NCBA    In-Sight on the Web       Update: 14th January 2022


The Trustees and staff hope you had a Very Happy Christmas and wish you a very happy New Year for 2022



Our office has re-opened for some services, but the current situation with Covid means we have regretfully had to review our wider provision as follows: 

Please do not visit our office without an appointment. A health questionnaire to be used in advance of attending.

A face covering is required when moving around the building.

No Home visits to take place.

The majority of our social and community groups are suspended. Please check with the group co-ordinator before attending. A list is shown below. 

Our community-based and transport services are largely suspended, but we are providing limited transport support for medical appointments.

We will review every two weeks and as new information becomes available. Please watch this space.


We aim to update our website at least every fortnight, so please check back here for the latest news.

Too much scrolling? Please read on...

All our clients have a Sight Impairment. There are many conditions which lead to this, and while it often affects ability to access information on screen, many of our clients use technology to access websites and other electronic media.

We have found that it can be easier to present our home screen as largely a series of small items to scroll through, rather than have lots of things to click on scattered around the screen. We understand that there is not a 'one-size fits all', and welcome feedback. Please contact our homepage manager: barry.frost@ncba.org.uk


Coronavirus: Always check latest Government Advice

Click on the image to the right for the latest advice

A full schedule of vaccinations is available at the following link:

Priority Groups for Vaccination

Click here for some useful advice from Healthwatch Northumberland :

Government News and Advice - COVID-19
Healthwatch Northumberland


Something very special to celebrate!!

At a wonderful award ceremony at Alnwick Castle on 27th October, Her Grace The Duchess of Northumberland awarded us the Queens Award for Voluntary Service with Special Recognition for our work during Covid

This is a credit to ALL our volunteers, both before and during the pandemic. Thank you all!!!

Click on either photo to find out more about QAVS

Facebook
Andrea (Governor) and Julie (Chief Officer)


We are always looking for new volunteers to join our team

Application Form | Tipco Punch Inc.


How to Switch Email Services Easily & Keep All Your Mails, Contacts -  SiliconANGLE

We have a wide range of volunteering opportunities including Driving, Administration, Social Clubs, Telephone Befriending, Mailing, Reception, Activities, Cafe, Fundraising, events ... and more!  


To download an application form or to email a query to our Volunteer Co-ordinator, Michael, please click on the relevant image here, or call 01670 514316 




When will our social groups and other face to face activities re-start?

We share the desire of our clients to re-start our social groups and other activities which have been bustling hubs.

With all of our support being for people who are vulnerable, we must take extra care. Please keep checking the next article.

As of 11/1/22, our transport service is providing limited transport support for medical appointments. For more information, please phone us or click below to email:


Michael. Rickwood@ncba.org.uk


Finding Social Clubs and Groups in Later Life: The Beginner's Guide | Mirthy
Sell Your Car The Motorway Way | Get Your Highest Offer


Latest re-start information for social groups

In view of the Covid situation in January 2022, most groups and transport arrangements to them are suspended. Please check with the group co-ordinator before attending. 

Activities Group. (June, 01670 862554): Re-started 25th August. New group members welcome.

Alnwick: SocialEyes. (Margaret, 01665 714583): Re-started in November. Please call for details.

Ashington: Blind Group. (Joyce Simm, 01670 855686). Up and running!

Ashington: SocialEyes. (Margaret Waterston, 01670 515529). Up and running!

Bedlington: Sensory Allotment Group. (Lucy Manning, 01670 512789). Have now re-started.

Blyth: SocialEyes. (Jacqui, 01670 353944): Next meeting in the Constitutional Club, February 3rd 2022

Blyth: Insight.  (Norma, 01670 734877): Renovations to centre underway. Re-start to be advised. 

