News

Sunderland and County Durham Royal Society for the Blind Exhibition

Sunderland and County Durham Royal Society for the Blind Exhibition

In October 2023, the Society held their annual Sight Loss Exhibition in City Hall.  With tech companies from across the UK in attendance showing the latest gadgets to support people with hearing and sight loss.

 

The Sunderland and County Durham Royal Society for the Blind Exhibition offer support with computer mentoring and technology support; British wireless for the blind; counselling services; help with employment; social groups and lots more.

Please call us for more information.

Contact details: 0191 567 3939

Christmas Lunch at Stanley 2023

Everyone had a great time at the Stanley Xmas lunch.

A huge thank you to everyone who attended.

Everyone had a fantastic time thanks to Mazel and her band of elves! Everyone has been been raving about it! The food was delicious, as were the drinks. It was all fab! We will definitely look forward to seeing you all again at the sessions at Stanley Masonic Hall in January 2024 and beyond.

 

 

 

Social Group at the Masonic Hall Stanley

Stanley Social Group


VENUE: Masonic Hall Scott Street Stanley DH9 8AD

Day: 4th Tuesday of the month Time 1.00-3.00

28th November Christmas Lunch Masonic Hall

23rd January 2024 Chat and Cupper Masonic Hall  also Janet Nesbitt from the Stroke Association to come along to the Stanley meeting

27th February Co-op Estates Planning  Nicholas Minshull

26th March Durham County Carers Emma Thompson

23rd April S&CDRSB Counsellor Jackie Kent

 

 

Job Vacancy – Community Sight Support Officer

Sunderland and County Durham Royal Society for the Blind

Registered charity number 702325

Community Sight Support Officer

37.5 hours per week   Salary £23,178

 

Sunderland and County Durham Royal Society for the Blind wish to appoint a Community Sight Support Officer to work throughout County Durham.

 

This is a fixed term post for 18 months with the possibility of extending the contract for a further 2 years. It is funded through a contract the Society has with Durham County Council.

We are looking for a special person to offer support and advice to people with a vision impairment. The role includes providing help and advice with housing issues, assistance with welfare benefits, referrals into the Society’s Counselling and IT services, organising a running Living with Sight Loss courses and offering support to people who have a visual impairment, their families and carers.  We are hoping to recruit someone with a range of experience and knowledge, including an understanding of assistive technology.

This role is for you if you: –

 

Have good IT knowledge and skills.

Have excellent communication skills.

Have patience and kindness.

Have a good sense of humour and a positive attitude.

 

The post involves some travel throughout County Durham for which a mileage rate will be paid. A car, or access to transport is essential.

 

Please email office@sundrsb.org.uk or telephone 0191 5673939 to request further information and details on how to apply.

Successful candidate will be subject to an Enhanced DBS.  Closing date for applications is 5pm on 04/03/2024.  Interviews to be held w/c 11/03/2024.

 

We welcome applications from all sectors of Society.

 

 

Volunteer Driver Opportunity

We are urgently looking for
Volunteer Car Drivers
to transport our members to various events, social and support groups across
County Durham.

If you are interested in helping us to make a difference to people with sight loss, through supporting them with transport requirements please get in touch.

Julie Anderson – 0191 5673939
julie.anderson@sundrsb.org.uk

Reimbursement for mileage incurred is currently paid at 45 pence per mile.
All Volunteer Drivers will be subject to an enhanced DBS check.

Volunteer Car Driver advert

Headway Washington Social Group

Headway will be starting a new activity/social group for people with sight loss/difficulty as a result of a neurological condition.
A new group will be developed for people from Washington, they will eventually decide what they would like to do in the group. Ie talks, games, visits, speakers etc.

