. Ensure lighting is bright and even. Position your TV away from the window.
Arrange a check-up with an audiologist at least once every 3 years.
Use a high-contrast computer keyboard. For example, one that is black and yellow rather than all black.
Use task or angle lamps when reading. Position the lamp on the reading material to avoid shadows. Put lighting inside cupboards and also underneath, if possible.
Focus on fundraising
Cathcart Castle Golf Club Charity of the Year
We were delighted to be chosen as the Charity of the Year for Cathcart Castle Golf Club in Glasgow. The club members took part in a huge range of fundraising activities throughout the year. The sale of Christmas hampers back in December raised £1,370. A March fashion show, featuring club members as models, made £780.
June was an exceptionally busy month. A Gala Day raised a fantastic £2,300, while two club members played 100 holes of golf and raised an outstanding £4,200. Raffles and sweeps throughout the year raised a combined £1,769. Donations by club members added to the total. At the end of their fundraising efforts, the club raised a truly magnificent £11,500. Huge thanks from all of us at Visibility Scotland to everyone who took part.
Photo of three members of Cathcart Castle Golf Club on the green.
A brave bunch of souls braved less-than-ideal weather to raise a whopping £6,425.92 for us at the Glasgow Kiltwalk in April. A massive thank you to all the hardy walkers who took part!
Photo of eight fundraisers in blue Visibility Scotland t-shirts.
Boots charity cycle
The team at Boots in Braehead took part in an indoor cycle challenge to raise funds for us. Their combined efforts raised £197.63 towards our work. Thank you to everyone involved for their pedal power!
Photo of a fundraiser flexing her arms while on a stationary bike.
How you can help
Visibility Scotland is a national charity. We support anyone living with a visual impairment across Scotland. Last year we supported 3,335 people. We want to do more, but we need your help! Every donation, big or small, helps us provide our life-changing support services.
By phone: 0141 332 4632
Online: Donate to Visibility Scotland
Or scan the QR code below:
We’re here for you
Thank you for reading the latest issue of InSight. If you would like to find out more about any of our support services, please get in touch:
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @VisibilityScot
Website: Contact Us page
Glasgow: 0141 332 4632
Edinburgh: 0131 378 1874
Dumfries: 01387 267 131
Insight audio version – three tracks in total