Cramlington: SocialEyes. (Andrea, 07412 707575): Re-start 10th August

Hexham: Luncheon Club. Existing members please contact the group leader for information

Morpeth: Craft Club. Joyce Simm (01670 855686). Please contact the group leader for information

Ponteland: SocialEyes. (Please contact NCBA on 01670 514316 for the latest situation)

Prudhoe: SocialEyes. (Please contact NCBA on 01670 514316 for the latest situation)

Women's Group. (June, 01670 812053): No re-start date yet

Please keep checking here for updated information on these and other groups



We are looking for an Administrative Officer - please note this advertisement has been amended and extended

Sport for Schools- Athlete: Dan English - St. Patrick's Catholic Primary  School

For more information, please click on the image here



Are you a Leisure / Sports Provider?

How to Switch Email Services Easily & Keep All Your Mails, Contacts -  SiliconANGLE

Thomas Pocklington Trust has just launched a free training portal for leisure and sports providers to train their staff and make their facilities more accessible to visually impaired people.  


Click here for the toolkit, Inclusive facilities: Supporting people with a visual impairment

This contains videos and resources that sports and leisure providers can use to help train staff.



See Sport Differently campaign

We are encouraging sight impaired people to contact their local leisure facilities and have met with representatives of sports organisations.  


Thomas Pocklington Trust has created a suggested email/letter which we've slightly adapted.

Click on the image here to download this. It would be interesting to hear how you get on!



A big 'Thank you' to Tynedale Lions!

It was great to see the Tynedale Beer Festival returning in full this year. We hope everyone enjoyed it and are already getting our glasses ready for next year! 


We are very grateful to the Lions who kindly chose us as one of the beneficiary charities. Here's Barry receiving a cheque for £2500 from Lions President Stephen Prandle. Thank you!


Click here to find out more about Tynedale Lions

flower | Definition, Anatomy, Physiology, & Facts | Britannica


And 'how about that?' with the marathon medal...?

Did you hear? Global's Make Some Noise Day is back!


We were so pleased to see that the obverse side of the marathon medal features a message in braille. It reads: "We run together"


Please click on the image to donate!


Thank you



A warm welcome to Dan English, newest member of our Sensory Energy Advice team

Sport for Schools- Athlete: Dan English - St. Patrick's Catholic Primary  School


Dan comes from a background in sports performing for around 18 years. He has represented England and GB in blind football, travelling around the world and playing in some of the biggest competitions such as London 2012. 


Dan is a major Harry Potter fan and loves a good book to read. Alongside supporting NCBA clients, Dan is studying Psychology with Counselling at the university of Sunderland. 


Click here to email Dan



We will soon be joined by two Development Officers for our "Seeing it your way" Project

Sport for Schools- Athlete: Dan English - St. Patrick's Catholic Primary  School


They will play a key role in further developing our wide-ranging provision for visually impaired people.


Through a range of strategies and working with partners, they will enhance social opportunities; improve health, safety and wellbeing; maximise independence; and help clients to stay active within their communities


More on this after Xmas



NCBA Information and Equipment Day


Smartphones and tablets for people with sight loss | Synapptic


Thank you to everyone who braved a wet and windy day to join us for our open day.


It was a great opportunity to get first-hand help and advice from representatives of organisations supporting Visual Impairment.


Clients were "amazed at the equipment on offer", described it as "life-changing", and one even said she "would be buying the contents of the stall"! 



Thanks to Helen Wade, and to all who helped make this a special day! 


Click on the organisation logos here to find out more about them.

go to home page
Deafblind-enablement logo
Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, The | Charities | Law Gazette
Citizens Advice home
BID Services
Ponteland Ageing Well | Promoting Activities For The Elderly in Ponteland |  Find Activites in Ponteland
Humanware


We were at Carers Northumberland's Carer's Rights Day on Thursday, 25th November 2021, 1pm-4pm

Carers Northumberland


//img1.wsimg.com/isteam/ip/4ab9dc9c-ac15-450e-8164-b7dc02250af2/carers-rights-day-3.png/:/rs=h:{640}


The event was mainly aimed at unpaid carers. Most are adults caring for their relatives/friends. 


Other exhibitors included Age UK, Citizen’s Advice, the Fire Service, PALS, and Alzheimer’s Society. 


The event had both morning and afternoon events. We were there to focus on information and equipment which might be useful for those caring for people who have a visual impairment.