This will be the 2nd Tuesday of the Month . 1-3 pm. Starting on 13th June

Address is
Washington Millennium Centre
The Oval
Concord.
NE37 2QD

We are located about 2-3 minutes walk from Concord bus station. Someone will be available to meet anyone for their first visit,

If you would like further information please contact Kim from Headway on 07830346985 or email kim.hunter@headwaywearside.org.uk

Free Assistive Technology, Employability and Digital Job Club Sessions

Sunderland and County Durham Royal Society for the Blind offers free Assistive Technology home visits to all visually impaired residents of Sunderland and Durham.  Whether it is accessing magnifiers, both hand help or large screen versions or a demonstration of what smart phones can do to help with your condition or using Alexa devices to make phone calls or read audio books from the RNIB just let us know and we will create an individual plan tailored to your own personal circumstances.  If in doubt just ask and we will do our best to assist you as much as possible.  We have delivered over 400 home visits in the past year and received many compliments for our services.

We also provide free and friendly digital employability short sessions on your doorstep across Sunderland and County Durham, they are available to everyone with a visual impairment looking for work and with no upper age restrictions so come along and update your skills.

This free project will offer several sessions per week, this can include home visit sessions, or at a community venue close to you.

We  would like as many local residents to take part in the Digital Job Club project to increase their chances of getting employment, perform their job searches correctly and fulfill their Universal Credit obligations as well as update their digital skills.

We will help any County Durham or Sunderland visually impaired residents of any age and our aim is to help them help themselves to become better digital citizens and increase their employability prospects. and help them get the job they want. We understand that it can be daunting to return to the job market after time away but we will do our best to help you help yourself.

We will help you update your CV and send job applications online easily. Search for more vacancies and become a better job seeker and it all counts towards your job search requirements.

Courses will be delivered locally and will include group type workshops with allocated times as well as sessions for 1:1 individual advice.

To book your free place please contact:  John Walls on 0191 5673939 or email  john.walls@sundrsb.org.uk

Welcome to the Spring 2023 Newsletter.

We hope that you enjoy reading it and find the information to be useful.  The full Newsletter is available free of charge to Society members in a variety of formats so why not sign up to become a member of the Society and experience the full benefit.

News from the Chief Executive

Welcome to the Spring 2023 Newsletter, our Summer Newsletter will be published soon.

Following on from the article in the winter newsletter, I am delighted to say that we held a very special Coronation Party on Thursday 4th May 2023 to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III. The event included include music, a quiz, lots of bunting and balloons, a special Coronation cake and a buffet tea. Everyone was welcome and thank you to everyone who attended and the volunteers and staff who made it possible.

We will be holding a Sensory Exhibition here at 53 St Luke’s Terrace, Pallion, Sunderland on Wednesday 4th October between 10am and 2:30pm.

The Exhibition will be open to anyone interested in learning more about specialist equipment and assistive technology. We expect around 15 companies to attend which will give everyone a chance to see and experience equipment without the need to purchase it before ensuring it is right for them. Admission will be free. John Walls, our IT Officer, will also be on hand to offer advice and support. 

Work will soon commence on a new exhibition area within our building here at Pallion. We will be able to exhibit members artwork and photography together with craft work. We received funding from the Screwfix Foundation and both Pallion and Millfield Community Chests. We will have an official opening as soon as the work is completed.


COFFEE MORNING – SUNDERLAND – Second Wednesday of the month. Starts 10am till noon 

Wednesday 14th June

 

MEN’S GROUP – Second Monday of the month. Starts 1.30pm – 2.30pm.

We have a fantastic line up of speakers for the year ahead.

Monday 12th June – Making a difference NE

 

 

DIABETES GROUP – 4th Monday of the month. Starts 1.30pm – 2.30pm

Monday 24th April

Monday 22nd May

Monday 26th June

 

MACULAR MEETING – Fourth Wednesday of the month. Starts 1.30pm – 2.30pm.

Wednesday 28th June – TBC

 

ONGOING SERVICES ON OFFER

Drop in for information or just a chat

Various support groups
Resource Centre
Loan of magnifying equipment
Braille mentoring
IT and Technology Support
Counselling
Benefits/Advocacy
Access to work/Job Club
British Wireless for the Blind Audio Equipment
Warm Spaces Venue

 If you require any further information on any of the above services please call Julie Stormont on 0191 5673939 and I will be happy to help.

