KVIN Monthly News Roundup, July 2020

Over the past 10 weeks KVIN have been compiling a fortnightly roundup of the news and information we have been sharing for visually impaired people in Kirklees. Now that lockdown restrictions are easing and we are gradually moving to a ‘new normal’ we will distribute our news roundups monthly, at the start of each month. We will continue to share similar information to find out what we have been doing and how you can get involved.

Contents;

  1. Our service
  2. Useful Information and Sources of Support
  3. KVIN news
  4. Tech News

1. OUR SERVICE

As you are aware, our face to face services are suspended at the moment due to Covid-19. Read here for more details of the services we are offering at present and our contact details.

Now that restrictions are starting to be lifted, we are considering our options for face to face contact and how this might work for KVIN, our staff, volunteers, and service users. We are taking a cautious approach because safety is our top priority and we want to keep safe and well. We are keeping up to date with government announcements and news updates from national sight loss charities like RNIB and Guide Dogs who are making recommendations for people with sight loss in the current situation. We will keep you informed of important announcements that may affect us.

At KVIN we are working hard to work out ways to help people face to face with their equipment problems. This is a complex process; we haven’t yet worked out all the details, but we will update you further when we can. We know that a lack of face to face support has been really difficult during lockdown and if you have had technical issues it’s not always possible to resolve them remotely. Initially we will offer the face to face support on an emergency basis to start with but once we can see how it’s going, we will hopefully be roll it out for more general enquires. We will keep you informed.

2. USEFUL INFORMATION AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT

We are continuing to share sources of information and support that might be useful at the moment. This information is available on our website by following this link or by finding the news items at www.kvin.org.uk.

As lockdown restrictions ease, you may be thinking about using public transport or going shopping yourself again. Here is some information to help you prepare for getting out and about again;

Ways to Wellbeing Summary

We have partnered with local mental health charity Support to Recovery, who promote positive mental health.

They have developed some weekly activities that people can try at home which will promote their wellbeing and mental health during this time of social isolation. These packs are available for anyone to download and use, we have a Word and PDF version that can be downloaded.

The activities are designed to help keep you busy and promote your mental wellbeing at a time when you might be struggling or just be looking for things to do.

Click on this link to have access to all the packs from Week 1 to 6.

If you are in need of support, please contact any staff member at KVIN, we are here to help!

3. KVIN NEWS

Many of you will have read in the press that we are merging services with Batley and Dewsbury Society for the Blind. This is a great opportunity for KVIN and the visually impaired community in Kirklees. As you can imagine, there is a lot of work to do in the background which is keeping us busy, but we will keep you informed about what this means for KVIN and our valued service users in the future.
Read the full announcement here.

During May we welcomed a new staff member to the team, Martin Eatherley. Martin is a long-standing volunteer and has a wealth of knowledge of tech and gadgets. He will be working alongside Mark to provide and tech needs you have as well as peer support. Welcome Martin!

After the success of our Quiz Night in June, we are having another on Thursday 9th July, on Zoom, meeting at 7.30pm ready to start at 7.45pm. Our volunteer, Stu Stevens has agreed to do the quiz for us again. If you would like to attend please contact Martin directly and he will send you joining details, martin.eatherley@kvin.org.uk.

4. TECH NEWS

Here at KVIN we have a team of staff and volunteers with visual impairments who are able to help you to use technology such as using your smart phone, tablets, and laptops. We can help with magnification and voiceover tech so that you can keep using what you have and can also share some handy apps that might help you out too.

We can also help with audio books and smart speakers like Amazon Echo. Whatever you are struggling to use or would like to try, we can offer help and talk you through your options.

We have recently set up a You Tube channel so that we can share our Tech Podcasts more easily to everyone. Our latest tech Podcast, Issue 6 can be listened to by clicking this link.

If you would like to get automatic updates when we release new podcasts you can subscribe to our channel, Kirklees Visual Impairment Network. Next to the channel name, there is a red button named SUBSCRIBE, which will allow you to enter an email address to subscribe. If you need help with this, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

If you would like to receive the KVIN monthly news roundup straight into your mailbox, sign up here.