For more information about the day and Carers Northumberland, please click on the relevant image here.



Have you tried Tynedale Talking Newspaper?

Tynedale Talking Newspaper is a useful local audio news feature.


You can access the website by clicking on the image here:



Photos from our recent Christmas gathering


Best WordPress Survey Plugins in 2020: 12 Options Compared | SurveyMonkey


Latest edition of our in-Sight newsletter

The 2020/2021 Lockdown Newsletters - VMCC Dorset Section


This is our second edition of in-Sight (we changed the name from Noise to better reflect our focus).


Click on the link below or the image here to download the latest edition.


Click here for latest in-Sight


Click here to access other newsletters



And if you'd prefer an audio version of in-Sight, click on the link below to download this

Audio Recording, Available Online | Library of Congress


Please note that as our transcription service is part-time, it usually takes a week or so after we publish the hard copy for the audio file to be uploaded.


Click here for the latest audio version of in-Sight



NCBA Client Connect


Our Client Connect service is one of our main ways we keep in touch with our clients.


The service depends on our volunteer phone befrienders, many of whom are visually impaired themselves. 


Please all 01670 514316 or email barry.frost@ncba.org.uk



Fuel Energy Project

We can provide information to clients about reducing fuel costs and managing energy use, as well as on low vision equipment and technology to assist you when using energy.

Please contact Caroline Armstrong (caroline.armstrong@ncba.org.uk)

3 Expert Ways to Improve Fuel Savings


Our new 'Chatterbox Cafe' is open!!

Chatterbox is now open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am to noon at Reiver House, Morpeth. All welcome!

Please telephone 01670 514316

Why you should get out of your comfort zone! According to Alpha Gamma  Solutions - Alpha Gamma


Our office is now open to booked appointments. We have undertaken careful risk assessments and adjustments have been made. These help staff to work part-time on key tasks to ensure we can continue as much as possible of our important work.



Some useful apps to explore:


 Click on the image or text to find out more




Be My Eyes


Be My Eyes is a free app that can connect low sighted or blind with sighted volunteers! They offer visual assistance through a live video call, whenever they may need assistance.





Taptapsee



TapTapSee is an app that helps people with a VI. It uses your camera and voice over functions to take a picture or video of anything and identify it and read out loud.






Envision AI


Envision AI offers a range of visual aid for the blind and partially sighted users. It helps read out loud many items such as handwritten notes, a cereal box or a book you’ve always wanted to read. It also comes with 60 languages!




A brand new Eye Hospital in the North East!

New £36m Sunderland eye hospital set to bring 'world class' treatment to  North East patients - Chronicle Live


An exciting new development is happening in Sunderland that will serve the whole North East


Click on the image here to find out more!


After reading the plans, please click here to take part in a short survey to give your views



Would you like a free smartspeaker* and support to set it up? (*e.g. Google Nest, Amazon Echo Alexa)

We are pleased to have secured funding this year to allocate well over a hundred of these devices  

Smartspeakers can be an amazing tool for people with a sight impairment

We have a small number remaining from a project earlier this year. If you are interested in having one, please contact Barry (01670 514316)

Click on the images here for more info on these devices

GOOGLE Nest Mini (2nd Gen) - Coral - Currys 193575000701 | eBay
How to get an Amazon Echo Dot for £6 with this Black Friday offer - Daily  Record


When will our offices re-open for normal activities?

Keeping Safe Week begins | St Edmund's Catholic Primary School


To keep everyone safe, we must limit the centre to staff and those with a specific appointment, and visitors should leave as soon as their appointment is completed.

We understand the extra difficulties during the current times.


Safety is our main concern. As all of our support is for people who are vulnerable, including some who are particularly so, we need to take more care than many organisations.


Our phone lines (01670 514316) are open part-time. Please leave a short message and your number and we will call you back.



Our new Facebook and Twitter pages are up and running!

If you have any ideas about what you would like to be added to our pages please contact:

ruth.speirs@ncba.org.uk



Both sites will get weekly updates (if we can!)



