Carlisle Sight Support - Autumn/Winter Newsletter

Wednesday, 18th December 2019

Please enjoy the last newsletter of the year. May we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Dear friends,

Here is our Autumn/Winter Newsletter. Where has the year gone? We didn’t have the good Summer we had last year but it wasn’t too bad really. We hope you were able to catch some sun and felt better for it? The Open Day we held in April in the Botcherby Community Centre was a great success and many of you came to have a good look around to see what equipment is available to blind and partially sighted people and have a good chat to those exhibitors in whose products you wished to look at and try out. We may hold another one next year.


Have you heard about the Independent Age Chat Line? This is a free service for those people who would like to chat. You don’t need to be lonely, anyone can take advantage of this free chat line. You can receive up to an hour’s phone call once a week or once a fortnight, it is up to you. The volunteers are happy to talk about anything which interests you. Many people can feel lonely or shut in on these dark afternoons and evenings and would welcome a friendly phone call. For further information you can ring 0800 3196789 or contact their website on


The accessible friends network (tafn) Phone 0203 2909254 is an organisation for friends to get together, chat, swap ideas and make new friends. their website is


If you would like someone to talk to or you might like to volunteer as a telephone befriender to someone living with Macular degeneration, please give the Macular Society a ring on 0300 3030111. Lots of people have wide experiences in life, either about sight problems or anything else. Please ring them if you have some time on your hands and would like to help others or would like someone to talk to. As you can gather, there are several organisations doing a similar thing to help people so just contact one of them if you feel they may be able to help you.


This organisation has a piece of equipment which they can demonstrate to those people with Retinitis Pigmentosa and also it may help people who have Macular Degeneration. Please ring them on 01865 580255. Jenny is their local representative and she will be pleased to talk to you if you may be interested.


This is a telephone befriending service which includes an ongoing weekly call with someone who understands and shares mutual interests. The confidential helpline is free and manned by people with sight loss and offers practical and emotional support. If you are interested in having a chat with them, you can ring them on 0800 5872252 Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm but the befriending line is between 6 and 10 pm 365 days of the year. This organisation has received funding from the Lottery Community Fund as have most of the other organisations supporting these sort of helplines.


Don’t forget our Macular group meets on the second Thursday of the month between 11 am and 1 pm and is run by Rebecca. She will be glad to see you or you can phone us on 01228 593104 The group has had some interesting speakers this year, a cookery demonstration from Wiltshire Farm Foods and a trip to the Castle.


Brenda runs this Group on the last Thursday of the month between 11 am and 12.30 pm. Anyone can attend as we have combined it with a coffee morning in our Centre. They have also had some good speakers this year, including someone from Deaf Vision and they had a very interesting trip around the cathedral a couple of weeks ago and went to Tullie House for Scones and coffee.


Don’t forget you can refer yourself to the Low Vision Clinic if you are having problems. The clinic is held once a month in our Centre and their telephone number is 01228 814791. They have an answerphone when they are out so please leave your number and they will get back to you.


If you are having trouble with your smart phone, tablet, computer, etc., Don’t forget that Steve at Lakes Vision Services can help you. His phone number is 07783 149074 and I am sure he will be pleased to hear from you. He would also like to run some training sessions, showing people how to learn to use these iphones, etc. so please contact him if you would like to know more.


We have 2 twist portable lamps for sale. These are easy twist, portable desk lamps, energy saving daylight bulbs. They are in good condition and we would like a donation of £10 for each lamp for our Society. Our phone number is 01228 593104 and you can come and have a look at them.


Once again it is time to order next year’s diaries and calendars. Calendars are £7.00 Pocket diary with cover £6.00 and without a cover £5.75 Desk diary A4 £10.00, midi diary A6 £8.00. Important dates reminder, £6.00 and address book £11.00. You can order direct from them on 01539 726613.


We would like to thank everyone who has filled our penny boxes and given us donations during this year. We really are most grateful to you all as we receive no funding from the Government or Local Authority so we really do depend on donations, legacies and Grants to keep our work going in Carlisle and District. Thank you so much.


We will close the Centre on Friday 20th December and reopen on Wednesday 8th January. We hope you all have a peaceful Christmas and a healthy 2020.

With best wishes from everyone at the Centre.