Hertfordshire Society for the Blind
Leahoe House, County Hall
Pegs Lane, Hertford, SG13 8DZ
Telephone Nos. 01992-588145 or 588147
Spring 2005 Newsletter 110
Welcome to our spring I have to say how struck I was by
newsletter. Firstly I would like to the evident level of commitment
say “hello” and how pleased I everybody displays in supporting
am to be Hertfordshire Society HSB to meet the needs of
for the Blind‟s new Chief Visually Impaired People in the
Executive Officer. I have been county.
made very welcome by all I Over the course of this year it is have met so far. my task to take the lead in raising the Society‟s profile as I have a community services much as possible in order to offer charity background; having a service to as many VIP‟s as we spent the last twelve years can reach. working in and managing community residential services This is especially true of 2005, as for Adults with Learning thit is HSB‟s 90 Anniversary and Disabilities and Mental Health the official Year of the Volunteer. problems. I have managed We will be holding many services throughout celebration events throughout Hertfordshire, so have a good the year; in particular the Rally working knowledge of the ndon the 2 June at the county. I have been living in Wheathampstead Development north Herts area for the last 15 Centre. There will be a detailed years, but recently moved update in this issue. across the border to Bedfordshire. I look forward to meeting as many of you as I can in the near I have had a busy first few future and throughout this special weeks getting up to speed; year for the Society. meeting volunteers, visiting Goodbye for now and enjoy the clubs, attending special events rest of this issue. and, of course, meeting the Tony Edwards people we support within Herts.
90th Anniversary The Society will be holding a
Celebrations! tombola, a games table, and a
stall for selling second hand thTo celebrate our 90 equipment. There will also be a
Anniversary we are holding a stand for Talking Books so if ndCelebration Rally on June 2 you have any spare talking
at the Wheathampstead books you no longer listen to
Development Centre from and would like to go to a good
11am to 3pm. home, please let us know so we
can organise their collection.
There will be stands for
companies demonstrating low We will be looking forward to vision equipment; statutory see you all there so please do organisations available for come along and have fun.
advice and useful information
Other Events such as crime prevention and
fire safety. Gardening advice
will be available as well as a We are also planning on holding make-up and beauty stand. other events during the year.
Talks and musical
entertainment will be provided A Barn Dance is to be arranged as well as the judging of the during June or July, a Golf Day poetry competition (more about hopefully during the warmer that later) and a word game weather; a sponsored walk being organised through the (ditto); a quiz night and at the clubs. end of the year a formal event
such as a Dinner Dance. If you
want to take part in any of these Lunch will be provided through events either as a participant or a timed ticket which will need as a helper do get in touch with to be booked in advance to Tony or John to let them know.
help with catering. If you want
to book a ticket please check We are well on the way to first whether your club is publishing the Puzzle Book we
organising group bookings or mentioned in the last newsletter. whether you need to book We already have a list of those directly with us. interested and naturally it will be
on sale at the Rally.
Focus on Sight Quiz Club
During Easter and following on We are still gauging interest in through April, there is an a regular monthly quiz, which exhibition on the history and can be answered either by current work of the Society at individuals or a group such as the Ware Museum called a club. The entry fee is ?1 per “Focus on Sight”. There will be person each month and the a very brief history of the proceeds come to the Society, Society – 90 years is a long so you can have fun and time to chronicle – and benefit the Society at the same demonstration of facilities time!
available now, as well as the
activities of the Society and its A number of people contacted friends and volunteers. The us following the last Newsletter museum is open on Tuesdays, and we still hold those details, Thursdays and Saturdays but if anyone else is interested, between 11am and 4pm and please let us know.
Sunday between 2pm and
Calling All Photographers! 4pm. Do come along with your
friends to support us.
HSB is looking for someone We are hoping that we will find who has photography skills time to publish a small booklet who is willing to provide those on the history of the Society, but skills free of charge! The this is very much in the lap of opportunity would involve the gods. taking photos to highlight the
services we offer; to update Possible New Club our display boards, website
and advertising literature.
Is there any interest in a club for
blind and partially sighted This would be spread across a people in the Berkhamsted/ two month period and would
Northchurch/Tring areas? A involve accompanying a possible location is the member of staff in their work.
Berkhamsted Civic Centre. If
you are interested please For further information and contact Doris on 01442-863793. informal chat, ring Tony
Edwards on 01992-588145.