Click the images to the left to be taken straight to our pages.



Could you help as a Sports and Activities co-ordinator?

Garscadden Burn Medical Practice - Feel Good Get Active


Guide - Runner Bibs & Tethers – Metro Blind Sport

Last year we started a new venture designed to support people with a Visual Impairment who wished to take part in a range of activities.


After several months planning for country walks, tennis, boccia, etc., our first events were due to take place last Spring... in fact, the very week lockdown started! 


We're really keen to re-kindle our programme, but need a new co-ordinator as our previous one is busy on other tasks! If you think you can help, please email:


barry.frost@ncba.org.uk



Resources

NCBA can provide resources such as magnifiers, readers, radios and even technology like smart speakers.

For other items, for example canes and tips (e.g. white balls) please contact one of our sister organisations. 

RNIB can be contacted on 0303 123 9999. Alternatively, here is a link to the

RNIB online shop

(For canes, tips, etc. click on the Health and Mobility tab)

Legally blind: What does it mean?

We are here for all of our clients, and will do our best to support you in anyway we can during and beyond this difficult time. If you need us, or know someone who does, please contact us.


Donations

These provide a crucial lifeline to us. Click on the image to go to our  Donations page.

Alternatively, please just use our bank details below, and include 'Donation' in your reference. Thank you. 

NCBA

Sort Code 77-20-37

Account 03625260

Leaving money to charity in your will - Saga



Courses and groups with Northumbria Healthcare

Please click on the NHS logo (right) to access the new catalogue of courses being held in 2021/22.


This free training is delivered by the Integrated Wellbeing Service to those who live or work in Northumberland 

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust


Have you tried these Northumberland Libraries services?


PressReader logo

Borrow Box gives access lots of library resources, including audio books, E-books, journals, etc.. 

Pressreader gives access to more than 7000 top journals and newspapers as soon as they are available online. 

If you are already a member of a local library and know your PIN: Click on the relevant image (left) to join.

If you are already a member, but don't know your PIN: Telephone any Northumberland library, or email:

mylibrary@northumberland.gov.uk

If you are not already a member: You can join online and get access straight away using a temporary membership number and PIN at:

http://mylibrary.co.uk   



Lockdown Entertainment from Livewires Theatre

Drama Films

You can access audio recordings of sketches, monologues, poems and short stories through Zoom. Simply...


CLICK HERE 



Winter Food and Fuel Support

Are you a client struggling with the cost of living and require support and assistance over the winter months? If so, we may be able to put you in touch with someone who can help. Please contact us on 01670 514316 and mention "Winter food and fuel support". 

7 strategies to fight winter breathing problems - Harvard Health


Calling all counsellors

RNIB accredits counsellors who have completed a RNIB training course and have committed to a developmental plan that enables blind and partially sight people to access their counselling services.


Contact Maria Bulgakova (Accreditation Officer) for more info 

Jo Farrow: Condor Counselling | Bark Profile and Reviews


The new Northumberland Recovery College

A Recovery College provides opportunities and support to help you better manage your own wellbeing.

Click on the image here to find learning, mutual support, and activities, at a pace that is right for you.



Northumberland Communities Together: 01670 620015


NCT are here to help keep you safe and well, if you or anyone you know need a bit of extra support...


Perhaps your financial circumstances have changed with reduced hours, redundancy or benefit


Worried about winter bills or financial pressures? We work with Citizens Advice Northumberland to connect and support families


Feeling lonely, overwhelmed or struggling with mental health


If you do need food or medicine, please order it online or by phone or ask friends and family to drop it off at your home.


Worried about someone experiencing domestic abuse or concerned about a neighbour.



Technology Project

Smart Speakers Grow As A Pandemic-Era Staple. | Story | insideradio.com

We have secured funding for smart speakers, tablets and over-the-phone technical training and support for our clients who already have internet access and a smart phone.

Please contact Ruth Speirs (ruth.speirs@ncba.org.uk)



RNIB Connect Radio: Online and Freeview Channel 730

Radio Stock Photos And Images - 123RF

This is a fantastic radio station aimed at people with a visual impairment.

