Guardian Gazette July 2018

GDPR update

As you may be aware, one of the biggest changes to UK data privacy law came into effect on 25 May 2018 – the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

GDPR will give you more control over how your personal data is used and help to better protect that data. We hold your personal data because you are a client, volunteer, supporter or supplier of MertonVision and you have previously provided your contact information. We would love to continue to tell you about what’s going on at MertonVision by sending our bi-monthly newsletter (The Guardian Gazette). We may, also, contact you with general news and information about sight loss.

Thank you to those of you who have already returned the email or letter we sent out, however not all of you receive email from us but may wish to receive other sight loss information by email. To do this you must “Opt in” to receive our information electronically. If you haven’t already replied please send an email or call us on 020 8540 5446 stating you wish to receive information via email or other electronic methods.

We will be contacting everybody shortly to ensure we comply with all the GDPR standards asking you whether you wish to continue receiving our services. We will also like to take the opportunity to ask you a few questions about the services we provide and whether you feel we meet your needs. This will be a chance to tell us exactly what you want from us.

Thanks for all your support.

Kevin, Service Manager

100 Club Winners

Congratulations to the following winners:


1st prize no. 16, Pat Alphonse   £25

2nd prize no. 67, Roy Benjamin £10


1st prize no. 78, Jean Pike     £25

2nd prize no. 87, Audrey Bull   £10

The cost is £12 per year, there is a draw every month and the more members we have the bigger the prizes. There is also a chance of winning a bonus prize of £50 twice a year, and a Christmas bonus of £100. If you would like to join, just give us a ring on 020 8540 5446. This is an easy way to help support your charity.

Drawing and Painting Art Class

Wednesdays, 10:30-12:30

New term starts on Wednesday 26 September

This class is run by Sally, a professional artist with experience of Visual Impairment. It gives the opportunity to learn drawing and painting skills in an informal and supportive atmosphere.

Each student is encouraged to work on their own project, at a pace that suits them. A range of materials are also provided, including acrylics, watercolors, inks, pastels and paper.

All levels of experience are welcome. There are some spaces available, why not come along and have a go, first week free of charge. Priority is given to participants with a visual impairment.

Cost: £4 per session for visually impaired students; £8 for sighted students

Yoga Classes

Thanks to a grant from the Get Set, Get Active Fund (Wimbledon Foundation), MertonVision will be able to continue our Yoga class for another year.

Unfortunately our lovely tutor, Rachel, is leaving to continue her studies. But we are lucky enough to have a new tutor, Alpa Amin. Alpa has experience of working with people with a visual impairment.

The new class will be on Fridays between 11 and 12 and will start on 10 August.

£4 for members of MertonVision, £5 non-members.

Yoga mats provided.

About the Wimbledon Foundation

The Wimbledon Foundation is the charity of The All England Lawn Tennis Club. Set up in 2013, the Foundation aims to change people’s lives using the heritage and resources of the All England Club and The Championships and builds on a successful programme of community and charitable activities over a number of years.

About the Get Set, Get Active Fund

Launched in March 2016, the Get Set, Get Active Fund was set up to help people of all ages and abilities to have the opportunity to take part in sports or physical activities in the community and meet social needs in the London boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth.

Smart Accessible Technology Peer Support Group 11 a.m.

 Communication technology continues to evolve at a fantastic rate making it difficult to keep up with on your own. We have received an increase in the requests for accessible technology support around the Smart accessibility area and feel one way of delivering support is to create a peer support group. The group meet at the Guardian Centre on every second Friday in the month at 11 a.m. (nest session 10 August) to help you to investigate and learn new tips and tricks to make the most of your smart phone or tablet. We will invite guests to come and talk about specific areas of technology such as, apps, magnification and speech, navigating and gestures and voice activated devices. If you would like to know more about the group please contact Kevin on 020 8540 5446 or just come along to the Guardian Centre. Transport is available if required.

Talking Book Peer Support Group at 11 a.m.

To all the book worms out there who love talking books, this group is for you. The group meets on the 4th Friday of each month at the Guardian Centre at 11 a.m. We will be looking at every aspect of talking books, what books to read, discussing genres, narrators. Also, where and how to get them, what devices are available to play them on and much much more. We will be inviting local Merton Libraries to get involved with suggestions and topics such as looking at how to use the Overdrive for accessing on-line books from the library. If you want to know more about the group please call Kevin on 020 8540 5446 or come along to the next group meeting on Friday 24 August 2018 at 11 a.m. Transport may be available.

Forthcoming events

Glaucoma Presentation Monday 13 August 10:30 to 12:30

There will be a talk by Subash Suthar from the Glaucoma Association and Kevin Gregory from MertonVision, ending with a question and answer session. Come along and have a look round our Resource Centre whilst you are here.

Macular Society Group Monday 17 September from 10 a.m.

This group is for you if you have Macular Degeneration (MD). It is good to meet other people who have the same eye condition, have a cup of tea/coffee and a chat. This month’s speaker is Hilary Leacock who is speaking on behalf of Guide Dogs for the Blind about their services.

No need to book just turn up on the day.

 Children’s Eye Condition Awareness Day

We will be holding a children’s eye condition awareness day in September, date to be confirmed. There will be representatives from, Nystagmus, Stargardts, Uveitis and others. Please check our web site for updates.

Work Experience with DisabledGo

 If you are interested in disabled accessibility issues you might enjoy this offer from Disabledgo. They are offering the chance to be part of the Survey Team carrying out disabled accessibility issues in Merton. This will be credited as work experience and you will receive a £10 voucher for taking part on the day. You will also receive a certificate crediting you with the work experience. If you are interested please contact DisabledGo direct (see their information below).