Our office opening hours are Monday to Friday 9.30am – 3pm and you are more than welcome to call into the office at Pallion for a cuppa and a chat.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sunderland 2024 Dates for Your Diary

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY – 2024   SUNDERLAND 

53 St Luke’s Terrace, Pallion. Sunderland SR4 6NF

Please contact Julie Stormont on 0191 5673939 for more information or turn up on the day

 

AFTERNOON TEA – Every 1st Thursday of the month at 1pm – 3pm – BOOKING ESSENTIAL

 

 

MEN’S GROUP – Every 2nd Monday of the month at 1.30pm – 2.30pm

 

 

COFFEE MORNING – Every 2nd Wednesday of the month at 10am – 12.30pm 

 

QUIZ at 11am – 12.30

 

 

 

MACULAR – Every 4th Wednesday of the month at 1.30pm – 2.30pm

 

SOCIAL at 10am – 12 noon

THURSDAY                            18TH JANUARY 2024 – First one of the New Year

Taxi Card Update

The Taxi card Scheme which runs in Sunderland in conjunction with Station Taxis is very popular. For any new applications you need to apply the beginning of July please call Nexus direct on 0191 2020747.

LATEST UPDATE FROM NEXUS – There has been some confusion around the Scheme continuing but after speaking direct to a Manager within the Company I have been advised that the Scheme is continuing for another 6 months. Names for new applications are being taken and added to a list and forms will be sent once the Tenders have been assessed, agreed and then put in place. There is a delay with this happening. I will continue to provide updates within timescales agreed with my contact within Nexus but feel free to call them direct also. I will update the website once I have more information. Julie Stormont

Durham 2024 Dates for Your Diary

Durham City Coffee Mornings

Held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at North Road Methodist Church, Durham City.

 

Stanley Social Group
VENUE: Masonic Hall Scott Street Stanley DH9 8AD

Day: 4th Tuesday of the month Time 1.00-3.00

27th February Co-op Estates Planning  Nicholas Minshull

26th March Durham County Carers Emma Thompson

23rd April S&CDRSB Counsellor Jackie Kent

Pallion Action Group (PAG)

Volunteers available Mon – Fri 10am – 2pm

Can help with collecting prescriptions, shopping, benefit/welfare advice

Please contact, Karen Wood on either 07534 983971 or 0191 5142011

Full details of all their activities are on their website at www.pallionactiongroup.co.uk

 

 

How can pets reduce loneliness

How can pets reduce loneliness?

Bringing a pet into your home can provide a whole range of different benefits to both your physical and mental wellbeing. Not only can they help to keep you active and get out and about, but a pet of any description can also provide companionship, especially for people living independently.

As reported in this guide to the impact of pets on health and wellbeing, 84% of pet owners reported that their animal companions helped them to feel less lonely. But what is it in particular about our furry friends that helps to alleviate feelings of loneliness?

Pets provide their owners with companionship, love, and loyal support. They are always happy to see us, no matter what kind of day we’ve had. They provide us with an outlet for play and affection, and they offer us unconditional love. In return, they ask only for our care and attention. For many people, pets fulfil a need for connectedness that might otherwise go unmet.

Pets can help reduce loneliness and isolation in seniors, promote bonding in families, and provide children with a sense of responsibility. In this post, we delve deeper into some of the ways in which pets can help to reduce loneliness in their owners, to help improve mental wellbeing and their general quality of life.

Companionship and independence

Partially sighted and blind people have long known the benefits of owning a pet. At the most basic level, having a creature to spend time with can offer a level of companionship when they don’t have anyone else to talk to on a daily basis. In addition to providing companionship, pets can offer much-needed assistance with everyday tasks and can help to build confidence and independence. For example, a guide dog can provide critical support when navigating busy streets or unfamiliar terrain, while a cat or dog can offer comfort and companionship when living alone.

They can also help their owners to lead more active lifestyles, which is important for both physical and mental health. Guide dogs are especially beneficial for those who are blind, as they can help their owners to navigate their surroundings and live relatively independent lives.