Single and open returns (return Concessionary And
within one month)– 34% Discounted Fares
We were recently asked for
Standard day return – 50% information on concessionary or discount. discounted fares for people
registered blind or partially For further information contact sighted in Herts for trains and your local railway station or the buses.
national rail enquiries line: 0845
748 4950. Trains:
Buses: If you are registered severely
sight impaired/ blind or sight Unfortunately the concessions impaired/ partially sighted you given to fares on the counties are entitled to a discounted bus services are not as straight railcard. The discount is 33% forward. This is because the type off the standard price.
of concessions given are
determined by the District or Also if you have one of these Borough council you are covered railcards and need a companion by. to help you complete your
journey; the companion will
The concessions are given via receive a 33% discount as well. Travel permits which have to be You must however have proof
applied for through your district of your registration with you in or borough council. order to receive the discount for
Broadly there are three types of
concessions: People without a railcard can
receive a discount on their fare, 1) The half fare countywide but must be travelling
scheme – offering no more accompanied by a companion.
than half the normal adult fare They must also be carrying
for journeys starting and proof of their registration. The
finishing in Herts. discounts are as follows:
For sale 2) The free countywide scheme
– offering free travel for
journeys starting and finishing CCTV Magnifier: Penguin black
within Herts. & white reader. ? 1,400 new
Sale ?700 Please call 01438-3) The free zonal scheme – free 225880 Daytime or evenings
travel within designated free
travel zones centred on the CCTV Colour Magnifier:
district or borough of issue. Albatross perfect condition
?2000 new. Sale ?1,000 Companions accompanying the Please call Sue Kewley on
permit holder can also receive 01707-650248 evenings or the same discounts depending weekends.
which scheme you are travelling
under. However a Companion
sticker must be attached to your
permit. These companion
Emergency Planning stickers can also be applied for
from your district or borough
Herts County Council have council.
produced an audio version of an
information card that tells There are various variations to
people what they should do if these discounted bus travel
they are faced with an schemes but they are too
emergency. numerous to mention here. If
any one would like to receive
People can get a copy of the further information please
recording on tape or CD by contact the Society on 01992-
calling 01992 555961 or 588145
firstname.lastname@example.orgNHS Direct self-help Guide
Next time you‟re not feeling well
Also there is a section of the make your first stop NHS Direct
recording on the Herts Direct Self-Help Guide in Thomson
website: Local Directory. Or call NHS
www.hertsdirect.org/emergency Direct on 0845-4647: also
Volunteering Opportunity for Get satisfaction from being part People with Low Vision of our volunteer team by being
able to contribute to the Do you regularly use development of this project specialised equipment that where volunteers take equipment helps you live independently? out to groups in the community?
Would you like to help with
volunteer training for the HSB If you would like to know more, „Equipment and Information do contact Lorna Whitaker, Scheme‟ without having to leave Resource Co-ordinator for HSB
your home? on 01992-588145 who would be
very glad to give you more If so, do you:- information on the phone or visit
you at home to explain things Regularly use equipment such more fully.
as liquid level indicator, bump-
ons, reading aids, writing
Staywarm guides, large button telephones,
mini-memos, computer software
for visually impaired, „talking‟ If you, or someone in your home, items or kitchen aids? is aged 60 or over there is a way
to heat and light your home for Like meeting people and feel one fixed low price.
you could demonstrate and
explain how your equipment Staywarm lets you use all the works in the comfort of your gas and electricity you need for own home? normal domestic use for one
regular fixed payment – weekly,
Like the idea of helping new fortnightly or monthly –
volunteers become familiar with regardless of how much you low vision equipment? need in order to stay warm.
Could offer 2 hours a month at a Payment is through cash or time to suit yourself? cheque at the Post Office, or by
monthly Direct Debit.
Would feel happy to work
alongside our Resource Co-For more information call free on ordinator who would personally 0800 1 694 694
introduce registered volunteers
to you one at a time?
Talking Newspapers Holidays at the sea!
There are a number of talking If you fancy a short break or a newspapers around the full scale holiday St. Anne‟s, county but here we have Clacton on Sea, could be the some information from Glyn place for you. Guide dogs are Phillips of Elstree. welcome, as well as family and
friends. It is centrally situated, We, The Radlett, Elstree, being five minutes walk from the Borehamwood and Shenley sea, town centre, railway and
talking newspaper, record the coach stations.
local news and some features
of interest onto a tape each Groups are welcome with week and distribute it to any generous discounts available. blind or partially sighted Some rooms have ensuite people with an interest in the facilities and there is a stair-lift
goings on in the area. The to the first floor. Tea/coffee Royal Mail distribute it for us making facilities in all rooms. free and will deliver it to you Excellent home cooked food.
wherever you are in the
county. We take most of our The price is ?230 per week
news from the Borehamwood which includes bed, full English Times but pick up feature breakfast and dinner.
articles from wherever they
catch the Editor‟s eye. For more information contact
Kylie Moorhouse on 01255-
The service is free. To get 420595.
the tape, telephone our
secretary Janet Scott on Address: 26-28 Harold Road, 01923-856935 with your Clacton on Sea CO15 6AJ.
name, address and, if email email@example.com or
possible, a contact telephone website firstname.lastname@example.org
You will receive the tape in a
plastic pouch with an address
card in the front pocket. Turn
the card over to post it back
free of charge.
