August Newsletter

Hello once again to all friends of EYECAN.

I’m sure you’ll agree that the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations were special. I hope you managed to see EYECAN members’ display of silvery flowers clustered by the roadside opposite St Martin’s Vielle Ecole. So many people remarked on how lovely they looked!

Image shows EYECAN's Platinum Jubilee display with decorated flower pots and flowerheads

Without taking a moment to rest on their laurels our Art and Craft members tackled Trinity Parish’s scarecrow competition. Their scarecrows looked terrific! One represented a client with her characterful dog, whilst the other represented Louis Braille, reading the tactile script he created.  

Wild Places Exhibition

An exhibition of EYECAN client, Graham Tovey’s beautiful, atmospheric paintings continues at Jersey Library until 8th September. As Graham explains, “you need to get into your own world and adjust your painting to your sight loss, but art is hugely rewarding and so much can be achieved.” The truth of this sentiment is evident in Graham’s lovely paintings.

Image shows Jane, Graham and Shanon standing together at the art exhibition in the jersey library. Jane is wearing a multicoloured dress, Graham is wearing a checkered shirt and dark brown shorts, Shanon is wearing pink clothes. 

A Good Book

If you love a good book (and there are many ways to enjoy literature despite sight loss), you might be interested in Jersey Festival of Words, which runs from 21st – 25th September. This year’s speakers include the crime and thriller writer, Peter James, the historian, Tracy Borman and novelists, Sebastian Faulks, and Celia Imrie, of Bergerac fame, whose novel, Orphans of the Storm, is set aboard the Titanic. Event organisers are keen to make the festival as accessible as possible, and attendants trained in sighted guiding will be on hand to assist. For further information please visit https://www.jerseyfestivalofwords.org or email [email protected]

Social Club Activity

Following all the frustrations of Covid restrictions EYECAN took the decision to replace the Social and Activity Clubs’ cancelled Christmas event at St Brelade’s Bay Hotel with a celebratory summer meal at the same venue for Club members. The weather was beautiful, the meal was perfect, the restaurant staff were fabulous, and the occasion was such a huge success that it has been decided to repeat it annually. Henceforth, Christmas will be celebrated in proper festive style at Westlea Centre, whilst lunch at a lovely venue will be a treat for the summer.

Image shows a group of ten volunteers some standing and some kneeling with EYECAN's vice president Anthea Bentley standing with them .

EYECAN Walk in My Shoes Challenge

Whilst EYECAN’s Walk in my Shoes event didn’t draw huge crowds, those who attended said they got a lot out of it. By tackling tasks whilst wearing simulation spectacles participants gained a fleeting experience of some of the daily challenges people with sight loss experience. We will draw on all we’ve learned to make next year’s event the best yet.

Accessibility

We are always telling you that your voice can make a difference, and this was proved recently when our client, Graham Roberts who has mobility issues raised awareness of difficulties he encountered when using a dropped kerb at Gorey Pier bus stop. After he and Agnetta consulted with Infrastructure 4 different interventions were planned by the Department, and they are already underway!

Image shows Graham Roberts wearing a light grey shirt sitting in a garden.

Another client has been invited to meet with the Jersey Electoral Authority to discuss difficulties she encountered with the electoral process. The JEA is also keen to hear suggestions on how things can be improved ahead of the next elections.

EYECAN’s Community Team has also been busy on your behalf, meeting with the Government’s Marketing Manager to explain how campaign material can be made more accessible. We are also looking forward to a meeting with the Communications Manager for Health and Community Services, when, amongst other things, we will be discussing difficulties Islanders with sight loss experience due to inaccessible appointments letters. In addition, we are meeting with the new infrastructure minister to raise concerns and look for solutions highlighted in the recent EYECAN survey. This survey looked at electric vehicle usage and the impact of no engine noise and concerns raised when using the Islands shared spaces.

Are there any Government notices or websites you find difficult to access? Please let us know so that we can raise these issues too. It would be great to see improvements which make important information inclusive for everyone.

Another forthcoming opportunity for comment involves Millbrook Playing Fields, an area of which has been granted to the people of Jersey to become part of Coronation Park. The space will be designed for children and families. An on-line consultation will run from September 5th until October 17th. Look out for this if you have thoughts you want to share or let us have your comments so that we can share them on your behalf.

Wellbeing

The Recovery College is running a course in November which has been co-produced by EYECAN client, Gosia. Essential Oils for Wellbeing will: explain, in a safe and effective way, how essential oils can support wellbeing, reduce stress, and improve sleep. Provide information on how the oils work, and how to use them. The accessible course will be held at Age Concern, Val Plaisant on Tuesday 8th November and Tuesday 15th November, from 14:15 – 16:15. Call Dreena to register your interest. Tel: 505977 every weekday except Wednesday. Please advise EYECAN if you need support with transport.

EYECAN is always busy on your behalf, working with services throughout Jersey to improve conditions and support for Islanders with sight loss. Your views and suggestions really matter to us, so please let us know if you think something requires our attention. We look forward to hearing from you.

With best wishes.

Jane Vincent

Operations Director