You can listen to it by tuning in to Freeview Channel 730 or online at: 


 (https://www.rnibconnectradio.org.uk/#)



TV Licence Concession

Many clients have asked how they can get their registration number to apply for their discount. Please be aware that we do not have copies of your CVI or BD8 certificate. Your registration number will be issued by Northumberland County Council and you should have been issued with a card. Information about your CVI is usually held on your GP records, so you could request a copy of this.

Turn off the TV, Mom and Dad! - ChildrensMD


An appeal for used low-vision equipment! 

Do you have any equipment which is no longer needed? This includes devices which assist people with low-vision, such as talking scales, big button phones and clocks, etc.. We can find a home for all these, and are particularly in need of magnifiers. Please contact Helen on 01670 514316. Thank you!  

Magnifying glass Royalty Free Vector Image - VectorStock



Audio Books

We have a small selection which we can send clients. Most books are on CD, and there are also MP3 files and even a few on cassette.

If you are interested, please contact Helen at NCBA (01670 514316). For MP3 files you will need to send Helen a USB stick to be copied on to. These can be obtained from Calibre, RNIB, or many shops.

Audio No You Didn't! 5 Helpful Resources for Russian Audiobooks to Dial Up  Your Learning | FluentU Russian


And some more photos from the QAVS presentation...

Facebook

We were limited to a handful of volunteers and Board members to represent us on the evening, but, when we are organising a special celebration event for all our wonderful volunteers.Watch this space!



BOXES OF JOY

We received lottery funding to purchase boxes for 557 of our clients, to send some cheer to our VIP clients and friends during this difficult covid period. Many of our clients live alone, and covid has caused so much isolation and anxiety.

We have been overwhelmed by thank you cards and messages, lots of people telling us things like: 


“its glad to know someone cares”; “it brought a tear to my eye”


"I am 97 and live alone, this meant so much knowing someone is there for me.”


Our boxes took much hard work from our wonderful staff, so a BIG thank you to them!


If you can donate to help us reach more people then please see on this page how to donate. Thank you. Julie Boyack, Chief Officer

Here's Susan just before we sent the boxes out, and a small sample of some of the lovely cards and messages we've received. We are so pleased these boxes have brought some cheer to members of our community!


Client Connect - A new name for our Telephone Contact and Befriending Service ...

Our fantastic team of volunteers (made up of individuals and groups, as well as volunteers from Lions, HealthWatch, Age UK, Alzheimers Society, and NCC) continues to to keep in contact with our vulnerable service users. Thank you as always to them all. Our new name reflects our desire to make our service more proactive, introducing more and better ways of keeping in touch with our clients throughout the year.


We welcome new volunteers to our service, and are always looking for more! 


Please read further for an unusual impact of lockdown on just some of those volunteers! We are grateful for the valuable support of all volunteers, past and present, and wish them all well.


Would you like to be called? If you would like us to allocate a volunteer to call you, please let us know using the contact details in point 4 below and we will arrange this as soon as we can.


New volunteers:  We welcome volunteers who have recently joined our team. They are helping to ensure continuity of support for clients who have asked for this. 


We always need more volunteers, and would love to hear from you if you would like to join our phone service. Please use the contact details in point 4 below.


We would like to say a HUGE thank you to the Greggs Foundation for awarding us a grant to continue to deliver our much needed Client Connect service. Thanks to them we can continue to bring some comfort to our clients through our much valued volunteers, connecting with people and making life a little easier during this pandemic and beyond. 


Some useful contacts are shown below:


  1. For emergency support, telephone the Local Authority One Call service on 01670 536400

  2. For help with things like transport to your GP, essential shopping, etc., please call the Northumberland Community Response team on 01670 620015

  3. If your matter is not urgent and someone is already contacting you (e.g. as part of a group or you already have someone assigned to you) please contact them

  4. If you do not already have someone contacting you and would like us to arrange this, please phone NCBA (01670 514316) or email Barry Frost at barry.frost@ncba.org.uk 


    We have tried to call every single one of our clients we have a phone number for, so if you haven't heard from us it could be because we do not have your current contact details. Please do get in touch to let us know.

