Imagine you suddenly wake up one morning with no sight. You struggle with relatively ‘simple’ daily tasks such as making a cup of tea, using the phone and going out to the shops. You ask yourself “How will I get to work, keep in touch with my family and friends, read and connect with the wider world? " You feel scared, overwhelmed and lost.
At Croydon Vision we believe in transforming lives from despair to independence by supporting and inspiring our members and those around them. We never give up and proactively champion independence by positively empowering people so they achieve their personal and professional dreams, including accessing employment either directly or via gradual steps (through education and/or volunteering).
Internal workshops and research surveys have revealed the vital role that technology plays in our members’ lives with top scores reported for IT Training as evidenced by one of our members here:
"Learning to use smart phones and remote video calls has transformed my life” (Maxine, July 2020).
Our Mobile Tech Hub will support our commitment to Health, Connectivity and Education.
1. Health & Well-being: We want our members to eat well, live well and age well. Technology and living aids are critical to healthy cooking, and key for people living with a range of complex health comorbidities. Our members continuously highlight the benefits offered by technology: it helps protect and empower them and their carers, reduces isolation, connects communities, provides an educational platform to raise disease awareness and is a vehicle for learning by cross-pollination.
2. Connectivity & Inclusion: Our Mobile Tech Hub will be a multi-purpose vehicle that will travel to our members’ homes. It will help us deliver tailored IT Training by our IT Trainer, staff members and volunteers with direct lived experience of sight loss. The IT sessions will be highly personalised in their content and delivery, with our Trainers acting as champions to dial-up disease awareness whilst tackling inequality. Through the Mobile Tech Hub we will convert members’ fears and challenges into opportunities, resilience and confidence. The Tech Hub will empower and inspire our members as they will have direct access to equipment relevant to their needs. The following items to be included in the Tech Hub will nurture our members’ growth journeys:
- Wi-Fi hot spot devices for those with no internet access.
- Selection of specialist magnifiers (for reading, working and travelling).
- VI (visually impaired) specific home appliances.
- VI-centred smartphones.
- General and health-related items to enhance the quality of life of those with VI.
- Educational materials to promote independence and sustainable self-learning to be shared with members and their carers.
3. Raising Awareness Through Education: The Mobile Tech Hub will also double-up as a versatile Health Messenger providing interactive educational opportunities by engaging with schools, colleges, community centres and businesses through the delivery of pop-up Health Awareness Sessions.
- These sessions will be part of our response to the urgent need to act now, to continue to reach more VI people and support their journeys of growth.
- Members and funders have praised our adaptability, agility and courage due to the “impressive”, “marvellous” and “comprehensive” range of services delivered during lockdown as you will see here: https://youtu.be/UDqaNEkRnhY
- In recent months we have nurtured key services including home delivery of healthy and nutritious cooked lunch, grocery shopping, befriending, social and well-being virtual events (eye health, exercise), and ‘Learn & Share’ through our printed Newsletter and audio-based Talking News. It feels great but there is so much more to do hence our commitment to the Mobile Tech Hub!
Our goal is to raise £35,000 with Aviva’s amazing help so we can purchase the Mobile Tech Hub (the vehicle itself). We have also reached out to two other funders to support us with the investment of the tech items and educational materials to be used for training (which travel inside the vehicle).
Let’s transform more lives as we gain inspiration from these stories:
Pat is one of our Community Champions and very engaged in activities. However, during Covid-19 she struggled a bit as Community Meetings were conducted remotely. We organised a needs assessment which led us to provide tailored IT tutorials. Pat can now attend virtual meetings as well as staying connected with friends and family. She’s getting more invites to use other virtual platforms and managing technology independently.
John has also stated that “Learning to shop online has allowed me to retain my independence during lockdown. I’m keen to learn more now”.
Let’s make it happen! Thank you for your support!