Some interesting gadgets Picture this: a talking phone.
Money note detector: These The RNIB is to offer speech-
clever little gadgets are able based software for mobile to distinguish different notes phones to people in the UK who so that you know exactly what are visually impaired.
you are spending. The
detector vibrates once for ?5,
twice for ?10, three times for Using ScanSoft‟s
?20 and four times for ?50. SpeechPAKTALKS, people will Made by Cobolt Systems they be able to have full access to cost ?17.50 features on mobiles such as
announcing a caller‟s identity. Monomouse: An ergonomic, The software also gives speech-
hand held video magnifier enabled access to other features, shaped like a computer such as battery and signal mouse which connects to your strength. It will help users TV to magnify text for reading. access emails, text messages, The Monomouse scrolls over notes and other functions too.
the text you wish to read and
it is clearly shown magnified
on your TV. Costs for the software vary and
?99 with 30 day money back depend on the mobile phone and guarantee. service operator. However, the
RNIB will install it for ?150 if the ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ person sends in their handset. A man takes his Rottweiler to Otherwise, the software can be the vet. “My dog‟s cross-installed via a PC or comes on a eyed, is there anything you memory card.
can do for him?” he asks.
“Well” says the vet, “Let‟s
have a look at him.” So he If the customer does not have a picks up the dog and handset, the RNIB can offer examines his eyes, then some across certain networks, checks his teeth. Finally he free of charge in some situations. says, “I‟m going to have to put For more information contact the him down.” “What, because RNIB. www.rnib.org.uk
he‟s cross-eyed?” “No,
because he‟s really heavy.”
The Community Braille ID Cards in Braille
If Jon Trickett gets his way The Community Braille identity cards will soon also Transcription Service is based include information in Braille.
in Borehamwood and will
benefit people who need The MP has put forward the Braille transcription or large Braille Identity Card Bill to
print for personal documents improve the protection of visually or letters. impaired people by insisting that
all organisations that provide This is a free or subsidised employees or members with service to residents who are identity cards should include blind or partially sighted and Braille information on them. It live in Hertsmere or the follows increasing Parliamentary surrounding areas. It is concern that some unscrupulous
proposed that the service will doorstep callers are exploiting be expanded and offered to vulnerable consumers.
residents throughout the
county. So far the Bill has received the
support of more than 60 MPs A fee-paying service will also and 20 organisations with an be available for community interest in consumer safety, agencies, public services and including CORGI, the RNIB and businesses in Hertfordshire. the Jill Dando Institute for Crime This will enable compliance Science.
with statutory requirements of
the Disability Discrimination Watch this space!
Act, by producing Braille
information for documents,
leaflets, notices or signs. New Format
For further information please With a new broom in the office contact The Community Shop, we are trying out a new format 146 Manor Way, for this newsletter. Please let us Borehamwood, Herts. WD6 know if it is easier to read and/or 1QX or phone 020-8953-8611 more attractive.
Low Vision Exhibition Dates Sight Information Points
Regular Sight Information Points
are held monthly at the following Friday 22 April 2005 at venues:
The Havers Community
Centre, Waytemore Road, Stevenage:
Bishop‟s Stortford. Stevenage Resource Centre,
rd10am – 3pm. Tuesday Chells Way, 3
10am to 12pm
Wednesday 11 May 2005 at Hemel Hempstead:
Wayside Jubilee Hall, Social Centre for the Blind, Wayside, Potters Bar. Alston Road, Boxmoor.
10am-3pm. Together with Herts. Hearing
st Advisory Service. 1 Tuesday
10am to 12pm
Thursday 2 June 2005 – this
this the 90 Anniversary Ware:
Celebratory Rally being held Marsh Lane Day Centre, Marsh at Wheathampstead Lane, off Viaduct Road.
thDevelopment Centre in 4 Thursday 10am to 12pm.
11am–3pm. There is also our permanent
exhibition at Leahoe House,
County Hall, Hertford which you Friday 29 July 2005 at are welcome to visit. However, Bushey Country Club to be certain that there is
Community Centre, High someone available to help you Street, Bushey. please phone in advance to 10am–3pm make an appointment on 01992-
Tuesday 13 September at For further information contact Wolsey Hall, Windmill Lane, Lorna Whitaker on 01992-
Cheshunt. 588145 or email her on 10am-3pm email@example.com