  5. If you are blind or partially sighted and are struggling with your mental wellbeing (or you know someone who is) and would benefit from a one-off session of support to deal with difficult feelings generated, or worsened, by the current situation then please call RNIB on 0303 123 9999. For tips, advice and resources to support maintaining good mental health. Click here to visit RNIB's website 


Please look after yourself and make sure you follow the Government Advice.


We will be back as soon as we are able to. From the Team at Northumberland County Blind Association


In the mean time, please check out the following

Amazon Smile: Do you shop on Amazon? Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase price to NCBA if you click on this link first:  https://smile.amazon.co.uk/ch/1102386-0 (type into your browser). And that’s it! Shop as normal. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know – same products, same prices, same service. You can be donating to us without it costing you a penny. Thank you!


Join our NCBA 100 Club!

for a chance every month to win:

£25 First Prize

£15 Second Prize

£10 Third Prize

Call Ruth on 01670 514316 to enter a draw to win one of these prizes* every month whilst supporting us?

*Shares can be purchased for an annual fee of £12.  Total share money received by January 31st 2021 will be split 50/50 between prize money and support for the services run by NCBA - prize money is therefore subject to total funds raised. Click below to download an application form, or call Ruth at NCBA.

http://www.ncba.org.uk/site/assets/uploads/1.100 Club Application Form.docx


We are pleased to say that we have been officially approved as a Disability Confident Employer until 2023!


A couple of really useful newsletters from two of our sister organisations


Vision Support are a charity that does many similar things to NCBA, but in the Chester and North Wales area. They've also been working with some of the amazing partner organisations like Lions, to provide services similar to our Client Connect. Vision Support published a really useful newsletter last month and have kindly let us share it with you here:

http://www.ncba.org.uk/site/assets/uploads/Vision Support - Sept 2020 Lions Newssheet.pdf

For more information on Vision Support, including how to contact them, please visit their website: http://visionsupport.org.uk/


Healthwatch Northumberland provide a wide range of services to support people who use Health and Social Care services. They've kindly been helping us out with our Client Connect service, and were particularly amazing at contacting clients we'd been unable to make contact with. Their latest newsletter is available via the following link:

http://www.ncba.org.uk/site/assets/uploads/Newsletter October 2020.pdf

For more information on Healthwatch Northumberland, including how to contact them, please visit their website: https://healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk/


Meet Norman and Stella...

Norman is a 16-week old Retriever and Stella, a German Shepherd, is 19 months old. Both are being trained up to be Guide Dogs by a couple of our fab phone service volunteers. Normally, they'd only have one at a time, but due to the current situation are not yet able to hand over Stella. Apparently, Stella and Norman are well-behaved separately, but when they're together - well, that's a different matter! As you can imagine, our volunteers have their hands full. Good luck to them all ... and whoever is lucky enough to have them when they graduate to being Guide Dogs :) 

Find out about our projects

Our projects

We work closely with many partners and continue to provide many services thanks to their support. Thank you!

One example was the Big Lottery Reaching Communities fund. From 2013-18, NCBA received £495,924 which helped fund our voluntary services and further develop our information service. Find out more about how we put our funding to good use, with our Key Communications project.

Access our resources

Access our resources

Our Resource Centre has a wide range of low-vision aids and other equipment for demonstration, some of which can be given out on loan.
Our facilities include a specially-adapted kitchen suitable for rehabilitation use for teaching kitchen skills to visually-impaired people. 

Get Involved

Get Involved

Volunteering for NCBA is a very rewarding experience, knowing you are making a real difference in supporting blind or partially-sighted people living in Northumberland.
You will be supported by our experienced Volunteer Co-ordinator, who will ensure that you are comfortable with your commitment.

Latest News More News

The Joiners Arms in Morpeth have named NCBA as their Charity of the Year for 2020.

Our thanks go to Grant and all his staff and customers.