KVIN Monthly Newsletter: December 2020

Welcome to the latest news roundup from KVIN for December 2020! We have a busy month ahead to round up what has been a strange year. As ever we are focussing on the positives, as well as our regular groups we have some new groups and events to share for all to join in. Some more positive news to share is that KVIN has been recognised nationally for our hard work during covid-19 to continue to provide support, albeit virtually, by winning an award from Visionary. Read more about the award here. We are really pleased about the award and want to thank everyone involved in KVIN for embracing the virtual world we are in right now.


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


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

At the end of the second lockdown we will review guidance and will keep you all updated if things change.

Our virtual services continue and are expanding, here’s a summary;

  • Wednesday: 11am Group Telephone Chat, 1pm Zoom Chat
  • Thursday: 11am Zoom Chat, 11am Group telephone Chat, 2pm Group Telephone Chat, 2.30pm Crochet Class via Zoom
  • Friday: 11am Zoom Chat, 1pm Anything Apple Group
  • Monthly: Quiz night, usually a Wednesday or Thursday evening, Talking Book Group Tuesday 2pm, Cooking Class Saturday 2pm
  • Other groups will be announced in the new year!
  • We have arranged some guest speakers to join some of our Zoom chats, read on for details.

If you would like to join any of these groups, contact us for joining details.

Christmas and New Year Closure

Over Christmas and New Year, we will close for 2 weeks so that staff and volunteers can get a well-deserved rest.

We will close on Friday 19th December and reopen on Wednesday 6th January when our regular groups will restart.

We understand that Christmas can be a particularly difficult time of year for some people and this year will be even header. With this in mind, we will run several Zoom sessions over the festive period for anyone to check in and have a chat. The details of these sessions will be announced soon. Our What’s App support group will remain active over the festive period but there may be delays in responses to questions or queries. If you would like to join the What’s App support group let us know and we will add you.

There are several organisations who are offering Christmas Meal deliveries over the festive period, if you will be alone on Christmas Day, we can put you in touch, get in touch with Claire to find out more. Claire Drake 07708 056245 claire.drake@kvin.org.uk


We are continuing to share sources of information and support that might be useful at the moment, we regularly update our news items on our website which can be read here. In light of the continuing restrictions in Tier 3, here is a summary of some useful information;

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


Join in with KVIN’s Christmas Hamper draw!

Donate for a chance to win a huge hamper full of sweet treats, savouries and toiletries, perfect for Christmas! It’s £1 per go to win, you can buy as many as you like!

Photo of the Christmas Hamper, a large box filled with lots of treats.

The hamper will be delivered to the winning person on Friday 18th or Saturday 19th December to anyone living in West Yorkshire.

Many thanks to Tesco in Cleckheaton and Scholes Village Store for their kind donations.

We are part of the Match it! fund from One Community Kirklees, for every £1 donated, it will be doubled by the fund. To join in, make your donation here.

Make sure you leave your name in the donation so we can track all donations for the draw.

New Groups

We have some new groups and one-off activities happening during December, if you would like to join any of these virtual groups, contact us!

  • An evening with Temple Spa: on Friday 4th December enjoy an evening with Ann from Temple Spa who will talk you through a facial, explaining all the products along the way. This will be via Zoom a starting 7.30pm.
  • Learn to bake…with Siti: Learn to bake Christmas Tree Brownies with our very own Siti! On Saturday 12th December at 2pm, join KVIN for a live cooking class via Zoom.
  • Festive Afternoon Tea: join us for a festive afternoon tea on Thursday 17th December. Make a donation of £10 per person using this link, to make your booking and have your afternoon tea delivered to you and enjoy it with KVIN friends over Zoom. *Bookings required by Friday 4th December!
  • Talking Book Group: Tuesday 5th January 2021, join Phil to share your recent reads to inspire others to try different books and find out how to continue to read with sight loss.

If you would like to join in any of these groups or have any questions, contact Claire. Claire.drake@kvin.org.uk 07708 054245

We had the first meeting of the Talking Book Group this week and it was a great start. Phil lead the group and started by sharing a recent book he’d read, giving a synopsis. The 5 people who joined the group also did the same. There was a wide range of book genres discussed which just shows what a diverse range of talking and audio books are available. New members for this group are very welcome!

Virtual Guest Speakers

At the moment we are delivering a wide range of virtual services instead of face to face services so that we can continue to support our community during the Covid-19 crisis. As this is set to continue for the foreseeable future, we are expanding our group chats by provide additional information sessions to share useful information about services and technology. We are inviting other organisations such as other sight loss charities to share information and technology companies to offer demonstrations. We will also be joined by our volunteers and service users sharing their knowledge and insight. So far we have the following sessions booked in;

  • Wednesday 2nd December: Meet Alice the ECLO. Alice will join us to explain her role within the Eye Clinic and answer any questions.
  • Thursday 10th December: Relax with Hajra. Our very own Hajra will join us to guide us through a 10-minute relaxation session to help with daily stresses.
  • Thursday 17th December: Meet Calibre. Emma Scott from Calibre will join us to share information on Calibre’s audio book service. This free service offers a wide range of audio books through their app and website or via CD and USB sticks.
  • Friday 8th January: Meet Andrew from DeafblindUK. Andrew will join us explain the services available to people with dual sensory loss and answer questions.
  • Wednesday 13th January: Member Led Topic: Health Apps. Join in with the discussion to learn which apps can help with health and fitness for the new year.

We will continue to book further sessions and keep you updated via Social Media about these. If you have any ideas of topics, let us know!


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 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 12 can be listened to by clicking this link.

In this issue Mark and Sam talk about the latest developments in wearable assistive technology. We also share an accessible app you can use to teach yourself another language and give updates on the latest activities at KVIN.

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