Sight Support Worthing is pleased to be partnering with the RNIB to offer a Living Well with Sight Loss group, starting Friday 29th October.
This is a FREE group for West Sussex residents. It is suitable for adults of all ages, including friends, family members or anyone affected by vision loss.
These free one-hour group phone sessions will be held every Friday morning for 6 weeks, from 10.30am – 12.00 noon. Members need to sign up for the whole course and the last session will be on the 3rd December 2021.
Each session covers a range of topics including:
understanding welfare rights
tips and gadgets for everyday living
hobbies and interests.
Participants will also learn about other organisations and services that can provide support.
We held our first Online Art Class back in January and at that point only one of the members taking part had ever used Zoom before and everyone else had to download it for the first time. Right from the beginning, despite occasional issues with no sound or video connection, those taking part have been fantastic at Zooming in every week and enthusiastically giving it a go.
The results of their efforts under the expert tuition of Fiona Mcvey have, I am sure you will agree from the photos shown on the website, been amazing. On the face of it trying to teach an Art class online to visually impaired people who struggle to see a small screen, such as a tablet or iPad, should not really work. However, by carefully explaining different techniques and demonstrating them close to the camera, Fiona works on a new painting with the class each week, using a different image/picture each week as a starting point and we provide a copy of these to everyone for reference.
Fiona has said that it is her aim is to encourage and support the artists who want to continue painting and newcomers who may not have put brush to paper since school. She has introduced them to new techniques and given tips to help with their sight loss and to finding different ways to add paint to paper. These have included using special tape to mark out parts of the picture or picking bold strong colours to use that can be more easily seen. Her top tip, though, is to enjoy the process and not to try and reproduce a picture in the colours you think it should be, but instead to use the colours you can see.
Many famous artists including Claude Monet, Edgar Degas and modernist Georgia O’Keefe continued painting after their sight impairments changed their view of the world. Claude Monet, in particular, after his sight started to fail with cataracts, used stronger colours and his work became looser and even more impressionistic but was still very recognisable.
When asked about the Art Class one of the members said the following: “I really enjoy my Tuesday mornings with the Art Class. Not only do we receive guidance in painting and mixing colours from Fiona, but we meet up on Zoom with other friends who have eyesight difficulties, so we do just what we can see. Not only does the morning fly by but, if in any doubt, the session is recorded so we can see it again! It gives me inspiration to draw/paint other things which helps to while away the time by focusing the hand and mind to do something.”
It has been great to not only see all the beautiful pictures produced each week but also what has been lovely is the social side of the class, with the members getting to know each other, sharing stories and experiences and starting to form new friendships. Above all, the class is a way for everyone to have fun …. Fiona reminded us of the words of George Bernard Shaw who said “we don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing”.
It has yet to be fully decided whether the Art Class will stay online, be brought back into the Centre or whether we will be able to continue with a mixture of different formats, but it will definitely continue in some form. Hopefully, others might now be inspired to join the class, either to try something new or to rekindle an old passion for painting by learning to paint again in a different way. If you would be interested in taking part, please get in contact.
We have a trip planned to Brooklands Park in Lancing to take part in an adaptive cycling session with Cycall.
Join us on 10th June as we take the minibus for an exciting excursion! We’ve space for 6 members so get in touch if you’d like a place. Our cycling session starts at 11am so we’ll be setting off to get there in time.
We are joining up with Cycall, an inclusive cycling project who have a great range of adapted cycling equipment that can be pedaled round the track. Alternatively you can just sit back and enjoy the ride while a ‘buddy’ rider does the hard work!
There will be full Covid safety measures in place and transport to and from Brooklands will be available
Cycall is a fantastic volunteer-run organisation that provides adapted cycles for disabled adults and children or anyone with a health issue which prevents them from accessing cycling. As you can see from the photos, there’s all sorts of bikes available so there’s something to suit everyone! You can find out more about Cycall and their activities on their website or their Facebook page.
Sight Support Worthing couldn’t function as well as we do without the amazing help and support of our volunteer Sight Supporters. They undertake a range of valuable tasks for us, and they get a real feel-good factor from helping our clients! Each volunteer has their own reasons for giving their time and energy to us, and chances are some of those are listed below. Take a look at some of the brilliant benefits of becoming a volunteer:
Make a difference – yes, there’s no denying it: you will make a difference to everyone involved in Sight Support Worthing or wherever you choose to volunteer. Some days it might be small and help one person, other days you might do something that helps a whole crowd. Either way, you will affect someone, somehow in a positive way.
Gain confidence and build self-esteem – not all of us are as confident as we’d like, and volunteering is a great way to remedy this. Once you start volunteering you’ll begin to get a sense of accomplishment and pride in your achievements, especially when you see the difference you’re making to others. Your confidence and sense of achievement will be boosted even higher if your volunteer role takes you out of your comfort zone.
This self-assurance will then spill over into other areas of your life so you’ll feel more confident and positive at home or work. If you’re shy, putting yourself into unknown (but hopefully welcoming) situations can condition you to find them less scary. Win-win.
Create new connections – whether you come away with a brand new best friend or find somewhere to have a regular chat with friendly faces, you’ll form new connections with like-minded people. If you’re someone who finds life a little lonely at times, volunteering is an excellent way to combat this. Choose somewhere to volunteer where you’ll be amongst people and you’ll be part of a whole new community.
Makes you happier – as humans we’re wired to want to help others, so the brain reacts well to situations when it knows you’re doing that, and makes you feel happier. Choosing a volunteering opportunity that’s right for you will also mean you spend that time having fun – and who doesn’t want an extra bit of fun in their life?!
Sense of purpose – most people choose to volunteer for an organisation or issue that is important to them. By giving your time and energy for free, and helping others achieve something, you’ll be boosting your sense of purpose and with it your feelings of happiness. Studies have shown that volunteering can help with depression, anxiety and other negative feelings by providing that regular sense of purpose and a positive reason to get up and out of the house.
Help with your career – volunteering offers opportunities to learn new skills and many of those will be transferable to other aspects of life including work. It’ll also show any employer that you go above and beyond and take time to help others; who wouldn’t want someone like that working with them? Volunteering is especially good if you’re lacking in work experience as it can provide you with new skills and proof of attributes that can then be added to a CV or used as examples in job interviews. Say you’d like to work in admin… find a volunteering role that will see you helping out with filing, perhaps doing a stock inventory, or maybe sorting out mail. The more you help out, the more you will learn.
So if you score one or more of these benefits while volunteering, you’re on to a winner. Perhaps you’re already volunteering and can add to our list of benefits? What do you gain from being a volunteer?
Join us online every Thursday for our exciting new chair yoga class. Led by Renée, these sessions will help you become more flexible, strengthen muscles and improve balance. These sessions are open to anyone with a visual impairment so do join us!
Depending on which is most comfortable, you can do the moves with seated or standing modifications. If yoga is completely new to you, do not worry: Renée will guide you through each pose with full instructions.
Classes are held over Zoom. If you do not have access to Zoom, do get in touch as we have options available to help you.
Whether you’re an experienced painter, or you’ve never so much as picked up a brush before, you’re welcome at our online art class! It is suitable for anyone with a sight impairment regardless of artistic experience. Paint, draw, sketch, glue, etch, cut – the choice is yours!