 ‘If you like talking to new people and enjoy collecting information DisabledGo’s work experience opportunities available in Merton could suit you.

DisabledGo are looking for up to 10 people to help our team of surveyors collect access information.

What you would do

  • Attend a day’s work experience. Commencing at 11:00 a.m.
  • In the morning there will be an information session in a classroom setting to tell you more about DisabledGo and our work.
  • In the afternoon, after lunch has been provided, you will go out with a DisabledGo surveyor to visit some venues and collect information about their access.
  • You will be involved in talking to members of staff at venues about what DisabledGo does, taking measurements and using DisabledGo’s tablets to note down the information.
  • At the end of the day you will look over the information that has been collected before it is then published on If you are interestedDisabledGo has provided work experience to a wide range of people, with a variety of impairments. Many people have brought along a personal assistant or support worker to help them get the most from the experience.To come along to a work experience day you will need to be
  • Free for the whole day
  • Happy to travel to the training venue and to a range of venues across the Council area when out surveying
  • Interested in accessibility and collecting information
  • Polite and happy to meet new peopleTraining will take place on 23rd August 2018 starting at 11am and finishing at 2:30pm.
  • Please come to Merton Civic Centre, London Road, Morden, Surrey, SM4 5DX

The days Agenda

11:00 am-12:30 pm – Surveyor Training

12:30 pm – 1:00 pm – Lunch

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm – Surveying of venues If you have a personal assistant or support worker you will need to bring them along to the training. Our trainer will talk through slides and written documents on the day, if these would need adjusting for you we would need to know in advance so we can make sure they are accessible for you.’Please contact:Emily Edgar at DisabledGo  01438 842710         


It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Florence Hughes, Sinnathamby Manickavasagar, Lillian Bevil, Janet (Jet) Laurie, Sue Hawkins, Maureen Ashton, Ann Capel.

To their family and friends we offer our sincere condolences and thank you for donations to MertonVision in lieu of funeral flowers. (Just a reminder that we are MertonVision, your local charity – NOT any other national sight loss charity………!)

Low Vision Clinic

When spectacles no longer help you to see properly, a low vision aid or magnifier may help.  The aim is to maximize the remaining vision that you have, using a range of magnifiers, telescopes or other equipment which are prescribed and dispensed by an Optometrist.

Using a suitable magnifier could help you read print and not have to wait to ask someone to read it for you!  It may help you to check ‘sell by’ dates, cooking instructions, read correspondence and also labels when you go shopping.

If you would like to attend this clinic, the only criteria is that your sight is sufficiently poor that you need to use a magnifier for reading etc., and you have had a sight test at a high street opticians within the last year (even if you have been told that you are sight impaired and nothing can be done). Our Low Vision Clinic is usually held on the first Tuesday of the month, just give us a call to make an appointment.

Wimbledon Guild Counselling Service


We’ll help you if you’re feeling down, or anxious, or perhaps doing things that you know are not good for you. You might be having difficulties in your relationships with friends, or family, or experienced an upsetting change, or have more longstanding issues you’d like help with.

It can be helpful to talk to someone professional about your experiences and feelings. If you would like more information, please contact Wimbledon Guild Counselling Service on 020 8296 0030

Merton Sports and Social Club

 MSSC is an integrated sports and leisure club, founded in the 1970’s, with both vision impaired and sighted members from within Merton and surrounding areas. All ages and abilities are welcome.

What does the MSSC have to offer?

Weekly Socials, Tandem Cycling, Fitness Sessions, Walking, Swimming, Canoeing, Theatre Trips, Bowls, Darts, Quizzes

For details, please phone MSSC President Richard James on 07500 913 223 or email

Merton Talking Newspaper

MTN produce a recording of the local news and a magazine once a week which is posted out on Fridays to all who request it. If you would like to receive this on memory stick or by email please contact the MTN Studio direct on 020 8544 0551.

If you would like to receive the talking news on memory stick but do not have anything to play it on a Sovereign player can be provided, free of charge, on a permanent loan basis. Again, either contact the Studio on the number above or Mertonvision on 020 8540 5446.

 Volunteers needed for Merton Talking Newspaper

 Merton Talking Newspaper provides a weekly audio recording of the local Guardian, which is sent to blind and partially sighted people locally by post.

They are looking for people with a clear speaking voice to help with the recording. There is a Rota, so usually you would be asked to help on one Thursday evening per month.

Please contact the MTN Studio directly on 020 8544 0551 and leave a message.

 Dates for your Diary 2018

Monday 13 August                  Glaucoma Presentaion

Tuesday 11 September           Technology Day

Saturday 15 September          EyeCanDoIt – Kayaking

Monday 17 September           Macular Degeneration Group

Wednesday 26 September      Art Class resumes

Saturday 12 October               EyeCanDoIt – Laser tag

Thursday 25 October              EyeCanDoIt – Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Thursday 8 November             MertonVision AGM

Saturday 10 November           EyeCanDoIt – Owls about Town

Monday 19 November             Macular Degeneration Group

Saturday 8 December             EyeCanDoIt – Disco

Thursday 13 December           Christmas Lunch

Friday 21 December                Centre Closes for Christmas


The Guardian Gazette is produced in large print, special large print, braille, cd or memory stick and via email. If you no longer want to receive our newsletter or would like it in a different format, please let us know.