Just being in a social setting outside of the home can be challenging for partially sighted and blind people. In this way, guide dogs can be an invaluable resource that can enable these people to enjoy the social interactions to help reduce feelings of loneliness.

Improving social interactions

Besides being able to provide physical support when out in a social setting, pets can also serve as a great communication tool. Whether you’re telling someone about what your pet’s been up to, or meet a fellow owner out and about, talking about your furry friend is a great way to instigate conversations and even meet new people.

Studies have shown that people who own pets experience stronger ties with their neighbours. They are more likely to strike up conversations with strangers, with pets being a natural ice breaker. So, if you’re looking to improve your social life, consider getting a pet. Not only will you gain a loyal friend, but you might just make some new ones along the way.

Providing a routine

Another key benefit of pet ownership is, whether subconsciously or not, animals can instil a greater sense of routine and responsibility that can help to structure your days. This added sense of purpose could be particularly valuable to senior pet owners, who may otherwise lack an excuse to get out of the house on a daily basis. Whether it’s preparing their meals, taking them out for a walk, or simply spending some time in their company, the mere presence of an animal in the household can instantly improve your lifestyle and go a long way to preventing loneliness affecting your wellbeing.

Could a pet help you?

As we’ve explored, it’s clear that owning a pet can make an enormous difference to an individual’s quality of life, with pets being a great companion which ultimately helps to reduce loneliness. If you are considering getting a pet, do your research first to find the right fit for you and your lifestyle. There are many benefits to owning a pet, but it’s important to make sure you are ready for the responsibility before taking the plunge.

Houghton Blind Club Update 2023

We are delighted to have joined with Houghton Blind Club in order to provide another outreach centre on the Sunderland/Durham border.  We are always looking for new members to join us and spend a wonderful afternoon in the warm and welcoming atmosphere in the company of others.

Houghton Blind Club meet up at Houghton-le-Spring Hall DH4 5AF each week at 12:30pm on Tuesdays. Anyone is welcome to drop in and enjoy a cup of tea, and to take part in our fun activities and have a chat.

News from the Chief Executive

The exciting news is that we have reached our target of £14,900 to pay for a training kitchen to be installed here at Pallion for use by our Rehab Workers to teach kitchen skills. It will also be used for healthy cooking demonstrations, etc.
This was the first time we have used “Crowdfunding” which is a way of attracting project funding via the internet.
The pledges include £9,000 from Sunderland City Council and £5,000 from the Integrated Care Partnership. The remainder is from individual supporters.

Thank you to all those who made a pledge and please continue to donate to the Society so that we can continue to serve the residents of Sunderland and County Durham.
Following on from the article in the winter newsletter, I am delighted to be able to confirm that we held a very special Coronation Party on Thursday 4th May 2023 to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III. The event included music, a quiz, lots of bunting and balloons, a special Coronation cake and a buffet tea. Everyone had a great time and we would like to thank everyone for attending and especially our volunteers who helped out on the day.

We will be holding a Sensory Exhibition here at 53, St Luke’s Terrace, Pallion, Sunderland on Wednesday 4th October between 10am and 2:30pm.

The Exhibition will be open to anyone interested in learning more about specialist equipment and assistive technology. We expect around 15 companies to attend which will give everyone a chance to see and experience equipment without the need to purchase it before ensuring it is right for them. Admission will be free. John Walls, our IT Officer, will also be on hand to offer advice and support.

Work will soon commence on a new exhibition area within our building here at Pallion. We will be able to exhibit members artwork and photography together with craft work. We received funding from the Screwfix Foundation and both Pallion and Millfield Community Chests. We will have an official opening as soon as the work is completed.

Please remember that the Society is still here to support you. If you require any help or advice do please leave a message on the answer machine and we will contact you. Telephone 0191 5673939

Richard Wood

Bowling is Back

Sunderland Visually Impaired 10 Pin Bowling Team are now meeting every week at The Sunderland Bowl, 141 High St West, Sunderland at 11AM. New members welcome. Please call Julie Stormont at the Society on 0191 5673939 for more info.

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